Eric-Mathieu Ritter is a Lebanese fashion designer and the founder of Emergency Room. Last week, he presented his latest Ready to Wear collection at the Tranoi Salon in Paris, and he submitted a video commissioned by Sara Maino and shown during Milan Fashion Week (July 18 to July 23), along with eight other emerging international brands. Emergency Room’s Ready to Wear collection is also featured in a video for the Arab’s Men Wear Fashion Week (June 28 to June 30).

Sara Maino first approached us and commissioned this video right after the August 4 blast last year, and again this June. Knowing that people from the international fashion industry want to see us and make our voices heard, is exactly the type of encouragement that any creative currently working in Lebanon needs at the moment, in order to stay and persevere,” says Ritter. 


What is the thing you wish people would stop wearing? 
Face masks.

What creation of yours are you most proud of? 

What is your worst fashion faux-pas?

If you were to choose one of your looks, or that of any other designer of your choice, to wear everyday for the rest of your life, what would it be?
White t-shirt and black pants.

Who do you dream of dressing? 

When was the last time you pulled an all-nighter? 
Yesterday on my way to Paris.

What is your dream guest list of five persons (dead or alive) for a private dinner party at your house? 
Alexander McQueen, Salvador Dali, Nan Goldin, Pedro Almodovar and La Cicciolina.

What does the word sustainability mean to you? 
Everything. It is the most important thing for the sake of our own human existence.

What would be the title of your Netflix documentary? 
Gueule d’Amour.

© Iftikhar Kanawati / © Aly Saab

Describe the MENA region in three words.
Passive, Aggressive, Fantasy.

How is “Young, Arab and Proud” translated in your work? 
Through the joint effort of young, proud Arabs from very different backgrounds working together and redefining what it means to be Arab.

What is the Arab DNA made of?
Unfiltered, sometimes problematic, strong and bold emotions and reactions.

What is the most common misconception about being an Arab? 
That we’re less aware, less educated, less open-minded.

If you can travel in time to meet any Arab icon, who would it be and why? 
Asmahan. I want to hug her.

What makes you uncomfortable in the MENA fashion industry and that you would like to see changed? 
The MENA fashion industry is young, it should be bold, yet it still tiptoes around gender roles and politically charged narratives. Also, why do we keep waiting for some Western organism to validate our work?

How is the gender-neutral trend translated in the MENA fashion? 
Streetwear brands.

What is one Arab tradition you would want to change and what is the one you adore? 
We should really change the way we do weddings; we’ve lost control. I wish it would be less about showing off and more about dancing, laughing and truly being hospitable, all of which are Arab traditions I adore.

What is the Arab dish you could eat every day? 

What is your favorite Arabic song, the one that is often stuck on repeat in your playlist? 
Ya Habibi Taala, every time.

Um Kulthum or Fairuz? 

What is the one city in the MENA region you could live in forever and why? 
Beirut. This city made me, it’s my DNA, its streets are my veins, its people the cells of my body.