Like all art forms, fashion is a product of self-expression, as a fashion designer you are expected to show your thoughts, emotions, and creativity through clothes that tell a visual story. Ahmed Fouad, the Egyptian fashion designer, and owner of the menswear brand Mr. Tuxedos got off to a slow beginning in design, starting at the bottom and learning his way up. Fouad made sure to have a distinct style before developing his own label, keeping in mind the actual idea of the market bit by bit through working in a retail branch. In his interview with Soul Arabia, Fouad shared his genuine passion for design, his experience in dressing up hot celebrities, and his unique path in this overwhelming industry.
Fouad’s foray into the world of design came at a young age, he says: “I used to bring basic clothing items, modify them, add things to them, or change their buttons. During college, I wanted to study design, but I did not find the right chance in Egypt, so I worked in an international retail branch to learn more about the market. After that, I traveled abroad and was fortunate enough to work with an Italian tailor, he taught me everything, and when I returned to Egypt in 2017, it was the start of Mr. Tuxedos.”
Before storming the fashion industry, Fouad started his design journey by creating on-of-a-kind suits for himself, his relatives, and his friends. He says: “After my first trials, I felt that I had the ability to make an entire collection of suits, so I immediately started creating my own brand in 2017”.
The career path to becoming a fashion designer does not happen overnight, as the process can take years, and requires a lot of patience, dedication and round-the-clock work. As for Fouad, he has learned everything he can to be better prepared for the challenges that will come his way. “I didn’t have many concerns, on the contrary, it was very easy because I was doing something I loved, especially since I received a lot of support from my friends, and this encouraged me to keep going. My only worry was starting my dream without being able to continue to succeed. But over time, I developed my skills, and all fears began to fade.”
Working in a retail branch, Fouad experimented with all kinds of men’s, women’s, and children’s fashion, but decided to enrich his portfolio with menswear design. “I felt that I could make an impression, and add my own signature to men’s clothing in Egypt and the Arab world, especially since the diversity in men’s designs were few.”
Some of Fouad’s biggest sources of inspiration were the historical places around the world, “While traveling, I admired all styles of architecture, such as Greek, Italian and of course Pharaonic. All these patterns enriched my personal touch to designs. The originality and luxury of these civilizations was my biggest inspiration”. Fouad focused on his unique style while creating the finest formal wear, tuxedos. “I always track the vintage suit styles of the 1920s and 1930s, and the history of clothing making in general. I usually take inspiration from old classics and add some of their details to my new collections whether in cuts or buttons. My designs tend to have a historical essence and that means a lot to me”.
Fashion designers do more than just make clothes, as they often apply their cultural attitudes, aesthetics, and inspiration to designs. Fouad says: “I always strive to create designs that are one-of-a-kind, in terms of materials and design, so that they can compete with high-end brands. When I started my career, the idea of trusting an Egyptian designer was not an option, and the client opted for branded ready-to-wear clothes. The challenge for me was to encourage clients like celebrities to trust a designer to make his suit for an event or tribute. I was keen to follow all the trendy patterns, add my own touch, and choose the highest quality fabrics.”
“Our brand has a distinctive signature, without any imitation. We are always exploring new trends, but we don’t copy them. We make our own signature and tend to stick to Italian cuts, especially in the handcrafted details, which give clothing pieces more value, and this is what distinguishes Mr. Tuxedos. “Fouad added.
Fouad added his remarkable mark on celebrity fashion during festivals such as El Gouna Film Festival and other significant events. The talented designer is always keen to choose what fits each character in its appearance and according to the nature of the occasion, whether it is a festival or Honoring Ceremony. Among the most prominent stars who wore his designs were Asser Yassin, Khaled Al Nabawy, Ahmed Zaher, and many others. While he also collaborated with stars, Mohamed Ramadan and Tamer Ashour to design their own attire in popular music videos.
Last year, Fouad was crowned with the 2022 Luxury Lifestyle Award for being the Best Bespoke brand in Egypt. The Bespoke is an originally Italian sewing technique that follows a certain approach when creating a suit, which is to design and create the suit from scratch by making a custom-made Patrón for the client to the size of their body. He says of the reputable award, “This technique adds a personal touch to a suit and we’ve been doing it for over 5 years now, competing with luxury brands all over the world.”
Spending a lot of time building his brand, Fouad is still full of hopes and dreams, planning to reach the world with his designs, as he lately joined a Trunk show in Raiyah, where a lot of designers showed their creations. The ambitious designer says, “We are now getting clients from Arab countries and also from Western countries but within a decent scale. Of course, my dream is to take my designs to More places and to find tags, made in Egypt, on all products all over the world to restore the value of the Egyptian industry. I am also keen to establish a branch of my own brand abroad”.