If you have picked up French menswear magazine over the past decade, you have surely seen Azza Yousif’s eye at work. The French-Sudanese creative consultant and stylist started her career working for designer Andre Walker before pivoting to fashion styling. After 10 years as a fashion editor at Vogue Hommes, she became Fashion Director of GQ France. Yousif also collaborates with a spectrum of brands and talents (see: the array of stunning red carpet looks worn by multiple award-winning director, Alice Diop). Based between Paris and Athens, she is currently the Fashion Director of the recently relaunched CITY Magazine.
What creates an emotional response for you in fashion today?
The right balance in storytelling. I love it when a designer has a clothing concept that they break down and communicate through all means. That the music, location, casting and lighting complement and enhance the designer’s sartorial vision. A beautiful show with no sartorial vision rings very hollow, while a strong collection that is poorly presented will not be fairly appreciated.
Often we see several designers arriving at a similar idea during a season. How do you explain this creative intuition?
That would be Carl Jung’s collective unconscious at work. Although fashion is not an art, per se, many of the people working in it are artists. They all pick up on a frequency the masses can’t hear (yet), thanks to their heightened sensitivity.
How do you feel about designers expressing or interpreting their worldviews in their collections?
I believe in freedom of speech. I appreciate when it’s been thought out far enough to consider when their self-expression can be offensive to others – so as to not offend another gender, race, culture, religion. I also appreciate when it’s genuine.
How would you like to see fashion evolving this year?
Eco-responsible dramatic fashion to fit these eco-anxious dramatic times we live in