Encounter with Georges Chakra

Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Queen Latifa choose him to dress them up. Encounter with Georges Chakra and discover what makes the success of this Beirut-based haute couture fashion designer.

 

Where does the story of Georges Chakra begin?
I have been interested in the fashion design industry since my childhood. I used to follow regularly what the stars and prominent personalities were wearing. However, after graduating from school, I first enrolled in the interior design program, as fashion design was not offered as a university major back then. After two years of studies, and due to the political instability in Lebanon, I left for Canada – where I had family – and I enrolled in fashion design at the Canadian Fashion Academy. It was the perfect opportunity for me to go back to my initial passion: Fashion. After earning my degree, I went back to Lebanon and founded my own workshop.
I have been working in the Couture industry since 1985 and presented several Couture shows in Lebanon before heading to Paris in 2002 and presenting our first international Couture show during Paris Fashion Week. Since then, we present twice a year our Couture collection in Paris, during Paris Fashion Week.
In 2009, we launched “Edition by Georges Chakra”, our first ready to wear collection, during the official New York Fashion week.
Since then, we present four collections per year: 2 in Couture and 2 in Ready-to-Wear.

 

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Angela Baby at “Tai Chi O” premiere 69th Venice Film Festival 31 Aug 2012.

 

How difficult was it to be accepted into the Western fashion scene?
The western market is a completely different environment than the national eastern or the regional one: it has different rules and another way of doing business. Second, the competition is more numerous and tougher.
Defining your goal, knowing, analyzing and careful studying your new market and your potential target are the basic keys to succeed in breaking through.

 

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Jennifer Lopez at the World Tour post party at Pure – August 2012.

 

A lot of celebrities wear your clothes, how long have been designing clothes for stars?
Celebrities have been wearing my creations for quite some time now among them Jennifer Lopez, Katy Perry, Queen Latifah, Carrie Underwood, Emily Blunt, Blake Lively and most recently Chinese actresses such as Li Bing Bing, Zhang Ziyi… and many more.
The very first celebrities I worked with were Tyra Banks for her 2006 Emmy Awards gown and Helen Mirren for her 2008 Oscars gown.

 

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Blake Lively on the Gossip Girl set, final season – October 2012.

 

Where do you get your inspiration?
My eternal muse, for each collection, is and remains the woman, yet my inspirations are multiple. A movie, a recent trip, a historical era, a woman’s encounter, a perfume, a feeling, anything can be source for inspiration, even a fabric’s pattern.

 

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Blake Lively on the Gossip Girl set, season 4 shooting – July 6, 2010.

 

How would you describe your personal sense of style?
My three core elements of design approach/style are elegance, glamour and sophistication addressing the self-confident, daring, unique and fashion forward woman.

 

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Li Bing Bing at the Oscars Awards in 2012.

 

What is the most challenging part of the fashion industry?
Delivering on time, as we constantly run against the clock.

 

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Helen Mirren at the Oscars Awards in 2008.

 

What are you currently working on?
My team and I are currently working on a fashion show to be presented in Houston in November 2012.

 

How do you wish to expand in the future?
On the long run, expanding Chakra’s brand to include a bridal collection, accessories and eventually opening stand-alone boutiques are on our business schedule of expansion, along with other plans to be announced in due time.

 

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Tyra Banks

Tyra Banks at the Emmy Awards 2006.

 

Which famous designer do you admire the most and why?
Among such big and talented names in the fashion world, I would definitely say that my favorite is Yves Saint Laurent. I love the way he broke the rules in design and his combination of colors and shades. He was the inventor of modern fashion. I am still dazzled by his timeless designs.

 

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Zhang Ziyi at the 2012 Harper’s Bazaar Stars Charity Night – September 2012.

 

What is the accomplishment you’re most proud of so far?
Throughout out my career, I came across many defining moments. However, and although it’s been a while now, the thing that I’m proudest of is still my contribution to the Hollywood hit movie “The Devil Wears Prada”. It was so gratifying when my Summer 05 Haute Couture collection was chosen to be featured along with Valentino’s in this fashion movie. I received many phone calls from Lebanese living abroad, congratulating me for raising Lebanon’s name so high on the fashion scene.

 

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Being let down by people I considered as friends

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Carrie Underwood at the 46th CMA Country Music Awards – November 2012.

 

Who is your most surprising fan?
A 12 year old girl from New York! She is a huge fan of my work and she became a bigger fan when she found out that I design for Carrie Underwood, who happens to be her favorite entertainer. She even sent me her sketch suggestion for Underwood’s wedding dress. I was deeply touched by her letter.

 

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