All images in article sourced from China Fashion Week Association
Debuting his autumn winter collection in April 2013 at Shanghai Fashion Week, Elias Moussa is becoming known for his masterful grasp on haute couture with an extensively envious skill set. From studying at the PAA (Paris American Academy), IFA (International Fashion Academy) and working within the design house of Elie Saab, Elias is one designer that knows how to achieve success in the fashion industry. His love for haute couture and creating a strong meaning behind his designs are a result of his travels from Sweden to China. We managed to sneak a quick interview with the busy designer on his return from China, where Elias participated in the China International Fashion Designers competition and was awarded the International Memorial Award for his latest collection “:2,0”.
When did you become fascinated with fashion, was it at your hometown in North Sweden?
EM: The passion has always been a part of me. I have been interested in drawing and designing since I was very young. I still have drawings from my early years that reflect some kind of idea I had in mind at that time. Today, I still get comments from my teachers I had back in middle school saying that I was paying more attention to my drawings than to the actual class. However, I am sure they are proud of my accomplishments so far.
How was your experience at IFA? Where else did you study?
EM: I took some basic courses in sewing after high school in Sweden before I moved to Paris 2008. I first joined PAA that focused its courses in the technical executions of Haute Couture. After two years at PAA I pursued to IFA where I created my graduation collection “Regalienne”. What I liked about IFA is that they were/are very focused on each student’s individual style and helps push it to the next level.
What inspires your label?
EM: So far I take huge inspirations from the places I’ve been living in (Sweden, France, Italy, China) and integrate that with reflections of stories I want to capture within the collection. I believe we all have stories to tell and I simply want to share mine.
Tell us about this competition in China you are competing in? How did you get involved?
EM: I was contacted by IFA who told me about the China International Fashion Designers Competition. I had my application sent to the organization and before I knew it I had made it to the final round (!) and was invited to attend the finals in Keqiao, China. I was awarded the International Memorial Award for my collection “:2,0”.
What makes your designs truly unique?
EM: I don’t really consider my designs to be unique in the sense of cuts and volumes. However, the creative process behind each garment and what the material represents are essential tools to better understand the thought behind my collections. Anyone can be a designer today, but the challenge relies in the creative process and the message you’d like to share. I believe a good designer is someone who has a good approach in marketing and the real understanding that fashion is nothing but a business. We can all create beautiful pieces of clothing, but creating it with a sense of meaning and a story behind it to later make a successful business is the hard task.
How was your current collection created?
EM: The “:2,0”-collection was created in Shanghai where I had the great opportunity to work with Chinese suppliers and got the experience of Chinese resources and craftsmanship. It definitely influences the creative process. My latest collection captured my experience throughout the recent year when I lived in 4 different countries during a year of intense studies, yet maintaining my own identity and mix. I am never completely myself in a certain place, but blessed enough to take bits and pieces from my background and cultural heritage and intergrade that wherever I am in the world. I wanted to challenge myself and obviously working with Chinese suppliers without speaking a single word of Chinese is a challenge enough. However, I accomplished that and I am very happy with the result. One of my favorite piece of the collection are the “Zamir pantalones en perle” – Pants made out of 400 000 small beads.
Can you give a sneak peak into the workings for your next collection?
EM: Right now I am in the first stages of the creative process. That’s all I can reveal at this point.
Who is the ideal person for your clothes?
EM: As I am very keen on captivating a story when designing, I do believe it comes with a certain persona for the woman wearing my creations. I tend to be more on the remarkable side of fashion with my designs so I would definitely describe someone with confidence, strength and who knows and admire herself just as much as other people admire her.
What are your future aspirations for your label?
EM: It’s really crazy actually, I’m not sure how I can achieve anything greater than having just graduated and be able to present a new collection during Shanghai Fashion Week! I hope that I can further develop myself professionally in the future, working and gaining experience with some companies in China, Europe, or who knows, anywhere in the world, before really establishing myself as an independent designer.
Describe your label in 1 sentence for us.
EM: The story about an international identity of a small-town boy from Sweden.