The fashion designer Charlotte Licha became the first Lebanese woman to show a collection during Paris Haute Couture week in January. She tells us what luxury means to her.
My Luxury Life: Charlotte Licha
If you could wake up anywhere in the world tomorrow, where would you be?
Tokyo. For me, it’s one of the most advanced cities in the world.
You are sitting down to the perfect dinner. What are you eating, where are you dining and who is with you?
I love discovering new restaurants, but when I love a restaurant’s food, I stick to it. Three of my favourite dishes are: steak at L’Avenue in Paris, grilled salmon at Cocteau in Beirut and Lebanese food at Em Sherif in Achrafieh, Beirut. Always, of course, with my best friend – my husband.
What does your dream home look like?
I am in love with Downtown Beirut since they renewed it. I can see myself there in a house with a garden, which will have a warm Parisian feel.
Do you collect anything?
Perfumes, tumblers from every city I visit, and books.
What was your first luxury purchase?
I bought myself a watch on my 19th birthday and I still have it.
Who is your favourite designer and why?
I really like Roberto Cavalli’s latest collection – it is feminine, modern, sexy and classy.
What item of clothing would you find it hard to part with?
As a designer, clothes, shoes and bags are obviously my thing. But they don’t have to be fancy to have a meaning. It will be hard for me to let go of a simple shirt or a pair of jeans.
If you were to invest in one piece of couture, what would it be?
A Roberto Cavalli custom-made dress.
What is your most treasured possession?
An emerald from my father.
Who is the most influential designer of all time?
The legendary Yves Saint Laurent. For me, he is one of the people that built haute couture. His pictures are all over the walls in my studio.
What is the most overrated luxury?
I believe that going to the extreme of luxury, whatever the item is, is overrated.
What is your favourite hotel and why?
The Shangri-La Hotel in Paris, because that was where I took my very first step into the real world of couture.
What has been your most significant investment?
My large investments are always related to my work. I invest all the money I make into my business.
What luxury item have you got your eye on at the moment?
Since diamonds are a girl’s best friend, I would like a new Chanel diamond ring.
What is the most expensive dress you have ever worked on and why?
A wedding dress made for a princess. It was fully embroidered in diamonds and gold strips with a big beaded cape – it was magnificent.
How do you spend your free time?
My free time is when I lay down in my bed, turn off the lights, watch movies for hours and eat anything I desire.