Meet Moulham Obid, the Syrian Prince of Fashion

The designer shakes up Vienna’s fashion world with flowing lines, style and ruffles.

Artist and fashion designer Moulham Obid was born in 1990 in Masyaf, Syria. He completed his Visual Communication studies at the University of Aleppo and graduated with a degree of Fine Arts in 2012. He moved to Austria in 2014 to attend the Herbststrasse Fashion School in Vienna. He presented his latest collection during the Vienna fashion week on September 8, 2020. Obid’s couture collections are exciting to look at, carefully made with a captivating attention to details, and clear design concepts.

We interviewed Obid about Vienna, his inspiration, and his latest couture collections.

Moulham Obid’s relationship with Austria began in Aleppo, where he was studying at the university, and chose Gustav Klimt and Austrian writer Robert Schneider as the basic components of his graduation project. His obsession with Klimt stayed with him as he journeyed through the UAE and Lebanon before settling down in Austria. Seeing Klimt’s painting in person was like a dream.

As an artist, do you think that Vienna has contributed to your success?

Absolutely. Vienna helped my success by not oppressing me. Even though the “connections” issue is till current in Vienna, when you are presenting good and creative work, it will be appreciated at the end, whoever you are. So, I am thankful for that.

Moulham Obid’s couture collections are defined by detailed creations which are handcrafted over hundreds of hours. With elaborate patterns, artistic draping and pleats, they seek to capture a vision of modern femininity while underlining individuality./(C) Sabine Linemeyr aka éon.noir/Fashion model: Chiara (Instagram: lunacydrop) via Innercircle Management

Your couture collections are striking and exciting to look at. What or who inspires you?

Nature. My first and only inspiration is nature. The natural elements, such as a leaf, and all the details nature presents. That’s why you barely see straight lines in my collections.

Ruffles can be seen in many of your creations, is there a significance behind it to you?

Yes of course. Ruffles are transparent yet strong, they look fragile, but they can be very powerful if you sew them the right way.

In his latest collection, face masks were integrated on the runway:

I made this collection (“Pollution”) in 2017, way before the pandemic. The concept was all about survival, whether you are a man, a woman, covering your face or showing it, survival is what’s important. Unfortunately, the collection was delayed by a different project. But at the end I was able to present it in 2020 during the Vienna fashion week.

How did the pandemic affect your work?

The pandemic is a very sad situation. But to me, it was also a very good chance to take time for myself and my work. It was almost like meditation, because I had a lot of time to finish my collection. I used this time for reflection and inspiration.

Abdo Assaf
Abdo Assaf is currently studying English and American studies at the University of Vienna. He did not plan to stay in Vienna at first, but after one day and a few conversations with some locals at the Hauptbahnhof, the decision was clear. A few years later, there is no place he would rather call home more than Vienna.

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