Georges Chakra: Designing Success
May 09, 2013
It is said that when you dream big and have the courage to follow your dreams, you can achieve greatness. This is precisely what Lebanese fashion designer Georges Chakra has done. Pursuing his dream with passion and courage has earned him a premier spot among the world’s big league fashion industry players, and establishing himself as a designer to world celebrities and Hollywood stars.
When it comes to success, Chakra’s personal motto is “Why stop now?” He adds, “I am very excited and satisfied with the level of success I have achieved on an international level. When you have a vision, you’re always setting new targets. You create plans in order to achieve your goals. The dreaming never stops. You just keep going to accomplish more than you thought you could.”
Chakra’s success has been unbounded, making a name for himself in Europe and the United States. His plans for the future include embarking on a new journey to extend his reach into new territories including Russia and the Far East. “I would love to do business in these locations. We have become established in many new places, even Hollywood. I just want to keep pressing forward,” says Chakra.
Fashion designers understand that they have finally made it big when a Hollywood star wears something they have created while strutting down the red carpet at a major event such as the Oscars. Cameras flashing while the world is watching… For a couturier, this is a history-making moment. The lineup of international stars that have worn Chakra’s apparel include Queen Latifah, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Beyoncé Knowles, Marcia Cross, Helen Mirren, Tyra Banks and Rihanna just to name a few.
Chakra’s designs have received rave reviews from both celebrities and fans, and his client base is expanding quickly. Celebrities now seek out exclusive pieces from Chakra’s collections to wear on special occasions and at important functions. “The process of dressing a celebrity usually begins with starting from scratch. We come up with a design, and the drawings are then sent back and forth between us and the client. We make the requested changes, perform any necessary alterations and deliver the final product as an original, custom-made dress,” he explains.
Chakra says that he very much enjoys working with his Hollywood clientele – a dream of many up-and-coming fashion designers. “Many Hollywood celebrities are really quite nice and very down-to-earth. If you invite someone out to dinner, they accept and arrive on time. Their approach is always very professional and friendly,” he says.
The Joy of Creating
For the past decade, Chakra’s fabulous haute couture designs have graced the catwalks of the Paris Fashion Week. His ready-to-wear line “Edition by Georges Chakra,” launched in 2009, was his very first line revealed during the New York Fashion Week.
Designed for women who are confident, feminine, modern and fashionable, Chakra’s creations are always unique and quite distinct. Chakra reinvents himself each time he goes to work, making the unveiling of every new collection exciting and unpredictable. His style is elegant, very feminine and highly sophisticated. “When I create a new collection, I simply flow with whatever inspires me in the moment. The biggest influences in my work are a blend of elements from our Oriental culture and the European style; so what I end up with is the extravagance of the East and the simplicity and sophistication of the West,” he says.
A big fan of fashion giant Yves Saint Laurent, Chakra reminisces about his love for fashion, a passion that bloomed and firmly took root in his heart at the age of 14. Allowing nothing to dissuade him from his chosen path, he even gave up his studies in interior design to follow his dream. This is a long and difficult path fraught with challenges. It requires a lifetime of devoted work. “I don’t worry about things like competition in Lebanon, for instance, because I feel that in this field the deciding factor will be taste and, of course, budget. Every designer is different and has something unique to offer. There’s room for everyone to succeed. I manage my personal stress much better now. I am calmer than I used to be, and although there are times when things become very hectic and stressful, I remain focused and in control,” he says.
For his Spring/Summer 2013 collection, Chakra drew his inspiration from the futuristic city of Shanghai. The collection is comprised of structured cuts, alluring silhouettes, corseted busts and sensually bared shoulders. Bright and colorful, the collection is akin to the vivid colors and flashing lights of Shanghai, with a palette of neon blue, pink, yellow, orange, turquoise and green. Every exquisite creation is crafted from luscious fabrics such as chiffon, tulle, organza, guipure lace, satin and silk that come in an endless variety of textures.
The Journey Forward
What is life like as a fashion designer, you might wonder. “I have a very normal life,” says Chakra. “Like many people, I have a job and a family. I travel a lot. My wife and I have two beautiful daughters, aged 22 and 20. The eldest is very fond of fashion, while the youngest is very casual and comfortable with a style of her own.”
Chakra hopes that his daughters will someday work with him and become involved in the business to help it develop and grow. “My eldest daughter shows very promising signs of a future in the fashion industry. She takes after me and is interested in a career in fashion,” he says.
For the future, Chakra is focused on expanding his geographical reach and exploring new markets for his creations. He also made an exciting revelation about the possibility of establishing a new and untapped venture for his brand: “I am hoping to start a men’s line. This is an idea I am toying with in my mind, so stay tuned!”