Claire Rubinstein meets Zak Tyler of Veni Vici Couture
Zak Tyler is a man with a vision. His aim is to turn fledgling label Veni Vici into the number one luxury European couture brand. And if his track record is anything to go by, this dream is already on the fast track to becoming reality. Previously global head of strategy at Ralph & Russo, where his commercial drive and intuitive insight into his market and clientele saw the brand become the first and only British fashion house to be elected by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture to show its collection on the official schedule at Paris Haute Couture Week, alongside such brands as Chanel, Dior and Valentino.
Veni Vici’s debut collection was showcased recently at a lavish event at London’s Langham Hotel and The Steeple Times was lucky enough to be front row. Veni Vici’s style is is the brainchild of creative director Rawan Behbehani, a 23-year old Kuwaiti with no formal training. Her true passion and a flair for design that belies her young age are illustrated by the fact that of the 16 pieces on the runway, 90% of those shown, have already sold prior to the brand’s forthcoming launch in various international retail outlets.
Already working on her next collection, Behbehani’s designs are bold and colourful, combining sumptuous fabrics with lace, leather and even custom-made gold plate detailing, but most of all they are flattering and feminine (my particular favourite was The Liberty, an emerald and gold trouser suit reminiscent of Studio 54 glamour) which reflects her ethos that each creation should be a dialogue between client and designer.
Naturally, the couture market is very niche with a global client base of around 500, and the turnout at the show reflected this with a largely international crowd from the UAE, Paris, Russia, China and London.
Interestingly the show was in collaboration with Geneva-based Shawish Fine Jewellery, famed for its $70 million diamond ring, which gives an idea of the calibre of luxury and opulence of these unique creations – 20 security guards maintained a discrete presence alongside celebrity guests, glitterati and journalists.
Based in London with an atelier on Islington, where each piece is handmade by a team of seamstresses with over 50 years of experience and an office in Regent Street Veni Vici is a private, by-appointment only couture house specialising in exquisite bespoke evening, bridal and red carpet wear. As well as the new collection, there is also a range of handbags, shoes and accessories in the pipeline so, it seems, we won’t have to wait long for our next fix of Veni Vici luxury.
Indeed, Zak Tyler sees London as the perfect city in which to launch a couture house: He considers it cosmopolitan and influential and with many of his affluent clients now owning homes here, London has a strong fashion identity at all levels.
To contact Veni Vici Couture, email [email protected]
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