Mohanad Kojak, couture as a means of expression

A couture label that tells the story of its designer, his emotions, his encounters and the society that surrounds him, Mohanad Kojak expresses himself through dramatic clothes, modern or nostalgic but always full of meaning.

Each one of Mohanad Kojak’s collections reveals a story, a point of view, an experience of the life of the designer. He is inspired by human interactions; a love relationship or friendship, family ties, a society that can sometimes be oppressive, and translates his feelings in the beauty of his art. His latest collection, Winter 2017, starts with a new-born love, the enthusiasm of an encounter that gives him energy and that he translates into a streetwear, sporty style. Then the deceit changes the course of the collection. It takes a more rebel allure, more neglected with accents of 90s grunge. Another of his collections is inspired by his funerals. He imagines the attendants: family, friends, colleagues or enemies; those that came because they care, those that came for the show or by duty and obligation. For his first bridal collection; he chose to represent the different motivations: the dress of the bride seeking protection, the one running after status, the materialistic or the fool in love. He dresses his mother, his biggest support, the woman who taught him to observe without judgment, as a bride, the one who understood that marriage is all those aspects at once; but mostly a partnership, a relationship that evolves and becomes what we make of it. With his best friend, a writer, Mohanad prepares a book for each collection in which they legend the images with deep quotes playing with tones: sometimes nice, sometimes aggressive, sad or full of hope.

He is only 18 when his adventure begins, by chance, 4 years ago. Mohanad is then a student in Applied Arts and Graphic Design. A project for one of his classes leads him to direct a fashion movie in which he presents a collection of clothes, outits that he creates himself. The models are quickly noticed and clients start coming in. The designer, who has no atelier or office at the time, meets them in cafés or at their homes. The brand starts growing and the young designer leaves university to dedicate himself to it. He opens a studio in Cairo and his collections are found in boutiques across the country and soon across the Middle East. Mohanad recalls that as a child he would go to the tailor to repair clothes for his family, the latter would show him the ropes of the job, and it is with that same atelier that today the designer works to make his creations. He picks noble fabrics, satin, silks and embroideries that he burns, stains or ages to bring more soul to the clothes. He does not hesitate to use furniture fabric to enrich his collections with sophisticated prints and textures difficult to find in Egypt. A do it all, he contributes to styling, beauty and photography for the mise en scène of his collections. The designer continues to observe life to transpose its richness and complexity. He registered again one year ago in university to complete design studies and currently is working on his new Spring Summer Collection. Inspired by Renaissance; soft colours and gold accents, smooth architecture but rich in details, chandeliers, paintings and other objects of the era, to which he will add emotions lived in the moment during the creative process.

Article originally published in L’Officiel Levant – March 2017 Issue

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