The Philippines Magazine-Mehdi Moussaoui


Historically, the Philippine Islands has not been synonymous with international fashion, style or innovation. Widely known for its sprawling white sand beaches, warm-welcoming hospitality, tourism and simple-lifestyle, the Philippines has made a global name for itself.

In recent years, as the Philippine economy has emerged at the top of the index, new millionaires –an billionaires- have been created. The market has quadrupled in economic power and the new-money rich who adore high-fashion, imports, elite escapades and modern style have carved a re-defining niche.

Now, with designers such as Gathercole, Kaye Morales, Garimon and Limon, as well as, countless international beauty pageant wins, the Philippines has become a hot spot for stylists, models, fashion designers, high-end textile houses, on-location shoots and tropical beauty.

Our PH MAG On-Line Publishers are ramping up to launch an all-new Fashion & Style section, so they sat down with one of the world’s most-admired French stylists,

Mehdi Moussaoui.

Mehdi, an expat success story, who along with L’Oréal Professionnel, Sir Chao, Fabrics Nation and Black Diamond Lcp Model Managementis rapidly becoming a trailblazer in the Philippines’ fashion, style and hair industry.

We wanted to get insights on ‘The Future of Fashion in the Philippines’ for our fashion forward fans from an expert in the field. We’ve notice a massive peak in interest for our diverse models, stylists and image studios, as well as, a rapidly growing Rolodex of import talent.

Here’s what Mehdi Moussaoui had to say:

1. What do you look for when choosing models for your magazine cover shoots, spreads and ramp work?

“I am not necessarily looking for a perfect beauty…more of a model who has expression and who has something special in front of the camera or on the ramp. I look for something unique…good height, passion, professionalism and a great walk.”

2. Do you think that the Philippines has a true-couture fashion market?

“Yes! I am 100% sure. To be honest the Philippines is full of amazing artists and designers…some of them are destined to explode internationally. The Philippines is home to some of the best stylists and designers, I am always amazed with the beautiful gowns, outfits and fashions they create.“

3. What do you see as the future for the Philippines Beauty & Fashion Industry?

“The Philippines Beauty & Fashion Industry will continue to grow, As you can see, many of international pageants have been won by Filipinas and Filipinos…the Philippines is now becoming seen as a beauty and fashion country. It is my belief, after a few more years, the Philippines will be a globally recognized fashion and style Mecca…just as Paris, NYC, Milan and London.”

4. What do you think was the catalyst for the ‘New Look’ of Philippine models and editorial spreads?

“For me the catalyst comes from all the media exposure after some designers show in the international and also in the pageant world. What I like here in the Philippines, is that there are lot of models, mixed-blood and the level is very high. I feel that’s soon, many international top models will be from the Philippines.”

5. What advice do you give to aspiring models in the Philippines who desire to take their careers to the next level?

“My advice is to stay humble…please, do not change your attitude when you start to be famous, That is the major problem I can see with talent all over the world. Never forget, it can take a long time to be successful…but it may just last a moment. Ultimately, stay true to yourself, work hard, never accept bad work offers and never forget who you are.”

6. As more and more global models are imported into the Philippines, how can the industry grow?

“Yes…of course. Now, in the Philippines you can find a lot of imported models, because the Asian market is seemingly more into Caucasian faces and skin color. ..but that admiration is fading. The problem is, in Europe more and more Asian models are finding fame as the admiration for ‘ethnic beauty’ grows. Either way, the global market is always changing and we must always have the right models at the right time.”

7. What advice do you have for Philippines-based stylist looking for an international career such as yours?

“I am where I am now due to years of hard work beginning when I was 15-years old. And, I continue to work hard. That is the key to my success. I don’t believe in chance, or luck. All of your present and your future is created by you…the more you work, the more people will recognize you. Never be scared to accept a job offer in another part of the world, all experience will make you stronger and your knowledges will grow at the same time.”

8. Where is your favorite city or urban spot for a photoshoot in the Philippines?

“For me when I organize a photoshoot, first before choosing the location, I consider which photographer I will be working with. Some photographers, are more comfortable in-studio, some prefer outdoor on-location, and in the Philippines we are lucky to have the a huge selection of amazing locations. Even on the street we can capture amazing shots. My personal preference is the building rooftop because of the natural background. Honestly, I have yet to work on-location at the beach.”

9. What do you think will be more popular in the future…the in-studio or on-location photo shoot?

“Though we cannot know for sure yet, we will need to follow the rules of the fashion magazines, but I am confident the outdoor on-location, lifestyle photoshoots will always remain the best option.”

10. Lastly, what insights do you give to other international designers and stylists who are looking to make a name and life for themselves in the Philippines.

“I believe international designers, stylists and artists will flock to the Philippines for work because as I mentioned before, the Philippines will become a Mecca for fashion and style. I am also planning to introduce Arabic art in fashion to Manila…in the near future, the Philippines will be a nice place for creatives to live and to work.”
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