Without a doubt, the label Racil stands for “power dressing.” In this interview, designer Racil Chalhoub speaks about her passion for clothes
Racil Chalhoub was born in Beirut, grew up in Paris, and is now based in London, where she’s run her eponymous label since 2015. Before that, she ran her own concept store and café in her home country and traveled extensively as a buyer. Tuxedos for women are at the center of her collections – so it’s obvious that she deserves a thank you for her contributions to “power dressing.” Matchesfashion.com offers an exciting video, an interview with her, and the majority of her designs for sale. We took this opportunity to ask her a few questions:
How did you go about starting your own label? Did you have a mentor?
I always dreamt of having my own label and studied fashion design & marketing in London. After that I opened my own concept store in Beirut, a space that brought fashion and food together under the roof of an authentic Lebanese house. I was responsible for all the buying, merchandising, and fashion management for eight years. I think all of that experience turns into in-depth knowledge and understanding of the industry and it was a matter of implementing everything I learnt and came across along the years. I worked with consultants whenever I needed some help or feedback – but took the time to set everything up before my launch.
To what extent is your personal taste and style reflected in Racil?
The Racil brand definitely has a lot of me in it, whether it is in the details or the attitude of the silhouettes. I design everything myself and would never create anything that I don’t think is wearable – if not by me, then by girls I know. I am my own customer and a woman designing for other women, so I try to always keep that in mind.
What is your personal take on wearing a suit?
I find suits very versatile. I think it is one of the only looks that can carry you seamlessly from breakfast to a glamorous night out. I love wearing my suits with trainers and a vintage-look t-shirt during the day. Then I just change my shoes, add earrings and lipstick, and I’m ready to face the night – it feels effortless.
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What does your typical day look like?
I wake up at 6:45am and the first thing I do is head to the kitchen and make myself a coffee. Then I sit in my living room, catch up on some reading and news, then I make breakfast and answer all my emails before getting ready to head to the studio. Sometimes I try to squeeze in a morning workout, too. If I have any external meetings, I try to schedule them at the beginning or at the end of the day – once I get to my studio I can’t really leave! I spend the day there, eat at my desk most days, and work with my development team, catching up with production, sales, and my studio manager almost daily. Then I either meet a friend for an after-work catch up in Notting Hill or head back home around 7 or 8pm.
Where do you see your brand in five years?
Hopefully Racil will have grown into a lifestyle brand with the tuxedo life at the heart of its DNA. I would love to expand the product range and hopefully have a boutique again to reflect the Racil aesthetic and mood – I loved having my concept store.
Julia co-founded one of the first fashion blogs in Germany in 2007 and became a freelance consultant for digital strategies after publishing her first book in 2010. After an eventful four years with Condé Nast working mainly in the digital department of Vogue Germany, she decided to launch her own online magazine with her dream partner, Veronika Heilbrunner. She is based in Berlin and loves to read books.