Living and breathing fashion from day dot (read: the age he was able to rip down the curtains and transform them into dresses), Aleppo and Sheffield-raised Nabil El-Nayal’s trajectory as a designer was always written in the stars. 

Lauded, most notably by the late Karl Lagerfeld who was one of his first customers, as the designer du jour for his Elizabethan-inspired silhouettes created with 3D printing and machine bonding, Nabil is among a wave of designers pushing the possibilities of technology in design.

As he continues to carve out his unique space at the intersection of juxtapositions: of historical codes of dress and fabrications with industry leading innovation – much like his upbringing of opposites, which saw a clash of Western and Middle Eastern norms – we were keen to delve into his creative psyche.

"My morning route takes me through Hackney and towards Hackney Central where I catch the Overground. I’m not a morning person at all, but a few things get me through: A strong coffee and walking to the station with my boyfriend, Thomas, who cracks me up!

"I’m very into history and it’s usually historical portraits that excite me. Everything I do is filtered through the classic white shirt, so I usually start designing those first. This season, I was drawn to Marie Antoinette and the Chemise a la René in a painting from 1783 by Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun. I’m happiest when in my studio or in the British Library, where I spend a lot of time.

"At the moment, I’m listening to Don’t Tell Me by Madonna, but I might skip to Ray of Light..."

"I do what I do, because designing is all I’ve ever done and I would be lost without a sewing machine, mannequin and fabric."

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