UltraLuxe Meets: Racil Chalhoub

Thanks to her eponymous tailoring label, Racil Chalhoub is a household name among the fashion crowd. Born in Beirut and a London resident for over a decade, she told us about her luxe life – from favourite haunts to beauty must-haves and, naturally, wardrobe essentials…

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

On Style

My personal style is adventurous and eclectic, but also timeless. It''s feminine, but with a masculine twist. My white tuxedo is my favourite item, and my most treasured pieces are my mother’s old Chanel jackets. When she’s not sure if she’s done with one, she hangs it on my door for three days – if she doesn’t take it back in that time, I get to keep it. The classic round-neck, short, cropped sleeve is my favourite. Bags are my biggest indulgence – my black, made-to-order Hermès Kelly, with purple lining and rose gold hardware, is the standout. It's the ultimate investment piece and I know i'll wear it forever.

My style has evolved over time – I used to be a lot more boho – but still I’d pull everything together with a black blazer. And then, when I wanted to find the perfect tuxedo jacket to upgrade to, I started Racil, because I couldn’t find one I liked. Jackets are a timeless investment. Even if I’m wearing ripped jeans, trainers and a t-shirt – my usual go-to – adding a well-tailored jacket makes me feel pulled together. A lot of designers only wear their own brands but I’m in the industry because I’m such a fashion lover and appreciate the talent of so many designers. You’ll always find me with a Racil piece, but I love to layer them with lots of other brands too. 

 

My MOST TREASURED PIECES are my mother’s old CHANEL JACKETS. When she’s not sure if she’s done with one, she hangs it on my door for three days – if she doesn’t take it back in that time, I GET TO KEEP IT.

I really try to only buy investment pieces, but that doesn’t have to mean traditionally classic items – for me, it means statement pieces that you fall completely in love with. I re-wear a lot, and I think we should normalise that – a great outfit can be worn many times. I really like a hunt, and once in a while a piece gets stuck in my head that I have to have. I have a silver Paco Rabanne dress that I first saw on the runway five years ago – I contacted the store and they only had one, so I snapped it up. I first wore it for a wedding over a slip dress as it’s really for layering – since then, I’ve worn it with jeans, black tux trousers, and then to a wedding again just this weekend. But not everything I love is high end – I once bought a PVC mini skirt for a Halloween party from a fetish website, which looks so cool with an oversized knit and flats. 

I buy jewellery for myself. I treat myself every now and then – I bought a Foundrae ring after a fashion week when I’d worked really hard and thought I deserved it. I also love to redesign. I have a little stone my father gave me which I changed the setting for in Beirut, and I never take it off.

On Travel

My heart is torn between two favourite places. I grew up going to the south of France, so St Tropez is special to me. I also love the Greek islands. I spend my summers between both. In St Tropez, my favourite thing is to wake up and hike along the beachfront, then have a coffee at Senequier in the port. I used to go to Mykonos a lot but now I prefer Antiparos. The Rooster hotel is beautiful, but otherwise I’d recommend renting a house with friends.

I like an active winter holiday like skiing. But I also try to use the winters to discover somewhere new – last year I went to Jaipur for Holi festival and the year before I visited Mexico. I like adding one new place each year. There are a few places on my bucket list – I’d love to visit Cuba and go on safari. I don’t like to sit and do nothing – I like to absorb culture, flavours, smells. 

I often go back to Beirut. The city has changed a lot in the past few years, and I love re-discovering it – there’s a beautiful newly renovated boutique hotel called Albergo with a great little terrace if you’re after somewhere to stay. 

If I could only stay in one hotel in the world again, it would be the Mercer in New York. I know the rooms are small, but I love to be cosy – I don’t like being alone, so somewhere small and intimate is good for me. The Villa Marie St Tropez is cosy, peaceful, comfortable – another favourite. My luggage is Globetrotter and Rimowa, and I’m a real over-packer. I travel with everything – even stationery, just in case.

If I’m going out, I love LPM, Granger & Co for lunch, and the PARISIAN SIDE of me loves an omelette and green salad at Colbert on Sloane Square. For fun, I love Bar Des Prés, and YOU CAN'T BEAT SOHO – I like going out with my girlfriends for TACOS AND TEQUILA.

On Beauty

I’m pretty low maintenance with beauty, but I couldn’t live without one really good moisturiser or serum. At the moment I’m rotating three: Augustinus Bader’s rich cream, Dr Barbara Sturm’s serums and MZ Skin’s night placenta cream. I also love a good massage – I’ve found one person I love on Urban Massage and I just rebook her. 

Nails are my biggest indulgence. I have a mani/pedi at home every week – it’s an extension of my outfit to me. I do my own hair and make-up and go to George Northwood for my colour. I had micro-blading for my brows recently which changed my life, and I go for hydrafacials maybe every other month.

I’m generally quite healthy. I eat intuitively and mindfully, which I learnt to do on a five day detox retreat. I love weight training. I work out with a PT and then do functional workouts with another based in Turkey. I also walk everyday – I really try not to get in a car.

On Socialising

I used to eat out a lot, but I learnt how to cook during the pandemic, so now I enjoy eating at home a lot more. Fresh veg and a good piece of fish can be better than a restaurant. I’m lucky one of my best friends is an incredible chef, so I eat at hers once a week. If I’m going out, I love LPM, Granger & Co for lunch, and the Parisian side of me loves an omelette and green salad at Colbert on Sloane Square. For fun, I love Bar Des Prés, and you can't beat Soho – I like going out with my girlfriends for tacos and tequila. For something more glam, it’s Maison Estelle and the Twenty Two.

A Friday night is a kitchen dinner at my friend’s – a group of us get together and catch up over a bottle of wine. Otherwise, depending on who’s in town, we’ll go out out. A perfect Sunday is having coffee in bed and reading fashion magazines, then a workout, a long walk and brunch with friends, followed by an early night in front of a movie. 

I always have eggs, avocado and dark chocolate in my fridge. If I’m being hosted, I take something sweet – a good friend of mine owns Reemie's Cake and makes the best banana bread, so I’ll order one of those, or I’ll take a mix of chocolate and nuts from a sweet little place near my house. A good dinner party means good food, a strong background playlist and the right mix of guests. I have a couple of friends who are great hosts: Cherine Magrabi Tayeb does everything so beautifully, and when my best friend Edgardo Osorio – the creative director of Aquazzura – is hosting, it’s always going to be a great party. The brand’s tenth anniversary party in Sorrento earlier this year was amazing – the first night was Slim Aarons themed and the second was ‘colours of summer’. I found a beautiful 2011 Lanvin dress that I hadn’t worn in a decade hanging in my closet for the occasion.

A GOOD DINNER PARTY means good food, a strong background playlist and the RIGHT MIX OF GUESTS. When my best friend Edgardo Osorio – the creative director of AQUAZZURA – is hosting, it’s ALWAYS going to be a great party.

On Charity

My charitable efforts go to Lebanon these days. There are so many charities I’m drawn towards, but right now anything I can do just has to go to Beirut as it needs so much support since the destructive gas blast in 2020. I have created a few products to support a local charity there and worked with a group of creatives during the pandemic – including Noor Fares, Sabine Getty and Caroline Issa – to help support Lebanese people in need. 

Visit Racil.com

DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.