The Lady Behind Etoile Group
Long established as one of the Middle East’s foremost fashion icons, due to both her innate sense of personal style and her acumen when it comes to the business of fashion, Ingie Chalhoub has been pushing the boundaries of high luxury in the Region since the foundation of her Etoile Group through the opening the first ever Chanel boutique in the Middle East in 1983.
The success of the group, and its quick expansion from just one to more than 70 boutiques and 500-plus employees across the Middle East, is evidence of her drive and focus.
Ingie Chalhoub was one of the first in the business community to note the regional potential of high-end fashion and worked to ensure her brands were well represented throughout the Gulf. The fact that she has been entrusted with the licensing and launching of numerous covetable houses, including Chanel, Valentino, Ralph Lauren, TOD’s, Hogan and most recently ISSA London (to name just a few), illustrates how highly the international style cognoscenti regard her and her expertise about the Region.
The launch of Etoile ‘La boutique’ in 2005, yet another product of a trailblazing vision, from its trademark baroque fusion interiors to its selective buying, represented a landmark in the evolution of not just the Etoile Group, but of the regional fashion industry itself. The ultra-luxurious, multi-brand boutique revolutionized shopping and is now a regional success with a strong presence in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait and Jeddah, and tremendous expansion plans in Riyadh and Al-Khobar, in the near future.
“This project has set the standard in the industry and has been an exciting and gratifying achievement. We have delivered on all our promises and we will continue to do so. Our mission is never ending: we are going to present a very new concept of Etoile “La boutique” in Mall of the Emirates in October 2014, and will continue to evolve to cater to the demands and needs of the region,” said Ingie Chalhoub.
With a wealth of experience in the industry, as the last but not the least challenge she has been embracing in her career path, Ingie Chalhoub has recently established herself as designer with the luxury ready-to-wear line INGIE Paris. Since its launch in 2009, Ingie Chalhoub has been studying the market and adjusting the offer evolving from few, exquisite evening gowns to a complete proposal of cocktail dresses, daywear ensembles, knitwear pieces and accessories. Also the distribution of the line has been expanding with an actual presence not only throughout the GCC, but also in Turkey, Western and Eastern Europe. A recognizable milestone for the line has been the opening of the first flagship store in Kuwait in the luxury Prestige area of The Avenues mall, in 2013.
As multi-award-winning style icon, Ingie Chalhoub has achieved many accolades. She’s been an advisory board member for Dubai International Fashion Week and had a prominent position on the panel of Mission Fashion on LBC1 for three consecutive years, she also participated in Project Fashion on Future TV in 2007.
Stylista’s favourite Harper’s Bazaar chose her as one of the region’s best dressed in 2010 and she is a regular in Ahlan! Magazine’s Hot 100 list, which picks out the most influential people in the UAE.
Her mantelpiece includes also the prestigious L’Officiel Woman of the Year award and Emirates Woman’s Business Woman of the Year (for both 2008 and 2009), the Gulf Connoisseur Awards in 2011 and 2013 and the title of ‘ELLE Business Woman of the Year” in late 2013. CEO Middle East have also included her in their list of the 100 Most Powerful Arab Women for 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, and she was listed by Arabian Business magazine in 2012, 2013 and 2014 as one of the World’s 500 Most Influential Arabs.
During 2014 the Middle East’s leading online fashion website Style.com/Arabia launched a new initiative “Voices”, with a mission to represent the voice of a region pushing the boundaries of culture at home and abroad. Ingie Chalhoub was selected to be one of the contributors, alongside a handful of fascinating, well-traveled and influential fashion and cultural personalities and is to be a regular editor, expressing her views on fashion and culture.