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Panerai London Design Medal: Hussein Chalayan


The Panerai London Design Medal 2018 was awarded to Hussein Chalayan. The Panerai London Design Medal is awarded to an individual who has distinguished themselves within the industry and demonstrated consistent design excellence.

Hussein Chalayan is a Cyprus born British/Turkish Cypriot fashion designer. Known for his innovative approach to design, beautiful tailoring and an elegant minimalist aesthetic, Chalayan has also worked in film, sculpture and architecture. His work has been exhibited internationally at institutions including Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo and the Design Museum in London.

Read our interview with Hussein below.

You were educated in both Cyprus and London. How do you feel these cities shaped you as a designer?

I was educated mostly in London. We moved to London when I was a year old, travelling back and forth between Nicosia and London, before permanently moving to England in my late teens. Naturally my multicultural upbringing inspired my outlook, and by being in London I have come to appreciate all these different influences in a more lucrative way.

What does London mean to you creatively?

It means that everything is possible, there are no boundaries that constrain your creative output, you can explore and navigate between different design disciplines and cultures easily. You regularly extend your ideas across disciplines.

What’s the difference between your approach to a fashion collection and a museum?

I approach my work through the same world view, but choose different media. The main difference that I see is that in fashion, the designer determines how long an audience see the clothes in a fashion show, and in a museum or gallery setting, the audience decides how long they take to look at a piece of work.

You have described yourself as ‘a weaver of different worlds’. What drives you as an innovative and futuristic designer?

I enjoy looking at different scenarios in the world, trying to understand them and discovering new connections between different facets of life. Influences from modern anthropology, politics, architecture, history, nature, the body, behaviour and technology all create the basis of a new project.

What are you most proud of in your career?

I would say that I am most proud of the longevity (with all its ups and downs) of my career. I also value the loyalty of my team members, the people that I have met and the places I have visited, which would not have happened if it was not for the path I chose.

Supported by Panerai