Designer Rabih Kayrouz is breathing life into a new neighbourhood: the Port District. A Block Party on December 10 celebrated the one year anniversary of Maison Rabih Kayrouz, Karen Chekerdjian and IF Port Boutique, and welcomed the newest addition to the block, LUX Café-Resto-Bar.
Kayrouz is a co-founder of Starch, a laboratory for new ideas and a showcase for young stylists and graduates of Lebanese fashion schools. So it comes as no surprise that his next move experiments with fashion and Beirut, itself.
Set away from the Beirut Souks is a once-barren alley known as Derviche Haddad Street, buzzing with a refreshingly authentic vibe. Time Out snuck a moment with the designer as he celebrated one year on the block.
How did you decide on this street in this particular neighbourhood?
I always work with my gut and I love the port's energy - the space is beautiful, big and generous. I walked on this street exactly two years ago and said 'this is where I want to open my boutique’.
What inspires you to promote the Beirut fashion scene?
I love Lebanon, but I’m also very global. I am someone who always encourages people to do what they want to do. It is so normal for me to encourage them in Lebanon, the country I love, the city I adore. When we talk about politics or a revolution we have to realize we are talking about minds… I want to make a change. I’m not an economist or a politician. I am a designer and I want to make it in my field.
You’re a global designer with experience from fashion houses like Dior and Chanel, and now you're back in Beirut. How has Lebanon influenced your experience?
I’m proud to be Lebanese, coming from this country where we believe that everything is feasible. This is the place where we learn values. We Lebanese are designers, we are doers. Nothing stops us from designing, speaking, experiencing all what we believe in.