Shoug Fardan is a 23-year-old Emirati designer based in Dubai. When we met her, she was studying in Fashion Design at Parsons School of Design, New York. She is now graduated and founded SHOUG, a minimalist brand that we are proud to support.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT STEPS YOU PASS BY TO FIND THE INSPIRATION WHEN YOU START A COLLECTION? COULD YOU EXPLAIN WHAT IS YOUR VISION WITH SHOUG?
Starting on a new collection or project is always challenging. I am always asking myself: "how can I bring something new to the table?". Through my work, I am always reflecting on my culture and heritage. There are so many things going on in the UAE, through our community, environment, society, which are always changing and evolving. My research process tends to be listening to people’s stories, it can be simple stories and it can be more complex stories. Stories of women are very inspiring, how they go through life in a male-oriented world, and how have they liberated themselves and had grown to such power. I see women in the UAE as powerful figures. But there have been many ugly stories as well, and I love finding beauty in the ugliness and celebrating it.
My brand SHOUG is an extension of myself; I want the clothing that I create to spark a conversation, but also to create beautiful, luxurious things.I love how the fashion market in the Gulf region as changed tremendously, and I cannot wait to dive right into it. I want to bring something different to the world of fashion; I want to create an environment/community rather than my little world.
WHEN THE ADVENTURE START? WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO FOLLOW THIS CAREER PATH?
I never knew I wanted to be a fashion designer until my last year in high school. Art does run in the family, so growing up I was exposed to the world of art, and I found myself good at drawing, painting and just simply creating things. When it came time to look for colleges, my mother randomly said to me, “how about fashion design?” And that is when my journey began, I moved to New York at the age of 18, and I fell in love with it. I can honestly say that I was destined to become a designer, and I do not see myself doing anything else other than creating.
DO YOU HAVE ANY PERSONAL ROLE MODELS YOU LOOK UP TO FOR INSPIRATION?
My mother is my number one inspiration, muse, role model, and mentor. I was raised to believe that I can do anything I set my mind to, which is very challenging. My parents set the bar very high for me. I look up to both my mother and father as role models, and I thank them for allowing me and giving me more space than I need to be my authentic self.
WHAT KIND OF WOMEN OF YOUR CHILDHOOD INSPIRED YOU?
My grandmother, she is my muse, and she has always been reflected in my work in a way.
IF WE PROPOSE YOU TO BECOME THE NEW ART DIRECTOR OF A « MAISON DE COUTURE,» WHICH ONE WOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Becoming an art director to a well-established house would be the most difficult challenge. A designer has to fulfill the legacy of the house but also bring something new and innovative. But I would love to work at Margiela. Or brands that are not couture like Vetements or Aitor Throup. I think they are bringing innovative approaches to fashion in their way, either by taking something that already exists and flipping it on its head or creating a new process to the fashion system.
COULD YOU TELL US WHAT "INFLUENTE women" MEANS TO YOU?
Influential women to me are the women who made or are making a difference. It can be as simple as changing themselves for the better, women who look not only to the future but also to the past and all around them. Women who are aware, and have a strong intuition and self-awareness, and who are in connection with their spirituality truly inspire me.