Throughout his fashion career, Mikhail Chamoun has crafted one stunning piece after the other. We chat with the Lebanese designer about his journey and what inspires him.
You began fashion school at the tender age of 15. Where does your love of fashion stem from?
It was evident when I was around four or five years old that I had a natural talent for drawing. As I grew up, I started creating small houses — ones for dolls and those you see at Christmas — and designing dresses. I initially tried to get into architecture when I was around 15, which wasn’t possible due to my dyslexia, so I decided to turn my focus towards fashion; I haven’t looked back since.
Who was your fashion role model growing up?
I didn’t have a single role model; I was constantly inspired by different people. My grandmother was a talented seamstress and I’d watch her at work. I suppose this ultimately spurred my interest in fashion.
You’ve done a collection with DHL using packaging material. Do you think it’s important for designers to think outside the box and use unconventional materials?
Definitely! I love a good challenge and take immense pleasure in working with unconventional materials. Even in my own designs, I try to think outside the box to be different and unique every single time.
Describe the Mikhail Chamoun brand in one sentence.
A young brand that is spreading its wings.
Where do your ideas come from?
My ideas stem from nature and everything that surrounds me, including architecture. These things all influence the shapes of my designs, the concept or story and even the collection itself.
Over recent years, Lebanese designers have been praised for their work at major international events. Why do you think that is?
Funnily enough, some people say there’s something in our water! I guess it’s because we are a nation that appreciates style, new things and constant change. As designers, we are constantly seeking new avenues and forms of self-expression, which translates in our work.
Do you find inspiration in Lebanon? If so, how do you portray that in your work?
Of course I do; my first collection was all about Lebanon and the feelings I have towards my country.
If you could be part of any major fashion even in the world, which one would you pick and why?
It would be Paris Fashion Week. I grew up on the idea of Paris being the fashion capital and, to me, it’s the most prestigious show in the world.
Which personality would you most like to collaborate with and why?
There is not one personality I can pick. The beauty of what I do is that every woman is my muse.
What’s next for Mikhail Chamoun?
There are quite a number of exciting projects in the pipeline. I’m an optimist and believe the best is yet to come.