November 4, 2011

Interview: ZUHAIR MURAD


We’ve been dazzled numberless times seeing Jennifer Lopez, Eva Longoria, Kylie Minogue, Beyoncè, Vanessa Williams in the FASHION MAGAZINES.

Time and time again, we’ve noticed that the glamorous aura surrounding them on the red carpet had a common denominator.

And we don’t refer here to any intangible inherent qualities usually thought of as charisma, charm or magnetism (although they definitely don’t have any shortage in that direction either), but to something or rather someone as tangible as he can be, going by the name of ZUHAIR MURAD.

In the capital of Lebanon, Zuhair Murad’s name has succeeded in record time in crossing the Middle East borders, naturally sticking to the lips of fashion consumers all over the world. Because the ultra feminine approaches doubled by elaborate fabrics and strict techniques of silhouette shaping have closely worked together to create him a stylistic touch highly salient for the sophistication he confers on his designs.

And since his clothes stir up passions impossible to put out, it means that the fascination breathed by Zuhair Murad’s designs should be closely looked into.

Interview published in Tabu Magazine – www.tabu.ro

Thank you, Zuhair Murad!

 

1. Mister Murad, your designs are shining in the Hollywood flashlights. What do you keep in your mind about your early beginnings? When was it that you first discovered your passion for fashion and what exactly drove you to turn it into a business?

I was born with this passion for fashion and clothing. Ever since I was a child I used to play with all sorts of fabrics, doing all sorts of shapes and drapes, and I surrounded myself with fashion magazines to find out more about styles and trends; I also used to draw sketches all day when I was at school. Then this passion grew with me and it developed later into a career.

 

2.Do you remember your very first client and the first famous person to become your client?

My very first client was the friend of my sister, she asked me to design a dress on the occasion of her engagement; I made her a peach draped mousseline dress, and put all my efforts to deliver the most amazing dress, she loved it so much and kept marveling about it. It sure was a very happy, encouraging moment for me

As for the celebrity, I started dressing a few celebrities in Hollywood but the big hit was when I dressed Miley Cyrus at the 2009 Oscars, she stepped out on the red carpet wearing this black and white ball gown and everyone was watching and raving about it! I was very proud to see my dress so beautifully worn on such a big event.

 

3. The Zuhair Murad Fashion House came into being in 1995. It’s been quite a while since then and I imagine there must have been difficult times too. Do you have any recollections of such times?

The decision itself to establish the House was not easy, then setting it up from scratch and assembling the right staff who are able to do the job and do it properly, finding good teams and training them. After this, I started building relationships with clients, and the rest is history.

 

4.You have managed to build up a real fashion empire in a country high instable politically. The most violent event was the 2006 Lebanese war. That, I imagine, must have been a time when things were hanging in the balance…

The instability in the country and the region does not affect the businesses, it slows down when there are conflict problems such as war but otherwise the country is stable and business is great. The 2006 war was certainly a brutal one, it did slow down the business for a couple of months but we managed to deliver the orders to our clients on time and it picked up immediately when it stopped. We succeeded in overcoming it in no time, I guess Lebanese know well how to do it.

 

5. It is widely known Eastern and Western fashion markets are known for their style differences; nevertheless, your success goes naturally beyond these cultural bounds. What’s the secret?

I do not design for a specific woman, whether she is from the East or the West she can wear my clothes. Even though I am for the Middle East, my inspiration is a global woman. Style differences are much rarer these day, not say they do no longer exist, women have a common taste no matter where they come from.

 

6. While in Paris, I’ve never missed any of the Zuhair Murad couture shows of the past two years and, each and every time, I can testify to the guests’ reactions, which were more than positive. This makes me wonder whether you’ve had offers to sell your fashion house.

I do but it sure is not something I am looking into for now.

 

7. Zuhair Murad is known for couture, prêt-a-porter, accessories, bridal gowns. For a full fashion span, should we expect a men’s line in the near future?

I do men’s line since 2005, it is an individually designed and crafted men’s clothing, a made-to-measure service with an array of choices on the cut, the fabric and the ultimate details.

 

8. I have applauded in Paris the 2011-2012 Fall/Winter couture show, but the one actually in the position to scan the collection is the designer himself.

I have presented a collection inspired by Wu Zetian, the unique Emperatrice to ever rule over China. She was powerful and eccentric, and was renowned for her remarkable beauty whilst ruling with an iron fist.

It is a timeless collection of modernity, with Obi belts accentuating waistlines on culottes, jumpsuits, day suits and gowns. I also paid tribute to China’s greatest invention: the Silk, using a noble variation from Duchesse satin, crepe satin, organza, Mikado, silk tulle, silk mousseline, gazard to lace.

The color palette is jade green, carmen red, violet and black, while the reigning tone remains “nude” emphasizing the complexion. I also borrowed the elegance of ancestral China, the floor length kimono sleeves, intricate knotting details, embroideries of bamboo shoots, cherry blossom and lovebirds.

 

9. We’ve learnt what lies behind Zuhair Murad designs: work and passion. But what about Zuhair Murad’s mornings, how do they start? Is there room for any spare time?

I like to take it easy in the morning, take my time and get ready to hit the day at my office and ateliers, where I stay for long hours. I rarely have a free time, I spend most of my time at the atelier and studio, my work is my passion really and I want to give it most of my time, I never get enough.

 

10. What is it the others do not know about you and you’d want them to?

Despite being workaholic, I really like funny stories and like to tell them too, I also enjoy doing tricks to my friends.
I would have loved to be a movie producer.

 

11. We cannot end our interview without your advice to all women. What would that be?

Wear what fits you and don’t be a fashion victim. You must wear the clothes, not let them wear you.

Thank you, Zuhair  Murad!