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Inspired Pursuits: Designer Hussein Bazaza We asked MENA's creative entrepreneurs about what works and what doesn't in turning a passion into a viable business.

By Aby Sam Thomas

You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Hussein Bazaza
Hussein Bazaza, founder, Hussein Bazaza

MENA's creative entrepreneurs talk on what it's like to turn a passion project into a business venture, and share their insights for pursuing creative ambitions in the MENA region.

Ever since his debut collection came out in 2012, Lebanese fashion designer Hussein Bazaza has been steadily climbing up the popularity charts thanks to his signature style and, of course, the slew of industry awards he has been winning along the way- these include the Elle Style award for Best Upcoming Middle East Designer in 2013 and the Dubai Design and Fashion Council - Style.com/Arabia Fashion Prize in 2015.

"Every collection I ever launch has a fairytale behind it," he says. "My creative process starts by researching a specific topic at first. After the extensive research and data retrieved from the subject, I make up a character to go with the theme of the collection. Later on, after all the pieces of my story are put together, we walk through it step-by-step all the while creating outfits to match the tale." As someone who believes local designers are often wary of being risky, Bazaza is keen on differentiating himself from the crowd- and he certainly seems to be winning on that endeavor.

Designer Hussein Bazaza. Image Source: Hussein Bazaza.
THE Q: What's your advice for creatives who want to break into the fashion industry?

"Those who want to break into fashion need to be confident and fearless enough to do so. First and foremost, they must study and fully understand their target market to be well aware of its needs. They also must have a creatively unique sense of style to have their own character in the fashion scene all the while creating artistic pieces that are sellable. For me, in the beginning, it was rather hard, because it was a confusing time where some would give me so much advice, and others would throw criticism my way, so the challenge was to deal with all of that and choose which comments among them all would be a kind of guideline. The most important lesson I learned was to always believe in myself."

Related: Fashion Focus: Nurturing Entrepreneurship In The MENA Region's Style Sector

Aby Sam Thomas

Entrepreneur Staff

Managing Editor, Entrepreneur Middle East

Aby Sam Thomas is the Editor in Chief of Entrepreneur Middle East. In this role, Aby is responsible for leading the publication on its editorial front, while also working to build the brand and grow its presence across the MENA region through the development and execution of events and other programming, as well as through representation in conferences, media, etc.

Aby has been working in journalism since 2011, prior to which he was an analyst programmer with Accenture, where he worked with J. P. Morgan Chase's investment banking arm at offices in Mumbai, London, and New York. He holds a Master's Degree in Journalism from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York.  

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