OPENISM: From Syria to LA, Fashion and the Global Citizen
They say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover ...
The same I guess should apply to people, but the truth of the matter is our appearances make a lasting first impression. The clothes we chose to dress ourselves in can speak volumes on our character. Fashion is first and foremost a form of self-expression, a tangible reflection of one's mood, occupation, attitude, personality, and ideals. In their purest forms, the colors, cuts, shapes and labels worn by others can tell you a little about the person standing in front of you.
OPENISM is an clothing label founded by Syrian-American designer Ibrahim Mimou in 2015, it is based out of Los Angeles and now Dubai. Creeping slowly into the Middle Eastern scene, and arriving to Cairo through an editorial - see below - shot in our city. Mimou is of Syrian heritage from his father's side, while his mother is American, he grew up in the suburbs of California on the outskirts of Downtown LA, allowing an amalgamation of Western culture meets Eastern roots to infiltrate into his work.
Mimou believes in creating functional clothing that can be reinterpreted according to each individual's personality. Playing on the concept of a global citizen, and utilising garments as tools in telling a story. As a designer, he references "everything" as inspiration. The brand's philosophy is built on the concept that clothes have the ability to mirror character.
My primary design philosophy is to design for function: form to function, function to form. Every small detail about the garments serves a certain function; not a zipper or pocket is applied without a purpose. - Ibrahim Mimou.
Ibrahim's latest collection is titled, ‘Not Alone’. The collection's inspiration stems from both Japanese and Arabic culture, shot in the heart of Cairo, Egypt.
OPENISM does not adhere to any particular trend of the moment, it is a blank canvas and liberated design label that aims to develop and expand its horizons into product design, branding, zines, event culture and even furniture design.
I didn't want to just go into politics or some big business because I could. When you work in design or get to make clothes people are trusting you with their image, how could they tarnish yours? - Ibrahim Mimou, on why he chose this particular path.
OPENISM believes in peace, comfort, and function. Mimou's multi-cultural background allows him to grasp the importance of diversity in clothing, and of being open to new ideas, collaborations and contributions. His latest fascination is rooted in typography, and how to incorporate words whether embroidered or screen printed in different styles and languages into clothing without losing meaning or purpose. He is currently working on an original Arabic font for the brand.
OPENISM is one to watch.