Founded in Italy in 1973 by a group of designers, Byblos originated as a division of Genny SpA, taking its name from a hotel in Saint Tropez (France). Byblos soon became a magnet for young fashion designers from all over the world like Gianni Versace (from 1975 to 1976), Guy Paulin (1979-1982) and the duo Alan Cleaver and Keith Varty, who marked a turning point in the history of the company from 1981 to 1996.
These two ex students of the Dorothée Bis, Paris were just what the Italian fashion brand needed at the time: a youthful exotic touch, relaxed informality and a slight sense of humor expressed mainly in the use of colors. They soon brought the brand great success, allowing Byblos to become an independent company in the 1980's. The target customers were twenty to thirty somethings looking for a fresh, young look, which was achieved with the embroidery and special detailing that make Byblos garments unique.
Expressing the key to the brand's style, Varty said in an interview for the magazine Women's Wear Daily that their product had to be “saleable, in the right fabric, with this young image and it's got to be fresh in every season”.
Cleaver and Varty caught the eye of everyone with their use of color, inspired by paintings, landscapes, their travels or simply by fruits and vegetables. They always put a touch of bright color in their outfits which became their own unmistakable creative signature.