From Sydney to Hollywood: the Kardashians’ little-known Aussie fashion designer Abby Kheir started her career 20 years ago as a 21-year old wanting to make her mark on the Sydney fashion scene. Today, Kheir is an internationally acclaimed fashion designer with the ear of celebrities like Kylie Jenner, Khloe Kardashian, Nicole Scherzinger and Sofia Ritchie.
Abby Kheir is the chief designer and CEO of international boutique fashion label Abyss by Abby. The Abyss by Abby Instagram page has more than 800,000 followers. “I didn’t set out to be a fashion designer but that’s where life has taken me, and I love it. It’s been an amazing experience to rub shoulders with fashion icons like Kylie Jenner, Sofia Ritchie and Khloe Kardashian,” Abby said.
Abby began opening fashion stores in 1999 in Sydney. Abyss originally sourced the designs of other fashion designers. However, Abby realised that there was lack of quality brands with truly sexy, eye-catching and iconic dresses. With very little experience in fashion design, Abby decided to teach herself the art of fashion design. “I taught myself fashion design so I could sell the products I actually wanted to sell. I had a fashion vision that no other designer was fulfilling. I wasn’t going to sit around until somebody else created the dresses I wanted to sell,” Abby said.
“I took matters into my own hands and took responsibility for the creative side of my business, on top of the business side. The business was originally called just Abyss, but we changed it to Abyss by Abby after I started designing my own designs.”
Abby’s designs have a distinct and recognisable theme that has caught the attention of fashion icons all over the world. Abby has turned ‘sexiness’ into a multi-million dollar business. “I have always had a passion for sexy clothing that grabs people’s attention. Unfortunately, a lot of the women’s clothing I come across is either cute, bland or uncontroversial. That’s not really my style. Bold women need bold dresses,” Abby said.
“My clothing appeals to confident women who aren’t afraid to be the centre of attention. The women who wear my dresses want to make a statement,” she said. “My dresses will transform you into someone that people can’t help but notice. When I think about it, that’s probably the reason why my designs have caught the attention of icons like Khloe Kardashian and Sofia Ritchie.”
Abby grew up in a conservative Arabic community that pressured her to conform to strict female gender roles. Fortunately, Kheir’s father was instrumental in pushing Abby to reject these stereotypes and pursue her own career. “I credit a lot of my success to my dad. It would have been really easy for him to copy a lot of the other fathers in our community. But he didn’t. He was a firm believer that a woman can be a mother and have a successful career at the same time. I’ve used my dad’s motivation at every point in my career,” Abby said.
“The mission of Abyss by Abby is to empower and elevate women. I want women to stand out and carry themselves with the confidence they deserve,” she said. “Women do not need to apologise for being the centre attention, or wearing something that makes them stand out. If you’re not comfortable with a strong woman wearing an eye-catching dress, that’s your problem.”
In January 2020, Abyss by Abby launched its latest Goddess Within range in Los Angeles, California. Khloe Kardashian, Sofia Ritchie, Larsa Pippen and Madison Beer were all in attendance at the exclusive invite-only launch event. “Women are goddesses and every goddess needs a god-like dress,” Abby said.
Readers also enjoyed our story about Karen Edbrooke