The Arab world needs stronger fashion schools in comparison to Europe, says fashion designer
The work of Arab fashion students is “weak” compared to that of Parisian students, according to Zuhair Murad.
The Lebanese fashion designer, who operates in Paris and Beirut, told Arabian Business that the Arab world needs better fashion schools.
“We need stronger [fashion] schools in the Arab world. Arab students are very weak in their work and projects. I see a big difference between them and students that intern with me in Paris,” he said.
While the Middle East is home to few fashion schools including French institute Esmod Dubai and The College of Fashion and Design Dubai, many regional fashion designers are self-taught, including Murad and red carpet favourites Elie Saab and Rami Al Ali.
Murad said education is irrelevant, however, if students are not born with the talent for fashion design.
“Fashion without talent is a waste of time”, he said, adding that “talent” is something most Arab fashion designers “do not possess.’
In addition, Murad said “Lebanon is the only Arab country where you find a lot of fashion talent. And it’s a small country at the end of the day."
Some of the Middle East’s most celebrated fashion designers beyond Lebanese designers Elie Saab and Reem Acra include Syrian designer Rami Al Ali and Kuwaiti red carpet favourite Yousef Aljasmi.
Murad left Lebanon for Paris early on his career because it was “too small for my big dreams,” he said, adding that it also lacked investor support.
“There is a lot of financial support [towards fashion designers] in Europe, but there isn’t financial support in the Arab world. They’re not used to investing in fashion, sadly,” he said.
“I got offered a lot of investment but from European investors, not Arab investors,” he revealed.
The 48-year-old Lebanese fashion designer counts Celine Dion, Priyanka Chopra and Jennifer Lopez among his clients.
Murad opened his first boutique in the UAE at the Dubai Mall in 2018 and has boutiques in Paris and Beirut.