Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz granted access to elite fashion club

This is a big deal in the fashion world: the womenswear designer is now part of the haute couture inner circle, alongside esteemed brands including Chanel and Givenchy

PARIS, FRANCE - JULY 02:  Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz walks the runway during the Maison Rabih Kayrouz Haute Couture Fall Winter 2018/2019  show as part of Paris Fashion Week on July 2, 2018 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Julien de Rosa/Getty Images)
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He recently marked the 10-year anniversary of his eponymous label, but that isn't the only milestone Rabih Kayrouz has to celebrate. The Lebanese designer, who founded womenswear label Maison Rabih Kayrouz in Paris in 2008, has this week joined an esteemed group of fashion houses granted haute couture status, which is a legal term.

The eminent ranking is only boasted by a select group of labels around the world; just 16 other maisons are permanently on the biannual haute couture calendar, according to WWD. The acclaimed list includes heritage Parisian labels, such as Chanel, Christian Dior and Givenchy, as well as more contemporary designers including Alexandre Vauthier and Alexis Mabille.

The status is granted by the French Ministry of Industry and the Fédération Française de la Couture, the governing body for the French couture industry. Labels need to adhere to strict criteria to qualify for the renowned title, such as showing two couture collections of at least 25 looks a piece every year, producing handmade pieces in a Paris-based atelier, and creating made-to-measure clothing for private clients.

Designers who create the above, but have not been granted haute couture status by the Fédération, must simply refer to their collections as couture.


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Labels granted haute couture status are regarded as the crème de la crème of the industry, with collections often signified by their ornate embellishments and expertly handcrafted details. Guest labels are also invited to present at haute couture fashion weeks, which take place in January and July each year. Maison Rabih Kayrouz had been invited to show as a guest during seasons previous, before being added to the official club of members last month, WWD reports.

The namesake label was founded by the designer in 2008, following stints training at Dior and Chanel. Kayrouz is famed for his fusion of timelessly minimal yet modern silhouettes and vibrant use of colour, with his designs worn by stars such as Céline Dion, Ciara and Jada Pinkett Smith.

The designer also unveiled his debut bridal collection last year, which is sold exclusively at Paris's L’Éclaireur boutique.