Not only did he design one of the most talked-about dresses of 2012 — the sheer nude number Kristen Stewart wore for the Los Angeles premiere of the latest “Twilight” movie — but last November, the Lebanese designer was designated a guest member of Paris Couture Week.
The honor marks a turning point for the 41-year-old, who has been showing couture in Paris on the sidelines of the official calendar since 2001. “It was a dream of mine, and now I feel like I am being recognized by my profession,” he told WWD in his spacious new salon, located on the floor above the showroom-store he opened in 2007 on the tony Rue François 1er. His global headquarters, meanwhile, occupy an 11-story building in the Gemmayzeh district of Beirut, home to a flagship boutique and 150 staff. RELATED STORY: Zuhair Murad Spring Couture 2013 >>
Murad, who is the sole owner of the brand, employs a dozen people in Paris, and plans to hire up to eight more in 2013 to keep pace with the label’s rapid expansion.
Known for his Grecian-inspired draping and opulent embroidery, the designer is a favorite of celebrities including Taylor Swift, Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez, who had him whip up six looks for her last tour. “I love making stage costumes, because with celebrities, you have free rein,” he said. “I’m not a minimalist designer anyway. I love detail. I love meticulous, painstaking workmanship, and I adore lace and embellishment on dresses.”
For this couture collection, Murad sent out an array of gold-embroidered gowns that had red-carpet written all over them. On one, a richly embroidered bodice dissolved into sequined arabesques on a nude silk tulle train. Others were Grecian in spirit, with wafting panels of chalk-colored chiffon or silk tulle, set off with gold or platinum embroidered motifs.
Murad also produces ready-to-wear and recently upgraded his accessories line, with a collection of shoes, handbags and belts made in Italy. The rtw is carried in about 90 points of sale worldwide, including Saks Fifth Avenue and Bergdorf Goodman in New York; Neiman Marcus; Harrods in London, and Tsum in Moscow.
In the next six months, Murad plans to open standalone boutiques on Qatar’s man-made island, The Pearl, and in Kuwait, with others set to follow in Italy, Turkey, Russia and the U.S. over the following three years. “I hope to develop a full-blown lifestyle brand,” he said. “Design for me is not just about fashion, but also architecture, interior design, furniture, perfume and cosmetics.”
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)