Lebanese fashion designer Nemer Saadé has dominated men’s fashion in the Middle East for almost two decades. eniGma’s Mohamed Hesham spoke with Saadé to find out more about the designer’s remarkable journey to success.
Coming from a well-established family in the male fashion and tailoring business, Nemer Saadé learned much about fashion, first hand, and became the brand manager for his family’s haute couture men’s line, before launching his own brand, Nemer Saadé Couture, in 2002, introducing his own men’s fashion concept to the Arab world. With almost 17 years of success behind him, today, Saade’s fashion concept has been widely embraced in the region and he is dressing some of the most high profile clients around the world, including royalty and international celebrities. eniGma spoke with Saade to find out more about this men’s fashion designer’s remarkable journey to success.
How would you say your heritage influenced your artistic vision?
My family has always been at the forefront of our profession in our area of the world, and thus I was always surrounded by exquisite style and impeccable attention to detail. My upbringing in such an environment fueled my already existing passion for all that was refined, sophisticated and stylish, and that led me to a career in this profession. My heritage challenged me to meet my family’s already existing standards of quality and performance; I had very large shoes to fill, but I did that gladly. The major challenge was to change people’s perception about male fashion. It was more a cultural challenge than a professional one. But, when my first fashion show in the Arab world was an astounding success, we started recording victories. Like any other industry, the fashion world comes with great challenges to achieving success. But, the biggest challenge remains the high standards we set for ourselves: to deliver on every promise we make with every piece of clothing we design and execute for our customers.
How did your brand start to expand internationally and reach public figures abroad?
In 2001, when we launched the first male fashion show in the Middle East, it was the first show to be broadcast live on Fashion TV. The show was an immediate success on many levels and we received calls from around the world, showing interest in our designs. Our list of international clients kept growing from then onwards.
How did your work evolve since you launched your own brand?
To sustain a successful business, you need to support your vision with adequate, professional and market responsive actions. We understand what makes a successful business and how to build sustainable competitive advantage. The team at Nemer Saadé built very solid foundations of our practice across all our business functions. We have perfected our structure to ensure that the organisation adheres to modern day business practices and we continuously develop our talented human capital, while remaining abreast of market and consumer trends.
How would you describe your brand? Would you say you embody it?
We are personal brand builders. The Nemer Saadé House brings the personal brand of our every customer to life in the best possible way. We are a brand of luxury, glamour, distinction, quality, craftsmanship and above all, customer centricity. It is my responsibility to represent everything my brand stands for. Meeting and exceeding our customers’ expectations is a daunting task. We research and anticipate attitudes and preferences without forgetting the huge influence of culture and prevailing trends.
What is one thing you would like to change about fashion in the Middle East?
Contrary to what many may think or believe, people in the Middle East are among the top in appreciation of elegance, style and luxury. At times, maybe the culture did not give men their due right in fashion but that has changed drastically, especially in the last decade. I would definitely like to see more young graduates specialise in men’s fashion, which can be as almost as diversified, compelling and exceptional as women’s fashion.
What are your plans for the future?
We have plans to expand our brand’s offerings in many directions. You will see us in more places and more markets. And Egypt ranks very high on our future agenda.