We wanted to share with you today the work of a fashion designer. Ahmed Amer is a Lebanon fashion designer and it is a pleasure for us to show his designs, draws and graphisms.
Mediterranean creators are inspiring and Ahmed’s incredible work is unique. « It is ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly« . Ahmed has a positive and human outlook on the world thanks to his creations. Also, he is one of OpenMyMed 2020-21 laureates of Maison Mode Mediterranee.
His talent deserved to be highlighted. We’re sure you’ll be inspired by what he does, as we are.
Let yourself be inspired
Tell about yourself ?
Ahmed Amer is a Beirut-based fashion designer and illustrator. After studying interior architecture at The Lebanese University, Ahmed joined Creative Space Beirut in 2014, a not-for-profit school for fashion design, where he presented his thesis collection at a live fashion show in downtown Beirut 3 years later. During his time at the school, he was selected to participate in the Middle East edition of Project Runway where he gained exposure to the world of reality competition. Also, he is one of OpenMyMed 2020-21 laureates of Maison Mode Mediterranee.
Ahmed is the creative director and designer of the namesake brand Ahmed Amer comprised of gender-fluid, ready-to wear pieces incorporating minimal and organic illustrations. Deeply rooted in emotional behavior, his illustrations are often created through quick improvisation and a wandering imagination. He has collaborated with various boutiques on exclusive collections. In addition to teaching fashion illustration at Creative Space Beirut and Académie libanaise des Beaux-Arts, Ahmed gives evening workshops to the public and engages in various creative collaborations with members of the local art and design community such as live sketching performances, home products and fashion films.
As a volunteer at the SDC Lebanon mission for 7 years started in 2009, Ahmed has been an advocate of youth and children’s rights, embracing citizenship as well as dealing with a variety of issues faced by the country such as corruption, conflicts and its history.
Why did you chose fashion ?
I feel like designing was an element that accompanied me since childhood! And fashion specifically was a great passion of mine. I used to sketch and design outfits for people since a really young age. Therefor when I went to university and started as an interior architect, I felt distant from humanity, I was working with interiors and furniture… I was not in direct contact with humans, whereas fashion forces you to connect with humans around you, it’s a study of people’s mood and souls put into garments.
So, I felt that there was something missing and ended up following my lifelong dream and studied fashion at CSB. Plus, I used to work at an NGO with which I addressed different societal problems (e.g., violence, corruption, right of expression). These issues really got to me, and I felt the need to address them and keep the message alive throughout people’s daily lives. Throughout my journey at Creative Space Beirut, I learned that I could take fashion to the next level and deliver a message through outfits.
I also chose ready-to-wear outfits because they could be worn on different occasions, and the messages I wish to deliver through my fashion pieces/collections were messages I wanted to raise awareness about on a constant basis. I wanted people to carry those messages throughout their daily lives during numerous of their everyday events.
What are your inspirations to create your collections ?
Usually, my inspirations are drawn from the reality that we are living, from people’s daily problems and from issues that seem to be never ending. I also get inspired by hardships, relationships between people, citizens and their countries and environment. As I also get inspired by the emotions evoked from the things we experience through events happening on a daily basis!
A word about your last collection ?
My last collection reflects the state of in-betweenness; Being stuck in the ambivalence of strongly believing in the current situation while simultaneously doubting it, sort of. Emotional Purgatory. It feels a lot like a waiting period. Waiting for actions beyond one’s personal control to be made. While one knows that this period will eventually pass, the emotions are scattered; Undulating between hope and disillusionment.
Whereas the new collection depicts the need to inhale positivity and exhale peaceful energy during this chaos we are witnessing. It represents the surreal life we are living with a complexed state of mind and anxiety.
How do you describe your brand?
It’s a ready to wear brand, gender fluid, open to different tastes and very diverse, that has a wide target audience. It is ethical, sustainable and eco-friendly. And try to always raise awareness by tackling social issues and political ones we go through as citizens. And part of it is a personal reflection of who i am and of how people relate to the emotions evoked in the collection. Ahmed Amer’s mission is to create clothing that celebrates a youthful and modern view of heritage and culture in all its differences. Honor the art community and inspire a relationship between them and their ever-evolving society.
Hense, as a vision, to compose a new heritage that reflects the layered complexities of being a human, a citizen and an artist. Some Ahmed Amer’s values are:
- Openness – By encouraging a free, open dialogue through collaboration between members of the local art and design community.
- Humanity – By acknowledging that we are emotional beings through improvisation, art and design.
- Activism – By advocating our human rights as citizens and addressing conflict that suggests otherwise.
- Consciousness – By being aware of the effect of our actions on the world around us through ethical practices and sustainable production.
Do you have plans beside your brand ?
Beside my brand, i try to work on many collaborations with other local designers, artists and craftsmen to grow a community and build a new heritage, our heritage based on what we went through and still going through so we leave something that resembles us to the future generations. Plus, I’m working on my illustration work focusing on how to enrich it with new techniques and additional values and make it more layered and take it to another level by playing outside my comfort zone.
Can you give an advice to readers who want to achieve their goals and dreams ?
My advice to readers is to put missions instead of only visions, because postponing our dreams won’t lead to achieving them. So, work now, as if the world is ending tomorrow. And most importantly to do something you love, and then always love what you do, because that grows your confidence that helps people support you which leads to achieving your dreams.
Can you give 5 names who inspires you ?
- Jean Cocteau was a French poet, playwright, novelist, designer, filmmaker, visual artist and critic.
- Caroline Simonelli is a Lebanese/American designer who teaches fashion design at Parsons the New School for Design in New York and gives a summer course at CSB school of design. Before teaching, Caroline had a long career as a fashion designer in women’s dress apparel, also known for her draping techniques.
- Mahmoud Darwish was a Palestinian poet and author who was regarded as the Palestinian national poet. He won numerous awards for his works. Darwish used Palestine as a metaphor for the loss of Eden, birth and resurrection, and the anguish of dispossession and exile.
- Yohji Yamamoto is a Japanese fashion designer based in Tokyo and Paris. Considered a master tailor alongside those such as Madeleine Vionnet, he is known for his avant-garde tailoring featuring Japanese design aesthetics.
2020 is a sad year, is it difficult to work in this condition?
It is very hard to work in these conditions because it made us live differently. Where we had to fave so many changes in our life. Living in new very difficult conditions that we have never experienced before. But that definitely pushed us to work harder and build a better place to live in. Made us look for new initiatives for the coming years
There was an explosion in Beirut recently, tell us about it ?
On 4 August 2020, a large amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the port of the city of Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, exploded, causing at least 204 deaths, 6,500 injuries, and US$15 billion in property damage, and leaving an estimated 300,000 people homeless.
This explosion was a traumatic devastating experience in did. We lost a huge part of beirut, of its citizens, of its beauty and of its love for life. It showed us our political leaders’ real face and reminded us of what we are all fighting for. Human rights, our right to live, equality, justice, peace, transparency and innovation.
This explosion was a traumatic devastating experience. We lost a huge part of beirut, of its citizens, of its beauty and of its love for life. It showed us our political leaders’ real face and reminded us of what we are all fighting for. Human rights, our right to live, equality, justice, peace, transparency and innovation.