Born in Beirut, Gaby Charbachy graduated with a bachelor’s degree in engineering and architecture then a Master’s degree from the Herriot-Watt University in Edinburgh.
His innate love for fashion made him open his atelier in 2000, where he started to create fantasy red carpet evening gowns, fairy tale wedding dresses, and high-end cocktail attire.
In 2014, the Gaby Charbachy brand started launching during the Paris Fashion Week and in several fashion capitals around the world including New York, Milan and Barcelona.
The couture line addresses modern, fashion-oriented women who enjoy stepping outside of the traditional limits.
It is characterized by technically challenging cuts and attention to details, boasting dresses that are very daring, yet feminine.
In 2019, he launched a ready-to-wear line, called O F F S E T.
O F F S E T stems from the main brand and develops in a unique path, presenting pieces that are light, comfortable, with a special edgy flare.
The spirit of the collection is defined by oversized sleeves, artistic pleating, three dimensional shapes and volumetric details.
The Gaby Charbachy brand has been worn in Red Carpets all around the world and featured in several editorials of international magazines.
It is currently represented in selected prestigious boutiques in over 30 countries worldwide, from North to South America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
This international spread gives the brand an international zest, as it appeals to women from various cultural and ethnic backgrounds.
You have started in the world of architecture and then you have changed this type of study for fashion. Why did you make this important change in your life and how has architecture influenced you as a fashion designer?
I was always inspired by fashion since my tender age, but you have to look at things within their time context.
When I graduated from highschool, Lebanon was just out of civil war and we did not have a lot of options and virtually no guidance for future careers.
Certainly changing my career involved a lot of courage and at the time, it felt highly risky.
In hindsight, I do not regret my path and I think it helped a lot in my career as a fashion designer.
It influenced by designs and that can be seen with the use of symmetry and volumes, and it also gave me a sense of organization and order.
What kind of woman inspires you?
There many female traits that I consider to be paramount when I feel inspired.
The most prominent trait is strength.
I like a strong woman who is confident in her skin, and wears my designs because she loves them not because it makes her look good or beautiful.
Her inner glow would shine from within, and would surround her with an aura of inner and outer beauty.
Coco Chanel used to say that “to be irreplaceable one must always be different”. What do you think of this mythical phrase?
I completely agree with it. And I also believe that this is true in life, not just in fashion.
While we see social and cultural barriers disappearing, we have to always remember the value of the individual.
Being different does not necessarily mean being better or worse, it means being yourself.
Your brand has achieved great prestige and dresses many women who attend Red Carpets around the world. What is the value that you have added to be so acclaimed and desired by them?
To be a successful brand you have to be successful in many fields.
I am always told that my dresses get selected because of the beauty of the design, and that gives me great pleasure.
But I also know, that there are other intrinsic qualities that clients look for like quality, exclusives and reliability.
Yulia Berisset, famous luxury lifestyle blogger and High End Jewelry Ambassador with an exquisite red dress of Gaby Charbachy
After his success in Haute Couture, his ready-to-wear line was born, called O F F S E T. Does this new brand continue to maintain the essence of your luxury brand?
The O F F S E T brand stems from the couture line, and it is on its own a luxury brand because it takes a lot of craftsmanship and effort to create.
However, it is more playful and easy to wear. It is presented in a way to allow the client to choose how to mix and match an outfit, or use any piece of the collection with something from her own closet.
It was interesting at the beginning to see if the clients who wear the couture line, would also like the ready-to-wear line.
I found out that they did, but I was also able to attract a new segment of clientele who didn’t particularly wear couture.
For when a men’s line?
That is project I have always dreamt of.
I design men’s outfits for fun when I have spare time.
To be honest, I am not sure if I can launch it in the near future, given the fast pace that things are changing at the moment in the fashion world.
Fashion continues to evolve at the pace of social changes. How do you imagine it in five or ten years?
I don’t think I completely agree with the first statement. I think social changes and fashion go hand in hand and sometimes fashion precedes social changes. The Coco Chanel pants is a living example.
It is true however that social changes are moving at a high pace at the moment.
Barriers between sexes, races and ethnic groups are getting thinner and fashion is a forefront of that change because it is the simplest way in which an individual can express him or herself.
I believe that fashion is embracing that change and it clearly visible in the way it is currently presented.
What are the brand’s short-term and long-term plans?
Like every brand in fashion, our plans has shifted dramatically in 2020.
I felt that the O F F S E T brand did not get its proper chance since it was launched in 2020, so on the short term we will need to refocus the attention to it.
On the long run, we had plans to expand in Asian pacific countries, like in China and India. We have put a lot of effort in terms of marketing and red carpet presence.
Now that the pandemic is sort out of the way, we will go back and solidify our base there with our business partners.
A woman who is your icon of elegance right now?
It depends really, how do you define elegance because I think the concept of elegance has changed over time.
In my view, being elegant is being graceful without effort.
Most stars and fashion icons today play different roles in different occasions, sometimes they can be elegant while other times they can be extravagant.
It is an inherent part of the social changes that we have discussed earlier.
Yulia Berisset with an elegant black dress of Gaby Charbachy
How would you like the story to remember you?
I am still writing chapters in my story, and no matter what I have done in the past, it may not matter if I am able to realize my future dreams.
When I look at my past, I feel very proud of what I have achieved but I have still a long way to go.
If I have to say something about myself today, I would say that I am the man who stopped at nothing to achieve his goals.
And finally, a phrase that remains in the memory like that of the unforgettable Coco?
That is a very high bar to be compared to.
However, there is one sentence I keep telling my clients when they ask me what would look good on them.
And I always answer “ Fashion is not a physical but a spiritual form of expression”.