Interview of La Cambre Student Benjamin Monein

Interview of La Cambre Student Benjamin Monein


Interview by Margot Thibaut

When and how you decided that you wanted to be a designer?

My intentions have always been focus on design. I started with studies of applied arts. During this period, it were graphic design and materials experimentations i enjoyed the most so i went in textile design and then from surface to volume, i arrived to fashion design.

It was your dream job?

It wasn’t also precise, the specialisation came, slowly but surely, with my training path but it makes sense now to create clothes and everything that gravitates around it.

Which is the first thing you designed and for who (yourself,a friend…)?

The first thing I sewed was a pocket for my Ipod.

Who’s the designer you admire the most and why?

Hedi Slimane was the first one with his silhouette at Dior homme. The discovery of his proportions on boy’s body and androgynous easthetic were the real trigger which attract me to fashion. More recently i like Kostas Murkudis for his relationship to design and art, also with all the Helmut Lang’s minimal legacy in background.

Who’s your muse, your icon, when you create a dress?

It’s usually my models who assume this role. It’s always a long processus to found them, to approach something beyond the physical aspect close to the collection. An atypical personnality trait, an attitude, their stories or a feeling… They have this thing which makes the connection between my designs and reality.

If you had to design an entire collection using just one colour, which is the one you’d pick and why?

Black like representation of a full as well as emptiness. I like play with sensibility of textures, brightness degrees and color’s intensities.

Who’s the first person you show your sketches to?

My sister for her clairvoyant perspective, also because she’s difficult to convince.

The fabric you love the most…silk, lace, velvet and why?

I work with a lot of technical fabric. Vinyl is my favorite one for connotations and the way it takes the light.

If your clothes had a soundtrack, which songs you’d choose?

A cold techno track with a good balance between euphoria/melancholia, sensuality and darkness.

Do you have any trick to avoid that “blank page” moment when you’re at the beginning of the designing of a new collection? Do you watch a movie, flip an old magazine…

I am into a ratio of power at the beginning, so i go deeper and deeper into a list of movies, sounds, images with which i cover my walls added to a collect of eclectic things, everything wich can helped to found substance until the overreaction. From there, it’s easier to appropriate inspirations and to digest throughout the processus the key elements of a collection.

If you weren’t a designer which job in the fashion world you would like to do and why?

Probably photographer or to work in a magazine to have another dialogue with the garments and subjects through images/editing and to stay polyvalent.