Lewaa Khalek is president of Jitrois America, a french luxury leather company based in Paris France. In 2013, Lewaa brought the label to America, and has since opened several boutiques in Aspen, Bal Harbour, Miami and a flagship store on Madison Avenue in New York City. Jitrois is known for its’ incredibly soft, curve defining stretch leather designs. Lewaa and his stunning collection were part of InTwo’s Fall Event 2016 and Fall Event 2017.
How did you get started in the fashion industry? What attracted you to the Jitrois brand?
I started my Fashion career in the late 90’s working for Gucci in Kuwait. My mom was an inspiration for me growing up. She had a love for fashion. When I started working with Jitrois a few years ago, it was an untapped luxury brand unknown to the American Market. It was an exciting opportunity to build the business and create a following. Of course, the quality, taste level and artistry of the pieces are top notch. For all of those reasons, there couldn’t be a better match for me.
What’s one of the differences you have noticed between the style of French women and American women?
French women have a way of putting themselves together effortlessly. They look great with a “less is more” attitude. American woman tend to want to show what they got, she is confident. The attitude of the American woman ranges, but here, there are no limits.
What advice/insight would you offer other entrepreneurs wanting to start their own business?
Stick to principles. Do what’s best for your clients, even if it may not seem to be what is best for you. That mentality will build a solid base for your business and reflect in the numbers in the long term.
What’s been one of the highlights of your career so far?
Being able to introduce the Jitrois brand to a new market in the USA has been a career highlight. Over the last 4 years, I have been able to develop a huge following including top celebrities as well as extremely prestigious clients. I know that I have a long road ahead of me, in terms of my career, but I will look back at this time as being a pivotal point in my life.
What’s your favorite place to visit?
Aspen, Colorado. I opened my first Jitrois shop in Aspen, and I enjoy spending time there, especially in the summer. Aspen is a slice of heaven.
Please name a person you admire and why?
Jack Mitchell is someone who I admire. He is the owner and founder of the Mitchell stores and author of the book “Hug your Customers”. I visited his shop in CT, it is a fashion dream in every aspect.