From his early teens, Lebanese-born designer Ziad Nakad knew that he wanted to work in fashion. Fascinated by eclectic fabrics, sheer embroidery and unconventional beading, Nakad designed gowns for his family and friends to wear. Encouraged by this genuine success, the talented young man decided to explore and embrace the art of dressmaking, and went on to work with many famous fashion designers in Beirut. In 1997, he launched his eponymous label at Beirut Fashion Week, dressing renowned supermodels such as Karen Mulder and Jennifer Driver.
Today, Ziad Nakad shows at Paris Haute Couture and around the world, including Lebanon, the Middle East, the Gulf, Europe, Asia and the US.
His designs epitomise glamour and simplicity, and appeal to a discerning clientele, including international personalities and celebrities. The brand has several different lines to meet the needs of the modern woman and offers everything from a casual aesthetic to a more sophisticated prêt-à-porter collection, couture, haute couture and bridalwear.
We caught up with the designer to find out more.
What made you want to go into couture?
It started as a hobby and from my love of details and patterns. Also, I like everything related to art.
How does creating couture pieces differ from ready-to-wear?
Haute couture is a way of thinking, it’s definitely more involved and detailed, and there is more handwork than ready-to-wear. Couture is a way of thinking and a way of working.
Where do you get the inspiration for your collections?
I start by setting a specific mood depending on the season, start my research and get inspired by anything. For summer I go for a light theme and for winter it’s more dramatic. Anything can be a source of inspiration to me: I get inspired by everything I see around me and set an image in my mind.
How would you describe the Ziad Nakad woman?
The Ziad Nakad woman is fresh, strong, sensual and positive. When she enters a room, she spreads positive vibes and has a clear vision.
Which couturiers do you most admire?
Christian Dior and Christian Lacroix.
How would you describe your last collection at Paris Haute Couture?
It’s fresh, dramatic and has a strong identity. It has a special soul to it.
What do you like about Paris?
I like the feeling of true couture and high fashion. Paris has a different feel for high-end design.
What’s your favourite thing to do in Paris and where to you like to shop?
Eating macaroons and croissants, and roaming the small streets of Paris. I like Galeries Lafayette for shopping.
How do you plan to expand your brand internationally?
Maybe opening a boutique in Paris and growing according to a plan, as both expansion and evolution are the main priorities to me.
What's next for Ziad Nakad?
Working more on the ready-to-wear collection and expanding more.