Meet The Lebanese Fashion Artist Behind Extraordinary Wearables Of World Celebrities

@assaadawad | @behance

“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.

Enter Assaad Awad’s peculiar world of metal and leather…

Standing distinctly in an industrial, fast-fashion world, Awad carefully handcrafts his pieces, each one different from the last, each one stemming from a different inspiration.

Awad told 961 of his love for manual handy work as a kid. Living in Sweden, the land of wood craftsmanship, he developed his interest in industrial design.

His designs, however, are made to be worn. His handcrafted, luxury leatherworks, accessories, and jewelry were showcased by the likes of Thierry Mugler, Balenciaga, Madonna, Lady Gaga, and Maya Diab.

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.”

Having two masters in graphic design and advertising, Assaad Awad has marketed himself as a Phoenician. “I’m always proud and bragging about the Phoenician blood that runs in my veins,” he said.

Golden wings flapping majestic as if about to take flight, the Phoenix that Awad has designed for four years now represents Lebanon rising from its own ashes, mirroring his hope for the country.

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.

“I think art is a calling,” Awad told 961, “it is a self-taught skill. If you have it inside of you, it will sooner or later manifest itself in one way or the other.”

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