Meet Sarah Alahy, former student of MBADMB shanghai, who has a strong appetite for creation and who shares with us her keys to understanding the artistic universe in a business context.
Hello Sarah, can you introduce yourself in a few words?
My name is Sarah, I’m 24 years old and I currently work for Mesdemoiselles Paris. It’s an entry-level luxury ready-to-wear brand and I’m assistant to the art director at the moment. As for my background, at the very beginning I decided to do a degree in applied foreign languages, because for me it was important to be able to speak several languages. I always had an attraction for traveling and different cultures so I wanted to learn Chinese. Thanks to that, I managed to go to Taiwan in my 3rd year, so I stayed there for a year, which was great, and from there, with the courses I took in Taiwan, I decided to redirect myself towards communication and especially digital communication. I hesitated a lot with everything that is advertising and art direction, but in the end by doing digital communication, I was able to find all this creative universe that I always liked. That’s what led me to apply for a job at Mesdemoiselles Paris and more particularly in the art direction.
Can you tell me a little more about your role and Mesdemoiselles Paris?
My mission at Mesdemoiselles Paris is really to make sure that all the images we publish or create correspond to our brand image. We like to say that Mesdemoiselles Paris is a brand that has strong values like authenticity, everything that is artisanal, free spirit and traveler, so I have to make sure that all the images, visuals, photos or videos adhere to this atmosphere. We do a lot of video, so even if it’s just models that are on parade, we have to be able to touch the person who is going to watch them. My objective is to get emotions when we look at what I do.
What is the place of emotions in your daily life and through your artistic work?
I never think with my head, so I mostly use what my heart tells me. I am a hyper intuitive person, if I feel that there is something I want to do, I will do it no matter if I am given arguments against it. I really think and act with emotions, I feel strong emotions all the time, when I listen to a music it brings me a lot of emotion and a picture can bring me a lot of emotion too, I can cry while listening to something. Besides, I am hyper empathic, therefore what makes everything artistic helps me to project myself and to understand the other individualities. In short, I reconcile the two.
Do you think that in art direction it is important to control your emotions?
In artistic direction, I think it’s very important to be empathetic, to be able to feel emotions that are sometimes strong and not necessarily ours. It’s very important to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and at the same time you have to succeed in a difficult exercise, to be able to suppress your own emotions sometimes in order to give the best of yourself in your work.
How did you get this creative spirit? Is it innate or did you develop it?
I would say a bit of both, I have always been attracted to everything artistic in a very broad sense: painting, music, sculpture etc. In fact I like a lot of aesthetics and then I learned to cultivate it. One of the most important moments in my creative development was when a teacher told me that you are not born creative but you become creative. You become a better creative by being inspired by everyday life, culture and life in general, because you have a lot of references that you can use and reuse in your life and experiences.
What are the different stages you can identify in your creative process?
I would say that when I have to create something, I always have to know why I’m doing it and for whom, so that I can have this empathy process and say to myself “OK, so the person is going to see this, why?” After that there is everything that I call hard creation, that is to say everything that is going to be scripted, for example a video or a shoot, I have to understand the direction of the designer, why she made her universe and what led her to make this collection. Then I mix everything together and try to get something nice and harmonious out of it.
Can you introduce me to Mademoiselle Paris and its activities?
Mesdemoiselles Paris is a luxury ready-to-wear brand founded in 2006, so it’s been growing for over 15 years. We have several boutiques, and although we remain a small brand with a lot of potential, we are always trying to do more. We are a small brand well established, with stores in the most beautiful areas of Paris, we are exporting in several countries and we have retailers around the world. It’s a really bohemian chic brand that advocates the values of craftsmanship, of the free woman and at the same time powerful. Finally, we like to say that our collections have a different story, but that we still follow a common thread. We like to say that our collections always come from the 4 corners of the world, whether in the aesthetics or in the production with, for example, alpaca wool from Peru or embroidery made in Italy. Also in the aesthetics with prints from Ghana, colors that recall the ochre quarries in Mexico etc.. The watchword is truly the world told in clothes.
What are your plans for the future?
I have in mind to travel a lot to gather a lot of culture, both popular and general to make me a better creative. I can see myself working in the different corners of the world no matter where to create worlds and aesthetics that correspond to me.