For the second episode of our take overs series with the FTA 2022 Prize finalists, we’re focusing on one of the most dazzling of our six categories: Evening Wear.

So, we asked the Kuwaiti Amna Alsalem, the Moroccan Artsi Ifrah (Maison ARTC), the Syrian Moulham Obid and the Egyptian-Qatari born and raised Yasmin Mansour to film themselves while they showed us their signature piece, told us about their favorite city in the MENA region and talked about the designers who inspire them and about their expectations when they travel to Qatar in October for the Prize event. We also asked them to tell us who they dream of dressing on the red carpet and how their relatives might describe them using three words.

Here are their answers…

THE SIGNATURE PIECE

Amna Alsalem opened a big, elegant white box to show us the first prototype of her silver metal arm glove. “It’s a bit loose”, she smiled while putting it on in a very Hollywoodish movement.

Artsi Ifrah’s signature piece is his burqa/niqab. “In this piece, there is all the magic of the Arab world. It’s a canvas that can be painted the way we want, and the way it should be,” he says.

Moulham Obid is proud of the first piece he designed and produced, “inspired by Mother Nature”, the coat with its pattern of ruffles, is “my brand’s identity,” he says.

Yasmin Mansour’s signature piece is her white cape, it was “inspired by my first collection back in 2015,” she says.

INSPIRATION

Amna Alsalem says loud and clear that she is inspired by “so many designers”, and that there are many she really respects. “It wouldn’t be fair to only name one, so I will name Alexander McQueen, Rei Kawakubo (Comme Des Garçons), Balenciaga and John Galliano,” she says.

Before also naming John Galliano, Artsi Ifrah insists on the importance of Arab culture, history and heritage, “This is what really inspires me,” he stresses.

Moulham Obid also named the iconic British fashion designer, Alexander McQueen, as his main inspiration.

Finally, Yasmin Mansour, without any hesitation, named Schiaparelli as her source of inspiration.

WHEN IN QATAR

Amna Alsalem is looking forward to meeting new people in Doha during the Prize event, to sharing experiences and learning, “I’m very excited about everything,” she confesses.

Artsi Ifrah is also eager to meet new people. “I want to show my creativity, to represent my beautiful country. Hopefully, we’ll find a new way to understand the Arab heritage through the fashion lens,” he says.

Moulham Obid is looking forward to showcasing his creations and meeting prominent people in the fashion industry.

“I am looking forward to meeting all the other creatives and exchanging energy,” says Yasmin Mansour.

FAVORITE CITY

“I haven’t visited a lot of MENA cities, but so far, my favorite one is Beirut,” says Amna Alsalem.

Unsurprisingly, Artsi Ifrah names Marrakech as his favorite MENA city, “I would add all the cities of the Middle East because they’re beautiful, authentic, full of culture and intriguing,” he adds.

Moulham Obid also names Beirut as his favorite city in the MENA region. “It’s my second home, I love its charm and its diversity on all levels,” he says.

For Yasmin Mansour, it’s Cairo, and especially downtown Cairo. “I love the timeless architecture in this area,” she says.

THE THREE WORDS

Amna Alsalem: “They say I’m creative, rebellious and uncontrollable.”

Artsi Ifrah: “They say I’m honest, dedicated and generous.”

Moulham Obid: “They say I’m passionate, determined and detail oriented.”

Yasmin Mansour: “They say I’m distinct, a dreamer and classic.”

ON THE RED CARPET

Amna Alsalem says that she wants to dress “all the people who made an impact” on her.

Artsi Ifrah dreams of dressing the King of Morocco, Mohammed VI. “It would be a wonderful way to present and respect Morocco,” he says.

Moulham Obid wants to dress the Hadid sisters, Gigi and Bella.

Finally, Yasmin Mansour would love to dress two icons, Audrey Hepburn and Dalida.