Maysson Al Otaiba Founder and Creative Director of Maysson
So, who is Maysson Al Otaiba and where did your first love of fashion come from? I was born in Rabat into a multicultural family that values education and the arts. From a young age, growing up in Abu Dhabi, I felt destined to design. My sketchbook was my constant companion and I would often create my own fashions from found materials. At age 14, during a family holiday, I came across the London College of Fashion and was determined to attend the institution. What were your first fashion inspirations? Are your inspirations driven by fashion designers as individuals or the ethics and feel of a particular brand? My first fashion inspirations were varied as I took inspiration from different themes that captivated my interest such as architecture from my heritage and icons from the past. I once took inspiration from tarot cards for my graduate collection. Nowadays, I find inspiration from streetwear, different cultures and traveling. I follow new trends as well but I try to channel my personality through my clothing - I believe in the importance of infusing individuality and authenticity in one’s art. Fashion is a product of the environment around us and a reflection of our inner selves. At the end of the day, it is all about interpretation and creativity. Tell us about your education: I graduated from London College of Fashion in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree but also with a postgraduate diploma in fashion management and a master’s degree in strategic fashion marketing. I’m currently pursuing my PhD in social media and entrepreneurship. What does fashion mean to you? Fashion is the expression of the inner self; it helps express my self and my interests. It is a way to signify who you are, where you come from and what you believe in. Fashion is our environment, our culture and our drive in life as individuals.
How did growing up in Morocco, and Abu Dhabi influence your designs? Growing up in Morocco and Abu Dhabi has influenced my designs by exposing me to both contemporary trends as well as traditional cultures. It helped me meld classical forms with modern style for the chic woman. How would you define the style your work exemplifies? The style of my designs consists of a fusion of classical forms with modern style for today’s sophisticated woman, drawing equal inspiration from contemporary trends as well as traditional Mediterranean, Emirati and Moroccan cultures. What other designers and brands both locally and nationally do you like that are in the industry at the moment? Locally, I like Qasimi who is known to make a performance of his fashion shows. He is a unique designer that knows how to fuse themes and concepts well. Internationally, Karl Lagerfeld has always been one of my favorites of all times. I believe that he is one of the most talented designers of the century. He is symbolises challenge, creativity and tradition. What do you think fashion needs more of right now? Today’s fashion trends lack creativity, uniqueness, and individuality. It’s become the norm to run into others at the same event wearing the same outfit. Fashion needs to be based on creative and one-ofa-kind styles. Step out of the box and wear what you want to wear because you love it; don’t wear something solely because it is “in” trend. In your eyes what makes a good fashion designer? What makes a good fashion designer is creativity, staying ahead of trends and possessing the ability to interpret them uniquely, and ultimately to be one’s best ambassador!