Designer to the stars, Nabil Younes is set to launch his newest collection at Paris Fashion Week later this month. Inspired by the superstar, Haifa Wahbe, the collection is expected to reflect Wahbe’s unquestionable beauty and fierce character. Younes named it HWMGK, which is the acronym representing the singer’s initials and the name of her successful album, Maliket Gamal El Koun (Miss Universe).
As a young boy growing up in Libya, the now international fashion designer, Nabil Younes, stood out among his colleagues with his passionate interest in drawing. For years, he would spend his days dreaming of and sketching designs. It was therefore no surprise that he eventually took up a career as a fashion designer.
Only a few weeks before its launch at Paris Fashion Week on the 23rd of January 2019, Younes gave eniGma Magazine a sneak preview of his new collection. The collection is inspired by Haifa Wahbe’s international success, feminine esthetic and undeniable charm. It has already caught the attention of prestigious media platforms like Vogue, l’Officiel, CNN, BBC, Fashion TV and Paris Match, the latter dedicating a feature to the collaboration between the designer and the famous Lebanese singer.
“Haifa was my main source of inspiration for this collection. Her personality, elegance and style fascinate me,” says Younes, adding, “I started my fashion career in 2002, and I met her in 2005. We have been best friends ever since.” According to the designer, the reason why Wahbe was always on top of his list of muses was not only her status as an international icon, but also because as her friend, he is proud of what she has managed to achieve. After planning for this collaboration for some time, the two finally got the chance to create an intimate collection to crown their friendship.
Over the course of 15 pieces, Younes captured his muse’s powerful, yet delicate character. The designer decided to utilise French Lace as the main fabric in the collection. “I chose it because it is only the most beautiful fabric in the world!” Younes exclaims. The designs also offer a large window for transparency and contemporary cuts. Unlike his regular retro aesthetic, this collection exhibits a preference for minimal modernity, which is unprecedented for Younes. “A surprise supermodel will walk the show and her look for the finale is set to be a very simple wedding gown. The bridal dress is very simple, mainly made of articulate lace with no sign of heavy embroidery. I have grown to hate sequenced dresses and I currently much prefer simple, yet rich fabrics,” Younes explains. According to the designer, the intricate collection targets women who are just as pretty as Haifa. “I think it will take a confident, slender, and charismatic woman to pull off one of my dresses,” he says.
Younes’ strong bond with Arab cinema has already shaped his career so far. Ever since his early childhood years, the designer has been fascinated by what the region’s biggest superstars chose to wear on screen. Furthermore, the biggest breakthrough in his journey as a designer was dictated by the iconic Arab star, Sabah. “Sabah was the one who discovered me, soon after I graduated from Esmod in France,” he fondly recalls.
Since then, Younes has worked with a number of his favourite celebrities, including Nelly Karim, Safaa Abou El Seoud, Hanan Turk, Hend Sabri and Dorra Zarrouk. Meanwhile, international influencers such as Paris Hilton and Miss World Canada’s Jasmine Prince have already been spotted wearing his designs. He is currently working on a new surprise project with the formidable Monica Belluci.
The designs in Younes’ latest collection embrace a profound French-Eastern fusion, which made it ideal for Paris Fashion Week. Having been used to showing his collections at Rome Fashion Week, showing this collection in Paris represents a major milestone for Younes. Explaining why he needed to take such a step, the designer aptly notes, “Paris is the fashion capital of the world. If you can make it in Paris, you can make it anywhere around the world.”
“Ultimately,” says Younes, “I want my name to stand for creativity and precision. Looking ahead, I plan to build on my Parisian show to further expand internationally.”