Elie Saab skips couture presentation in Paris
Elie Saab has called off his haute couture presentation scheduled for the Paris season next week, as the couturier delays shooting any look-book video in the wake of the crisis in Lebanon.
Saab had been scheduled to unveil his next collection during the four-day fully digital haute couture week, on Wednesday, 27 January.
However, due the pandemic and major health problems caused by coronavirus, the house will not shoot any video for Paris. The past two seasons, Saab shot inventive videos both for ready-to-wear and couture in historic and elegiac settings in the mountains north of Beirut.
“The couture collection is ready. But we have had to take this decision to postpone the shoot due to the current situation, where the virus is growing exponentially. There are 7,000 cases a day in Lebanon officially, which compared to our population is very big number. The health care system can not afford any more cases, there is not enough oxygen and respirators in hospitals. So we take care to prioritize health and well being and not take risks. That would be unfair unethical and not responsible,” Elie Saab Jr., the managing director of the Beirut-based fashion brand, told FashionNetwork.com in a call from Beirut.
Saab, the Phoenician couturier, is one of the leading shows on the Paris calendar, which next week features over 25 couture shows on the official calendar.
Saab Jr. stressed that the house hoped to shoot the video in the next several weeks.
“We create beauty and we cannot do that jeopardizing the well being of everyone. But we will do a look-book and video, in a new concept and online presentation; streamed and sent to clients, press and stakeholders,” he insisted.
Saab’s headquarters located in downtown Beirut were partly damaged in the giant explosion that rocked the city in August 2020 and left 190 dead. However, the repairs were completed quite quickly.
“We were able to renovate immediately, and up and running 10 days after. We managed to deliver all our confirmed orders. We had a fair amount of business despite Covid-19,” said Saab Jr.
Currently, many of the Saab sales force are in Paris, showing the house’s ready-to-wear pre-collection for fall 2021, albeit much of it online.
Like the Paris ready-to-wear season itself, the house still has to see whether it can stage a runway show during Paris ready-to-wear week in the first week of March.
“March? We still don’t know. Who does? Whether online, phygital or catwalk,” he noted.
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