Amer Ejjeh, a man of elegance
Determination and risk-taking propelled his career into a 91-year-old fashion house for men.
He has the audacity of business leaders and cannot be dictated anything. It's from his early childhood that he knows the slightest side of his business. His biggest success is Jade, his 6-year-old daughter. For a moment his eyes lightened up: "She is full of curiosity and I answer each of her questions with utmost seriousness. After all, children and their intelligence shouldn't be underestimated." He, much like his country, has went through rainy days as well as sunny ones, and since his childhood, he has developed a sweet-bitter taste. He grew up with fashion in his blood, in the middle of a torn capital.
His first fashion memory is probably his stay in Italy, when he was 15 years old. "I never imagined that a simple business trip with my father would trigger all these sensations in me." Destination: the oldest wool factory in the world, Vitale Barberis Canonico. His young eyes witnessed all the Italian know-how of high-end textile manufacturing from the purification of the raw wool material. And this is how his passion is born. From this 350-year-old fabric mill made in Italy, was born a signature that will make him unique.
After studying management at LAU, the young man began a Master's degree and a 6 months training in this same factory. Remaining true to his heritage, Amer returned to the land of cedars with the determination to take over the family store founded in 1926 in downtown Beirut. From 2001 to 2005, the Ejjeh House, based in Saeb Salam Avenue, made its comeback in the heart of the capital. After the assassination of Prime Minister Rafic Hariri, the building was barricaded with security guards and barbed wires. The downtown boutique was closed ever since. "A moral and material loss," he regrets.
However, Amer has managed to create modern chic pieces that he represents wonderfully. Because "a man without a jacket is like a woman without a purse", Amer puts on his costume every morning and fixes his tie. For every occasion, there is a uniform. "Even for a casual dinner," he insists. When asked how many suits were hanging in his dressing room, he answered as a gentleman, with a very anglophone accent and a witty smile: "there's a suit for every day."
The young man travels three days a week, in perpetual motion, in the image of his brand. In two weeks, he travels around the great Arab capitals, Moscow, Paris and Geneva to meet his clients. "The world is in continuous motion, we must follow it," he said.
For the rest of the interview, check out our August 2017 issue.