Young Jordanian fashion designer calls for wide support of local talent

1 Zaid Mushaki designer
Zaid Mushaki, fashion designer (Photos: handout Zaid Mushaki)
AMMAN — Zaid Mushaki, a 30-year-old Jordanian fashion designer, knew his passion was design since as long as he can remember. Growing up around his tailor grandmother, he recalls admiring the beauty of the dresses that women wore in fashion shows on tv. اضافة اعلان

“When I was five years old, I used to admire the way the silhouette of the dresses used to fall on the body,” Mushaki told Jordan News. Zaid is a successful designer today, and he tries to mentor and teach the next generation of designers, and worries that, despite the immense potential talent in Jordan, there is little support for designers.

In his childhood, Mushaki used to refuse to wear clothes bought from the store, until his grandmother made the changes to the garments that he wanted. “When I was young, I was very picky regarding the clothes that I used to wear, I would ask my grandmother to change the way they looked to make them suitable for my taste” he said.

At the age of 15, Mushaki had his mind made up about what he wanted to do for a living, therefore he learned from interviews with fellow fashion designers how designs should be commercial for them to succeed.

Aside from his studies in fashion, he studied business, which was a huge reason behind his success. “When I was in university, I had my career all planned out, and I knew that my business studies were going to make my career in fashion more successful,” Mushaki said. 

The designer found his way to his clients’ heats through the elegance of his affordable dresses, that coupled with his business acumen, allowed him to make most women’s desire of owning a tailored dress within reach.

Mushaki’s design (Photos: handout Zaid Mushaki)

Despite the difficulties facing the fashion industry in Jordan, Mushaki is relying on his career in fashion design to make a living and that’s because he understands the market and the needs of his clients, keeping in mind their budgets and individual taste.

“The fashion industry in Jordan lacks the support needed for a fashion designer to succeed in this career, therefore I relied on myself to live from what I have a passion for,” Mushaki said.

When it comes to the choice of fabric, the designer said that the choice of fabric depends on the type of design he’s working on, but ‘tulle’ is Mushaki’s favorite, especially for evening wear, because of its flexibility to work with. “Tulle is my most preferred fabric for evening wear because it’s characteristics allow you to make it stiff, flou, simple, or even transparent or matt,” Mushaki added.

“Beauty is pain,” Mushaki said, pointing out that some of his designs can deliver a message but are not as practical to wear, “A lot of people now understood the meaning behind beauty is pain, and they now ask us for a dress that delivers a message and a stunning look even if it’s going to be less practical to wear,” he added.

“As designers we always need to understand the traditions we have in our culture, and make stunning designs but without crossing the line,” he said.

Mushaki’s passion for design doesn’t stop at making stunning designs, he wants to pass on his experience to the next generation of designers, and every now and then trainers a couple of newcomer designers.

In his teaching experience, Mushaki soon found a lot of latent potential among his trainees. “Some of the trainees that come to me are even better than I am, they might lack a little bit of technique, but they catch up in no time” he said.

Mushaki believes that technology made the process of designing much easier, yet he would still rather train his students in the traditional way, and focus on teaching them the correct techniques.

“Trainees should always learn how to design on paper because they should learn how to move their hands while drawing using the correct technique,” he explained.

While passing on his knowledge to the next crop of budding designers, Mushaki noticed a great deal of potential among new designers in Jordan, but said that they lack the support that they need to grow.

“One of my favorite students left the country and she is now working for a bigger brand name outside of Jordan because she didn’t find the opportunity to grow her talent in Jordan,” he said.

Mushaki’s design (Photos: handout Zaid Mushaki)

As the economic importance of the fashion design industry is growing day by day, there is still no organization to promote fashion designers’ interests in Jordan or protect their rights. “Some designers don’t have contract with their clients, and that places their rights at risk especially that we don’t have any kind of organization to complain to,” Mushaki explained.

The designer calls on the government to support the fashion industry whether by hiring designers or building garments factories, considering that the country have well-known names in the industry.

“Some people in this country are trying to support designers, like Shirene Rifai, who held Jordan fashion week, she also tries to help us find solutions to our problems. But, unfortunately it’s not enough because we need the government itself to support us,” he explained.

Mushaki’s knowledge of the economy comes from his studies in business. He believes that he can benefit his country and fellow designers by suggesting economic strategies.

Aside from the government’s support, he ensures that designers support each other whether by refusing to copy other designers' designs or by sharing technical knowledge.

“Many times, some of my clients comes and ask me to do a design of another designer, and I refuse and ask them to go to the designer himself\herself,” Mushaki said.

He participated in the Jordan fashion week event which is one of the most important for Jordanian designers, because it’s a place to showcase their art and achieve their maximum potential. The fashion week event had to be postponed because of the pandemic.

The designer confirmed that he will be taking part in fashion week when it is held again, as the pandemic situation eases.

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