Vivian Moawad’s imaginative designs bring out the femininity and beauty of the everyday woman. Her recognition as a rising designer continues to grow. eniGma sat down with the budding designer to discuss her rising career.
Originally a finance graduate from Cardiff University in the UK, Moawad worked at her family’s business for a while, albeit, with a feeling of unease that eventually turned to depression. She had always had a love for art and drawing, as well as a keen interest in clothes, and it was only when she decided to focus on these things that she broke out of that depression. She was on a visit to London when she took her first step into her new career path. Feeling inspired by the city’s elegance, its architecture, and its fashion scene, Moawad decided, on the spur of the moment, to enroll in a fashion design course. From that point onwards, she felt everything change, her mood, her personality, and her entire life. Moawad feels that it was her desire to get out of her depression that pushed her to take that leap of faith and to change the course of her life. The course stimulated her and helped her define her artistic vision, which was dramatic in its own way, yet delightfully feminine and structural at the same time.
Moawad put together her first collection on the occasion of the Cairo Fashion Festival in 2015. “The feedback I got from the festival was very helpful. The media got to know me and people began requesting items from the show,” says Moawad. At first, her designs mostly had a serious and grave tone, featuring mostly black and white colours; she even designed her logo in black and white. “I was mixing my business background with my fashion design, and I was trying to develop my own brand,” says Moawad.
Over time, Moawad’s style evolved. “You have to adapt to the market,” she explains. “Colours aren’t a limit to me anymore,” she says. She currently highlights side-splits and ruffles as her signature in couture. “My designs are revealing, but in a good way,” she says, “I make sure my clients feel confident and happy about their curves when wearing my designs. I love bringing the best out of women.” Moawad remains cautious as she makes changes to her design brand. She is pleased and proud, however, to have found the right balance between creativity and commerce. “I have a wearable collection now. I care about wearability, femininity, and structure. I want to bring out everything that’s in my head, but everything has to be in harmony with one another,” states Moawad.
Along the way in her nascent career as a designer, Moawad discovered that real life was very different from her original expectations. She had to learn how to deal with workers, which she says, could be a challenge, especially when you are seeking to produce a high quality product. Initially, she also found communicating her vision and her sketches to clients to be somewhat tricky; but she has now learned how to explain and interpret her thoughts better. She has learned to listen to her clients, especially when it comes to custom made designs, in order to come up with designs that are in sync with the clients’ own perceptions. Yet, she finds that Egyptians still have difficulty distinguishing between the role of a tailor and of a fashion designer. “But, at the end of the day, I feel that Egypt is the best market for me, because there is a gap to fill,” admits Moawad.
Before starting a new collection, Moawad likes to be aware of the newest trends, but rather than following them, she creates her own trend with her own identity. “I want my designs to stand out and not just follow the norm. I don’t care about what others think. Sometimes, I appear to be stubborn about my opinion, but if you don’t put your trust in me as a designer and give me the space to create, I won’t be able to work,” she explains.
After an unconventional start and over two years in the business, Moawad can look back with satisfaction at what she has achieved so far. She feels that her leap of faith has paid off. And she has only just begun.