“I’m always proud and bragging about the Phoenician blood that runs in my veins,” Assaad Awad, an extraordinary Lebanese fashion artist and cross-disciplinary creative director based in Spain, told 961.
Nevertheless, Awad never planned to be part of the fashion industry, which he believes is fake and profit-based. He shared that the only difficulties he faced were when he was pushed to do fashion shows.
“It didn’t feel right,” he said. “In my opinion, no one can create art pieces doing three, six, or nine collections per year.” He prefers art and designers who create unique garments.
Awad can find inspiration in anything around him, beautiful and ugly. Shapes, flora, fauna, old prints, and etchings are all elements that stimulate his imagination.
“I simply close my eyes,” Awad told 961, “and in my mind, I filter the images, inspirations, and references that are already stored in my head. I start collaging and designing with my eyes closed as if I’m in a VR world.”
As with all cases where the miracle of creation has taken place, the process of coming up with an idea is an individual one. The preciousness lies in the lonely mind of the artist.
Many of Awad’s pieces are inspired by mythology, cultures, tribes, and historical figures. He told 961, “I’m very interested in history, mythology, sci-fi movies, anything that makes us snap for a minute from the boring world we live in.”
Awad has mastered many techniques. To pay for his college tuition, he painted replicas of Picasso and Van Gogh. He’s also mastered the art of branding and advertising before taking on the design and creation of accessories and wearables.
In her Chromatica 2022 world tour, Lady Gaga wore Awad’s PVC neckpiece, a design he did in 2013.
Awad gives his pieces a lot of thought and precision and dedication, therefore they are timeless. “It felt nice to see how a tiny garment makes a huge difference in styling an iconic look,” he said.
His newest means of expression are tattoos. While getting inked in 2017, Awad asked the tattoo artist to hand him the tattoo gun and he inked himself. He absolutely loved it and so bought the materials.