Hazem Kais, a recent Creative Space Beirut graduate told us about his finale year’s collection, inspirations and ambitions.
Who is Hazem Kais?
As a fresh graduate from a design institution that values alternative educational methods and social justice, I have come to regard design from a particular lens. The lens of the process. I am interested in getting as close to a design as possible, and then as far away, in order to maintain perspective and create designs that are that are liberated, thoughtful and distinct. Whether I am creating a garment, manipulating textiles or illustrating in my sketchbook, I tend to experiment with my own expectations, allowing my process to tread an organic path, while limiting the design with the parameters of functionality. I then edit my creations for better, more focused results. This process often leads to pieces that are both conceptual and wearable. I encourage sustainability by creating durable and timeless designs, while following a production method that is mindful of the environment and of social responsibility.
Tell us a bit about your journey at CSB, what you retain from your learning experience there and how does it feel to be graduated?
My journey in Creative Space Beirut is one that has opened the doors for other unlimited journeys for me. As I observe and compare my views, knowledge, and experience about the fashion world as a freshman to them now, I realize how impactful this 3-year duration has been on me. It helped me attain trust in what I had to offer, it helped me discover this multi-faceted world in detail, and it helped me build a portfolio that showcases my growth as a fashion designer, of which I am very proud.
What were your inspirations for this collection?
ÉLAN VITAL the inspiration for this collection arose from a compelling force to recall, retain and empower our dwindling connection with mother Earth. Every print, fabric, and texture was treated on an organic path that experimented with techniques that allowed the materials to interact and set their own creative blueprint for the designs. The prints and textures formed in the process represent nature’s many master- pieces, from cracks on thirsty lands to wet imprints of muddy waters. Meanwhile the designer is rendered passive, a vessel through which nature plays out its creations.
Who is your target market?
My target market is clients who appreciate the process and the concept just as much, if not more, than the resulting piece. My work is dedicated towards revolutionary, modern, and edgy tastes. I deliver a message throughout my work. I pour my mind, heart, and soul into each piece, they carry my energy and they are statement pieces. Hence my clients are ones who are bold enough to let themselves be fascinated by the energy of the garment first, then by its aesthetic.
Where do you sell your collection?
At the moment, my pieces are being sold at Creative Space Beirut and all the proceeds from these sales return to the school. It’s such an honorable and fulfilling thing to be able to give back to the place that gave me so much and helped me reach where I am today.
Which fabrics and colors do you prefer to use? Why?
I generally prefer working with organic, sustainable fabrics, linen is a good example. Fabric choice is one of the priorities for me while planning for a collection. I prefer experimenting and feeling the fabric with hand over sketching my design on paper. I feel this allows me to have a closer understanding of the piece and thus helps me be more expressive with my work. As for color choice, I usually tend towards darker shades or plain white fabrics which act as canvas for the textile paint and material work that I apply.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
For now, I am building my experience working with other brands and observing the process from the outside before launching my own brand. I believe this gives me the proper insight needed to launch my brand carefully and on a steady foot. I am aiming towards pursuing a masters degree in textiles since I consider them to be a strength in me as a designer.
Can you give us a glimpse of what your next collection will be about?
That would depend on how far I reach with my experimentations with fabrics and ideas. Whenever I feel that I have found something that satisfies me this will be my green light to commence in a new collection.
Cover pic edited by Jdeed Studio