Mariel Manuel is 22 year old and one of the most promising names in the world of fashion. She graduated from the infamous Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp having been taught by Walter Van Beiren- donck. Her unusually called collection ‘Keep your Eye on the Doughnut’, won the MoMu (Μοde Museum) award and featured in the Antwerp fashion museum throughout the summer. Her creations are inspired by ocean creatures, beautiful Californian blonds and super heroes. She enjoys observing people and getting lost in endless supermarkets. Having completed an internship with Jeremy Scott, she is preparing her very first capsule collection for Swedish brand Weekday.

-How did you feel exhibiting your outfits at MoΜu?

I think it made a nice little exhibition to see during a hot Antwerp sum-mer day. I wish the place was more bright, but I hope it made people curious and creative.

-Do you feel inspired by your double nationality, serious Switzerland Vs sunny and happy LA?

Ι think where you grew up and the the places you have traveled make a lot of who you are. As a child and growing up, I was always very close to nature, the Swiss mountains vs the California pacific ocean… but what I like most about America, is to observe the way they live. Everything is just too decadent and out of place. The best is to hang out in supermarkets, it really inspires me.

-Do you interpret-see fashion as an artistic expression or real busi- ness or maybe a mix?

I believe in the power of making beautiful things with your hands, being passionate about a piece of garment, the colors in a painting, invent- ing new things or developing a concept. It depends what you go for, I would be sad if I felt I cannot use my creativity or my hands (or my brain).

-Which are your three likes and three dislikes in the fashion world?

I think the fashion world is a beautiful lie..

-What’s the story behind your graduation collection?

Venuses and heroes of the ocean that hang out with over tanned bodybuilders.

-What would be different if you were starting designing now?

I started the Academy at just 19, I think I might not have been so adventurous if I had been older. I had just left my family and felt like conquering the world!

-What are you doing now out in the big world?

Right now I am enjoying a nice book, overlooking the Atlantic ocean. And meditating about my future fashion career.

-How do you dream yourself in 10 years time?

Still making my dreams come true. Working hard and never losing this sparkle I have for what I do.

-What is the most inspiring object you have ever observed and of course why?

Don’t know if you can call it an object, but I love airplanes. An Airbus Α340 or A330. It makes me feel free.

-Alone or in a team?

I would say a small effective team. When you work on a project and everyone has shiny eyes of ambition, its magical how far you can go.

Text: Eleni Malami