Jad Hobeika, son of Lebanese couturier Georges Hobeika was recently revealed as Co-Creative Director of the house, working alongside his father. But Jad has in fact been an integral part of the brand’s development for six years. In 2016 he began working at the couture brand, giving his input and helping to create the collections in order to expand the House’s audience to a younger, more fashion-forward clientele and evolving the brand on a step to becoming more internationally recognised.
The first collection he worked on was in 2019 and he has since played an integral role in developing the House’s collections and communications. At just 26 Jad has much less experience than his father who has been in the industry for almost 30 years, but he has a young, fresh and free-spirited take on fashion and it is this that is driving the Maison into the future. This year Jad was formally announced as Co-Creative Director giving the young designer and his father equal input in all creative elements of the collections.
The first collection presented by the two Co-Creative Directors is the Fall/Winter 2022 collection which showed in Paris this July and was the first official reveal of the two designers to the world. The collection was brighter and bolder than we have seen in previous seasons, as well as featuring menswear looks for the first time. As the brand continues to move forward, we find out more about how this relationship between father and son is helping the evolution of the couture house.
Congratulations on the Fall/Winter 22 Haute Couture show – can you tell us a little about your creative process for this collection?
I always start to design by having a feeling for certain shapes and colours. I sketch and let the idea take me to another place or I move from one sketch to another until something gives me a feeling of newness; something I would like to see in events or on the streets, and then I put together a vision for the idea and translate it into a theme that leads to creating a full collection.
Can you share a little on the Haute Couture presentation and the experience as this was your first as Co-Creative Director?
I worked on it like any other collection. I didn’t want my first collection as a Co-Creative Director to be different from what our clientele are used to seeing especially as it wasn’t actually the first collection I worked on. Now, what’s going to happen next is a surprise!
You are now working alongside your father at the House tell us about your journey together as Co-Creative Directors and where you are at in that today.
Six years ago, Georges first welcomed me into the design studio. It was a great opportunity to learn and showcase my talent at the same time. The ride wasn’t always as smooth as expected and the relationship is harder than it looks. I had to re-imagine the girl of Georges Hobeika and that’s not easy when the Maison has been targeting a certain clientele for almost 30 years.
Season after season, collection after collection, we started embracing a broader, more inclusive audience. The first couture collection co-designed by Georges and I debuted in the Fall-Winter 2019 season, and today we are both working hand-in-hand, sharing responsibilities for collections and business strategy alike with one vision in mind: expanding internationally, speaking the language of a young clientele all while safeguarding the DNA of the Maison.
How do you think your touch on the brand can be seen and what influence would you like to have on the designs moving forward?
I believe the Maison’s collections are now bolder and more daring. I am a free spirit and I want to convey this in the pieces we create. While Georges is a fond lover of everything refined and feminine, I was able to introduce a sense of freshness revolving around sartorial elegance from subtle cut-outs to bold crystal embellishments.
Can you share a little about your working relationship and how you divide duties within the company?
Today myself and my father work hand-in-hand sharing duties and responsibilities alike. The past six years taught us to trust in each other’s vision and push one another forward. Our eye is always on what’s next and with me speaking the language of both Gen-Z and Millennials, Georges allowed me to channel my creativity and work around the Maison’s DNA to state youth, elegance, and freedom all at once. I can say it’s teamwork, we both manage the studio to deliver new collections and give guidance to the atelier’s “Main precieuses” to develop their skills and adopt new styles of embroideries and 3D embellishments.
With your father as a designer, you have surely been surrounded by fashion your whole life – what is your first memory of this?
The atelier was a home to me. I was raised around tailors and “mains-precieuses”. Every season, I used to wait for my dad to showcase his collection in Paris and then take the video and watch it alone on our little screen at home. It meant the world to me. It was simply beautiful!
What can you tell us about menswear at Georges Hobeika?
It’s part of the vision and it’s about being inclusive. It’s a party where a lot of people are there; both men and women, enjoying life!
What is your vision moving forward as you begin this new chapter of the house?
I am passionate about what I do. I have a clear vision of where I want to go. Georges was always a visionary in his designs and I was able to convince him of the direction I want to delve deep into through my creations.
Who or what is your biggest inspiration?
My surroundings inspire me, from the smallest to the biggest detail. Being present in the now also inspires me.
How would you describe your own style?
Over the years you have seen the fashion industry in the Arab world grow, how would you assess the landscape today?
Arabs have been always fond of fashion and are among the first to adopt the latest trends. Thus, catering to their needs is as important as creating for the international market. While the Arab woman is becoming more and more open to revealing her free spirit, conservative pieces are always seen in our collections as inclusivity lies at the heart of the Maison’s identity. In addition, a lot of our pieces can be easily altered to fit the taste of any woman no matter her background or culture.
How would you like to see Arab designers being recognised on a more global scale?
I believe recognition goes hand-in-hand with talent and hard work. Yet, I do think the international media should be more supportive of rising designers around the globe, giving them the opportunity to be featured which would allow different cultures to get to know them.
What else is in the pipeline for the rest of the year?
We are reworking our brand image and this is the main focus for now. I want our collections to speak the language of the new generations, the digital world, the street style and the glamour of the red carpet all at once.
What is the motto that you live by?
“What does that mean?”