After the Ready-to-Wear, Accessories and Debut Talent nominees, we’re moving to another collection of FTA Prize 2022 finalists. Today, we dive into one of our most glamorous categories, Evening Wear, with Kuwaiti Amna Alsalem, Moroccan Artsi Ifrah (Maison ARTC), Syrian Moulham Obid and Egyptian Yasmin Mansour.
Here, we’ll discover why they decided to apply to this year’s FTA Prize, and uncover everything about their relationship with fashion, their goals, loves and their plans for the future.
Who will succeed the talented Mohammed Benchellal, the winner of last year’s edition? Will the male domination of this category continue (Krikor Jabotian won in 2019 and Yousef Akbar in 2020) continue, or will a woman finally take the Prize?
AMNA ALSALEM: “WE REALLY NEED BETTER INFRASTRUCTURE FOR BRAND BUILDING IN THE MENA REGION.”
1/ What pushed you to send in your submission to this year’s FTA Prize? What do you expect from this experience?
A great opportunity and an amazing platform to share my voice, learn and network.
2/ What was the first object related to fashion (a piece of clothing, jewelry, an accessory…) that dazzled you when you were a kid, and why?
I was actually interested more in paper sculpting and origami, in making buildings and shapes when I was a kid, to be honest fashion was not on the radar.
3/ What was the trigger that made you realize that you wanted to be a fashion designer and nothing else?
For me, fashion is an extension of not only self-expression, but it’s a way to start conversations and escape the world if need be. It’s a survival technique and a way to make change.
4/ Which fashion designer, Arab or international, inspired you, and why?
The late Alexander McQueen, maybe. It’s a very hard question, because I really believe that many designers have inspired me over a certain period of time.
5/ What is the one thing you wish people would stop wearing?
I’m always fascinated by how people are dressed, it doesn’t really matter whether I like it or not, I love to see how different people express themselves.
6/ What was your worst fashion faux-pas?
Self-doubt that ended in poor decisions.
7/ If you were to choose one of your looks, or that of any other designer, to wear every day for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
Anything black and simple.
8/ Who do you dream of dressing?
People who inspire me.
9/ What does the word “sustainability” mean to you?
Giving the future back to our children.
10/ What is something that makes you uncomfortable in the MENA fashion industry and that you would like to see changed?
Since we don’t really have great infrastructure for brand building, I would like to see changes to support brands, a create a healthier point of departure. Keeping in mind how new and fresh we are to the industry and taking into consideration the challenges that our world is nowadays facing, I believe we really have a great advantage, in that we can build a strong and altruistic base that will eventually add value and meaning to the industry.