We had the pleasure of interviewing Alex Fernand, one of the finalists of the 32e Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à Hyeres in France. The festival celebrates independent creative and they unique talents as designers. Alex is a skilled designer who spends his days as part of the Aircrew in the French air force. As media partners of the event, Demur were able to catch up with him to find out more about how it feels to be a finalist of this amazing festival competition.
What does it mean for you to be a finalist of the Festival International de Mode et de Photographie à HYÈRES competition?
First of all it is a great honour to be one the ten finalists. As I am new to the fashion world it is the first and maybe only opportunity to touch the fashion luxury area. Since a young age I was inspired by arts and design, but influenced by my family, I abandoned my dreams to follow a more safe and “practical” path. To be chosen for this festival allows me to finally express my creative mind and spirit after all those years of obeying to imposed military rules. Design allows me to breathe. So the opportunity to show my work in this great festival is a once in a lifetime experience.
Why do you think you were chosen as one of the finalists?
I guess it’s because of my purity as a designer. In both senses: as I have not attended any fashion schools and I have no working experience in this field, I was not influenced by teachers or supervisors. All my ideas are authentic and I have my own ways of creating and manufacturing. Furthermore, the purity of my style. My bags are minimalistic with well-defined details. They manifest in an elegant way.
You are part of the Aircrew in the French Air Force, how does this complement or conflict your designing role?
Of course it’s hard to manage both activities at the same time. I make up time in the evening to draw and produce my bag as I also have my everyday work. There are not many real conflicts between those two worlds, but sometimes they can collide if for example I have got to go to a deployment for a couple of months. I apply my professional skills every time I create a bag: my scientific background is useful when sketching, as I draw very precisely all the details and lines prior to the handcrafting. My precision is paramount for the realisation phase, adjusting each piece, sewing them together. When it’s time to find sponsors the different experiences that I gained in the military give me the rigour and the confidence necessary to convince people.
What are your plans for progressing your brands after this competition?
Of course I’ll keep on designing and creating accessories. I will focus on the marketing of my brand, communication and making my bags produced in France.
Where can we keep up to date with your brand and your work?
Words by Emily Bone