Meet Raife Salha, The First Lebanese Woman Designer To Establish A Maison Haute Couture


Born in 1925, Raife Salha, known as Madame Salha, left a legacy in the fashion world, as she was described to be the “Christian Dior of the Middle East” during Lebanon’s Golden Age.

Madame Salha was the first Lebanese woman designer to establish a “Maison de Haute Couture” during the 1950s, allowing her to work with Coco Chanel, Pierre Balmain, and Valentino, who was planning to collaborate with her in Lebanon.

For years, the designer succeeded in elevating Lebanese Haute Couture to a regional and international level, dressing Royal families and renowned celebrities from different countries.

The Lebanese designer and entrepreneur challenged her society through her dazzling and charming designs, which created a bridge between Beirut, Lebanon, and Paris, France.

According to the Lebanese Fashion History, Madame Salha made headlines for designing the longest wedding train in the world, measuring 22 meters, which she created for the Lebanese princess Lamia Solh in 1961.

Madame Salha dressed many important figures, such as the Lebanese icon Sabah, who wore many of her pieces, as well as Fairuz, who wore a wedding dress designed by her.

Jihane Chalabi and Um Kulthoum also wore her elegant creations, among other celebrities.

Her passion and talent in the fashion industry were inherited from her mother, who used to make pieces from scraps, nurturing her love for dressmaking since childhood.

Besides being an icon in fashion, Madame Salha was also a mother and a woman with an impressive and charming personality, which name still shine to this day!

Here is a peak at Madame Salha’s designs:

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