International Fashion Student competition‘WHO IS NEXT?’ was won by Elias Moussa (24), student at IFA Paris (IFA). Out of 88 entries Elias Moussa won with pictures of his latest collection ‘Régalienne’ which was ‘liked’ most on Facebook with 311 likes. Students from all over the world could send in pictures of their work which were posted on the Fashion Students Facebook page. FashionUnited had a word with the winner about his background, his collection and future ambitions.
When did you realize you wanted to become a fashion designer?
Design has always been an interest of mine throughout my life. I remember being in school and all I did during class was drawing. I got more focused on fashion when I entered middle and high school. I always used my interest in various projects in order to mix my interest with the given assignments at school.
What is your educational and professional background and how do you feel it prepared you for a career in design?
I studied graphic design in high school and later aimed towards fashion when I moved to Paris. I studied haute couture for two years before I moved on to ready-to-wear when I attended IFA.
Graduating from IFA, I won the award of honour for my collection and I received a scholarship for an IFA-POLIMODA masters program in which I’m currently enrolled. This is a 9 months master program in Luxury Brand Management that takes place in Shanghai, Florence and Paris. Through the years, I’ve worked and met a lot of people in the industry. It enriched my experience, expanded my network and will help me to perform better in my professional life.
Who are your biggest role model(s) and why?
There are many people I look up to and respect. I have met several designers that have inspired me. Famous designers but also my classmates have been personal role models. I think everyone has a story to tell and many express the story through their work.
Can you give a small introduction about your collection/label?
This collection signifies the old and the new. Silhouettes that take us back in time. Along with new, modern material, it creates the story of a meeting between what was once seen and what is yet to come. This reflection is personal; as I am Swedish/Lebanese I can relate to the concept of two stories, in this sense two cultures, being integrated.
What was your inspiration?
For this collection, I was inspired by paintings from Jean-Léon Gérôme and other artist capturing paintings with inspiration of the orient and Arabic proverbs. The essence of the paintings from JLG is very rich in the sense that they capture the mood of the environment. It’s extremely decorative. I related these powerful proverbs to my collection. I wanted to represent a majestic woman in the war of today’s society portraying the globalization of luxury and fashion. Wearing different outfits for different occasions, with the clothes as her shield, making her more individual than her fellow competitors.
What is the message behind your collection?
The collection signifies the old and the new and how two stories meet. Mixing the traditional with the contemporary without being to obvious, I believe the collection touches important elements. In addition, not only mixing fabrics and materials but also the techniques. As I’ve studied both haute couture and ready-to-wear, I was able to perform with these benefits.
What is your signature?
Throughout my years I have lived in various countries around the world and encountered a lot of people and cultures. I take a huge inspiration from my travels but mainly from who I am. Simply presenting my story. Along with my collections, I can capture the aesthetics and vibes from the different cities I’ve been living in, but still maintaining my identity.
Can people already buy your collection? If yes, where?
My collection has not yet been produced for a certain market, for now it’s “under construction”
How do you want people to feel wearing your collection?
The woman representing Elias Moussa is a woman of success. A woman that knows where she stands in life and who isn’t afraid of showing it off. From pieces she can wear to work, to an outfit she can put on for a big event. Everything.
For her, life is about celebrating different occasions. Talking about her strengths and her majestic presence, others admire this woman and she knows it.
What are your future ambitions?
To quote myself: My mind is in Shanghai but my heart is in Paris. After I lived in China I have realized that there is a huge potential market for the luxury industry. My ambition is to move to China after my studies and hopefully making my lifelong dream come true, create my own brand!
What advice would you give a student, looking to become a designer?
I am very passionate about stories; I believe everyone has got one and can always relate to their background and culture in order to captivate this into fashion. I am fortunate to have two cultural backgrounds and have gained a lot from this asset. However, my drive is my greatest success. My educational background, from IFA Paris and my current master program from IFA POLIMODA have guided me into an extended outlook, in order to understand the luxury industry and market, not only theoretical but also practical. My main advice is to believe in yourself and have an idea that is strong enough to make other understand your concept, being as clear as possible.
View Elias Moussa's Profile here >>