Stylist to the stars Cedric Haddad knows a thing or two about fashion. We caught up with the man in black to learn about his journey and what he really thinks about the local fashion scene.
Your career began when you were discovered at a Victoria’s Secret event in Beirut. Tell us more.
One of the funniest points in my life – and the turning point – was when I met my muse Hilda Khalife. I felt awkward attending the opening of a lingerie shop that day; however, I realized that everything in life happens for a reason. A week later, I received a call from Hilda asking me to style her, and I began from there. She made my path easier; I owe her a lot!
What drew you to pursue a career in fashion?
Passion — it’s never felt like a job. I remember being eight years old, giving my opinion on my mother’s wardrobe, choosing her looks, and going with her to the hairdresser. I would do the same thing with my friends, family and neighbors. As I grew up, I always felt so happy walking into boutiques, checking their window displays, and seeing how they mix and match. I used to help employees create complete looks for the displays. I never knew that what I thought of as my hobby would eventually become my career.
As a stylist, what’s your number one rule when it comes to choosing the right outfit?
Simplicity, which is ironically sophisticated. I don’t like to exaggerate; I usually go for a simple, chic, elegant and modern look. I am not a risk-taker when it comes to styling celebrities. I like to highlight one element, be it an accessory (shoes, bag, earrings, ring, necklace, etc.) or an item of clothing.
Who is your dream collaboration?
Queen Rania; I consider her a reference when it comes to elegance: classic with a twist of modernity. I’ve never seen a look of hers that I haven’t fallen in love with. To me, her style is exemplary.
You’ve designed for some of the biggest stars in the Middle East. Is there any person, piece or event that stands out for you?
The Voice Kids on MBC. These kids had the purest hearts, full of big dreams. This experience wasn’t an easy one, but I have many fond memories of that big stage.
Describe your personal style in one sentence.
I often wear black. Although I see a variety of colors, patterns, prints and fabrics on a daily basis, you reach a stage where black just makes you feel happy on the inside.
Are you drawn towards local designers being Lebanese yourself?
I’ve supported young Lebanese designers since day one. Some of the biggest red carpet looks come from Lebanese designers, which makes us proud. I remember a black tuxedo made by the Lebanese brand “Pearl and Rubies” that I first styled back in 2012. I can see this brand growing today, and I predict international success.
In your opinion, how has the local fashion scene evolved over the past decade?
Fashion has evolved a lot in the Middle East, and Lebanese designers in particular have made fashion practical yet different. Many styles, cuts, fabrics and colors can be seen in one collection, so our local talents are working tirelessly to present six collections per year, from ready to wear to haute couture.
If you could be part of any event in the world, which would you choose?
The Academy Awards for a timeless look, and the Met Gala for a look that makes a statement.
What fashion trends can we expect in 2020?
Comfort is the new fashion; masculine is the new feminine. Designers and brands are now aiming for practical, comfortable clothes that help women enjoy every piece they are wearing. It’s a good strategy – they will definitely sell more!