“We have the Egyptian designer Mohanad Kojak, an alumni of Project Runway Middle East… A lot of exciting talent and names to watch out for!” Fashion Forward’s founder, Bong Guerrero, said in the pages of Vogue Arabia’s October issue. With the 10th edition of FFWD set to be held from October 26-28, all eyes will be on Kojak and rising fashion talent from the region.
Kojak is a breakout designer with an experimental and celebrated out-of-the-box approach. His brand’s first offering included upholstery fabrics, namely the ‘Romeo and Juliette goblin fabric’, and he has no hesitation in creating one look that forms a hybrid of sportswear and evening wear. It works.
As the maison‘s Instagram bio declares to its 87,000 followers: “In the name of costume drama, Kojak came to life to dress the bold and strong personage; the one that sometimes can be a king.” Confidence is clearly the backbone of Kojak’s atelier. And it works.
On Joining FFWD
“Joining Fashion Forward was a very important step for me and a great opportunity, especially as I will be joining such a big event for the first time and it will also be my first proper fashion show. In preparation for FFWD, I worked really hard on reflecting my brand’s essence and expressing my design aesthetic. I’m always keen on giving a good first impression, because it always matters how people first perceive you and whether they would give you a chance and listen to you or not. This is especially important in this case because it would bring such great regional and international exposure. I’ll be showing my latest collection, ‘Rage of the Angels’.”
On His Egyptian Heritage
“I mainly get inspired by human relations and personal experiences. Living in a country like Egypt, with its rich culture, generates a lot of inspiration in that regard. There are always of issues and topics to discuss that come out of society, topics that might concern or stir up society, and this is my source of inspiration. I always keep these issues in mind and put them into consideration, whether to break them or give into them. The worst thing to do is to ignore them – you just can’t.”
“I admire and respect all people in my designs, women and men, as I do have some designs for men as well. My designs don’t focus on always showing much skin, that’s not why they’re considered bold or daring – it’s the cuts, the silhouettes, the details, the concepts. I make sure that I put the Egyptian and Arab society that I live in into consideration, where a lot of women choose to wear modestly. They, too, should be allowed – are allowed – to express themselves in fashion and be edgy.”
After Dressing Nelly Karim and Jamila Awad, Who is the Next Dream Star?
“I’d love to see my designs on Sherihan. I feel that she has a lot in common with my brand.”
His Brand in One Word
On Coping With Pressure
“Before the show is the time for no sleep and no rest, only work, especially as I’m still studying. So it’s a hard equation, but you just have to brave through it and work hard. And as they say, hard work always pays off.”
What’s On Repeat On Kojak’s Playlist?
“London Grammar, ‘Wicked Games’.”