Hussein Chalayan was born in Nicosia, Cyprus and was graduated in 1993 from London's Central St Martins School of Art and Design. His degree collection was bought by British iconic boutique Browns, launching him as a significant new fashion force. In 1994 Hussein Chalayan started his own label. He was named British Designer of the Year in 1999 and in 2000.
In 2002, Chalayan moved his internationally lauded fashion show from London to Paris where the Chalayan collection is shown seasonally. The Chalayan collections are known for innovative design, beautiful tailoring and draping and an elegant minimalist aesthetic. The ready-to-wear collection is regularly featured in top fashion magazines and international press as well as carried in the world's best boutiques and is favoured by actresses, musicians, artists and tastemakers on and off the stage and red carpet.
In his art and fashion work Chalayan uses film, installations and sculptural forms to explore perception and the realities of modern life, with particular interest in cultural identity, migration, anthropology, technology, nature and genetics. Chalayan lectures regularly about his work and has exhibited in museums worldwide including the V&A in London, The Kyoto Costume Institute, The Musée de la Mode-Palais du Louvre in Paris, The Metropolitan Museum of Art and MOMA in New York.
He has directed several short films since 2003. Chalayan represented Turkey in the 2005 Venice Biennale with his film Absent Presence. In 2005, the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands hosted a retrospective of his work. In 2010 Chalayan opened two exhibitions in London at the Lisson Gallery and Spring Projects. Critically acclaimed solo exhibitions opened in London at the Design Museum (2009), the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo (2010), Istanbul Modern (2010) and most recently at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris (2011).
Throughout the years Chalayan has partnered with artists, musicians, actors and members of the design, art, theatre and fashion fields including Tilda Swinton, Nick Knight, Antony Hegarty from Antony and the Johnsons as well with Scottish Dancer/ Choreographer Michael Clark for the 1998 production current/SEE. In 2010 he also designed costumes for the London Dance Theatre Saddlers Wells Production of ‘In The Spirit of Diaghilev' and in the same year designed the costumes for the Opera ‘Passion' based on composition by Pascal Dusapin, Choreographed by Sacha Waltz. In 2014, Chalayan designed the costumes for the L.A. Philharmonic production of Così fan tutte where Zaha Hadid created the set.
He has collaborated with Swarovski on a number of projects including creating a range of motion dresses for the Spring/ Summer 07 Chalayan collection. His installation piece for Swarovski titled "Repose" exhibited at the Kunsthalle Mannheim gallery and at the Crystal Palace, Milan.
In 2006 Hussein Chalayan was awarded an MBE in the Queen's Birthday Honour's list. In February 2008 he was appointed Creative Director of Puma. In 2011 Rizzoli published the first complete monograph on his work entitled Hussein Chalayan. 2011 also saw the launch of the first Chalayan fragrance Airborne produced by Comme Des Garcons perfumes.
In 2012 Chalayan was named one of 100 all time Fashion Icons by Time Magazine. In October 2014, Hussein Chalayan was appointed the head professor of the Fashion Department at the Universität für angewandte Kunst Wien (University of Applied Arts Vienna).
In March 2015 Chalayan was a speaker at "Truth or Dare" titled Ted Conference in Vancouver. In September 2015 Chalayan has opened his first Flagship Store in London Mayfair, and In October 2015 Chalayan directed his own dance performance at the Sadlers Wells Theatre in London ,entitled Gravity Fatigue. In 2017 Chalayan was named one of the top shapers in fashion in the last 20 years by Wallpaper Magazine.
Chalayan continues to show 6 collections per year, of Womens and Menswear in London Fashion week.