Dany Tabet is conquering the fashion world and his last stop is here in America. Born in Beirut, capital of Lebanon, Tabet was drawn to sketching women’s couture at a very young age. Taking a chance that nearly nobody has before, Tabet traveled extensively throughout the Middle East, quickly garnering the reputation as the designer celebrities and socialites would call for custom-made, intricately designed couture gowns. Having every dress with hand-made detailing might seem daunting to most designers, but Tabet won't settle for mediocrity at any turn as one day he wants an international empire of couture to call his own.
Well on his way to doing so, Tabet’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection titled "Smoke & Mirrors" was shown at the luxury capital of the world - Dubai Fashion Week - and had rave reviews from editors and celebrities alike. We reached out to Tabet while he was back home in Beirut gathering inspiration for his collection that he will be showing at New York Fashion Week. Marchesa move over, Dany Tabet is here to take over the American red carpet, one couture gown at a time.
Labeling Men: How did you come up with the concept and idea to start a line?
Dany Tabet: Since I was a kid, I knew I would end up in fashion or in art, somewhere in that area. I like theatre, I like the arts, I always wanted to go to University to make TV. Since you know I'm coming from Beirut, it can be a little difficult. In 2005, we had this attack and I decided after that to start something immediately and I needed to learn and it’s in me, so I jumped directly into the fashion world.
Labeling Men: From there, when did you start your own line?
Dany Tabet: From there, I started to make pieces - actually just two pieces - and when I saw the reaction of people surrounding me and it started to please, I get addicted to this feeling and I want to do more and I ended up doing what I'm doing now.
Labeling Men: So you started this in Lebanon, correct?
Dany Tabet: Yes, I started in Beirut and went to different places. I travel around for inspiration and shopping, but at the end, I go back to Beirut, my hometown.
Labeling Men: You said you traveled to many different places. Where has your line gotten the best reaction so far?
Dany Tabet: I would say everywhere! It started online, which is very connected and led me to many different shops in Europe and in the Middle East. The ladies in the Middle East are very up to date and into fashion. I would also say Italy and USA as well, which are both fashion capitals. [Editors Note: Since the short time he's entered the US market, he's been catching the eye of top editors of Vogue, L’Officiel, and is garnishing a lot of interest from the top tier publications in a short period of time.]
Labeling Men: What makes your couture line different from everybody else?
Dany Tabet: Simply because I'm doing it. Every person is unique and in what they do. I have a saying that I always like to keep it special and unique. As far as I can keep to my motto, I think it will always be different. I keep a very high standard in my couture, which is traditional, but at the same time, I can be fashion forward, so that is a good blend.
Labeling Men: Are there any particular colors or fabrics that you go to?
Dany Tabet: I think that there is three things that I must choose, which is classic. First, my favorite fabric is tulle and second comes silk and then last is valuable stones or crystals. These are my ingredients for my dresses.
Labeling Men: You say you always go back to Beirut, tell us why you go back there?
Dany Tabet: Well, coming from Lebanon, it definitely inspires me and who I am today. Lebanon is a melding pot different cultures all around and the history, the geographical place is connecting Europe to Asia. It inspires me and gives me the inspiration. What I'm doing is totally inspired from my country.
Labeling Men: Tell us a little about your own personal style?
Dany Tabet: Well, I like a few brands for me personally…I like the American brand All Saints. I like to play between rock and chic, I like black colors. I don't have a ton of time for myself! Whenever I go to the showroom, I can get what I want and shop everything there.
Labeling Men: Since you don't have a lot of time, is there a go-to piece that you gravitate to?
Dany Tabet: I like comfortable, I like very natural materials like cotton. I like a nice leather jacket and a nice pair of shoes.
Labeling Men: Back to your line, it’s gorgeous and we really appreciate it. Is there any plan for menswear in the near or far future?
Dany Tabet: I plan on having a big international brand and a worldwide shop, and as I give my best to the ladies clothing, I would love to give a great line to men, maybe starting with myself! It’s not easy so whatever you do, you have to do it perfectly and if you don't give it the proper time then you'll mess up.
Labeling Men: For sure, you have to give everything the proper attention.
Dany Tabet: Even the way I dress, I like to dress luxurious. But for me, luxury is a state of mind, it’s not just how you look, it’s how you act, it’s a behavior, it’s a lifestyle.
Labeling Men: Have has there been any celebrities who have worn your line, and which celebrities would you like to see wearing your line?
Dany Tabet: There are multiple European celebrities that I have dressed, and since I've brought the line to the USA, there are celebrities interested in the line. Some who'd I like to outfit include Kendall Jenner, Blake Lively, Jennifer Lopez, Selma Hayek, these are the women I'd like to outfit and target, women that really control the red carpet through luxury.
Labeling Men: What are your future plans?
Dany Tabet: We always plan a season ahead so for this September, I like to go to New York Fashion Week, and we are planning on showing for F/W. New York would be a great platform to show and I would like to have a boutique or a showroom in New York because I have many people requesting it already.
Follow Dany Tabet on Facebook and Instagram @danytabetcouture
Interview by Nisim Frank
This interview has been edited and condensed