From its creation in 1999, Maison Rabih Kayrouz has embodied couture savoir-faire in the most meaningful sense. Our ethics and our sophisticated, relaxed lifestyle approach to fashion go beyond clothing. Universality, inclusivity and nurturing personal connections come naturally to us.
Maison Rabih Kayrouz weaves its vision with creativity and integrity to produce a serene and generous interpretation of “luxury”. Everything we do traces back to the gesture of the hand.
In doing so, our Prêt-à-Porter range launched in 2009 and we were awarded the official Haute Couture appellation in 2019.
The House’s collections are conceived and developed in our Paris atelier: a unique, storied, modular space located on Rive Gauche (the Left Bank). Here we often host friends and partners around a generous meal. Occasionally the atelier serves as the stage for our fashion shows.
The fundamental silhouette of the Maison Rabih Kayrouz aesthetic is based on elegant, sculptural pieces designed to put the body at ease. A natural dialogue between the timeless allure of voluptuous volumes with the refinement and sartorial rigor of Parisian couture construction.
“I have no recollection of ever wanting to do anything else…” Rabih Kayrouz’s couturier ambitions date back to when he was just 12 years old, growing up in a small village in Lebanon. “I never dressed dolls,” he recalls, “but I always dreamed of dressing women.”
Sewing the seeds
Encouraged by his parents, Kayrouz at the age of 16 moves to Paris to attend preparation school, enrolling at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne a year later to study fashion. “Paris was my first big city - the streets and style of that time made a big impression on me”.
In 1995, after training stints in the couture ateliers of Dior and Chanel, he returns to Lebanon and participates in an exhibition for young designers in Beirut, a city undergoing a creative rebirth. “It was all happening there. Suddenly I had this huge desire to stay”.
Kayrouz hones a modern approach to couture techniques and construction by draping materials directly on clients. His passion for fashion’s relationship with the body – offering comfort and sensuality, irrespective of age or shape – starts to take shape. The young designer soon stands out for his pure constructions and juxtaposition of sophisticated fabrics with organic, raw edges, and evening dresses crafted from cotton – or even toile.
The Beirut years
Kayrouz takes the plunge and establishes his couture house in Beirut in 1999. Instead of a storefront property, he moves into an abandoned building marked with the traces of the civil war, eventually taking over three floors to accommodate his growing business. It serves as his base in the city for the next 20 years.
Paris, mon amour
Encouraged by Didier Grumbach – the former president of La Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode – Kayrouz returns to the City of Light in 2009 to take his business to the next level. He presents his first Paris show in July, as a guest member of the Couture calendar. A series of calendar switches and off-site shows at the Palais de Tokyo and the Couvent des Cordeliers follow, as the agile brand expands and defines its position, bridging the gap between couture and prêt-à-porter.
Fast-forward to today and Maison Rabih Kayrouz enters its third decade with a redesigned , a new Beirut flagship, a just opened London location and e-commerce site, further confirming its identity as an intimate, human-scale house with international reach.
Since our creation, and in every step of our creative process, sustainability and social responsibility have been part of our core values:
Putting the local savoir-faire at the forefront
- Our production is entirely European (ca. 2/3 is made is France, the remainder within the EU);
- Our fabrics are sourced in Italy and France, except for a few select ones imported from Japan for their unique technicity;
- Passing on our know-how is very close to our heart – we constantly hire apprentices, who directly benefit from the coaching and training of our “premières d’atelier” (head seamstress);
- For our more manual work (such as embroideries), we have established partnerships with various associations in Lebanon who support underprivileged women and refugees
- We pride ourselves in creating timeless pieces, at opposite ends of a “one season” fleeting fashion. Our clients love to remind us that they still wear MRK pieces from 10 years ago (sometimes more!), always with the same pleasure. We launched our “Essentials” permanent line in 2018 in that spirit
- We do not destroy our stocks, be it of fabrics or products - we see them as old treasures that can be re-visited and given a new life.
- We adhere to a quasi-zero waste approach during the creation process – almost all fabrics and patterns developed as part of new collection will end up being presented – in recognition of the work and efforts put in each and every newly created model
- Our pieces look fabulous on women of all ages, shapes and form. The common thread within our clients is not what they look like but who they are: independent, strong women, who embrace their feminine and sensual side.