Elie Saab is the eldest son of a wood merchant who raised five children in Damour, a southern coastal Beirut suburb, part of Greater Beirut.
Born to Maronite Catholic parents in Beirut, Saab is self-trained and began sewing as a child. At the age of eight his attention was already turned to fashion. He used to cut patterns out of newspaper and searched his mother’s closet for any lace he could find. He used his sister as his model, raiding his mother’s closet for anything he could drape upon her.However, his family was pleasantly surprised when he turned out a blue and white striped gown for his sister. He felt inspired by the elegance and beauty in a woman.