Interview with IFA fashion students Part 2

Today we will be interviewing another student from IFA in the Bachelors design degree.

Menna Salem is a 21 year old girl who is half Egyptian and half Dutch in her second year in the bachelors field studying fashion design and technology. We have decided to speak to her to know whether or not her cultural difference helps her in her inspirations and her designs.

IFA Fashion Student
Menna working on sketches for her recycling project

1/ Hello Menna, can you briefly explain the major you’re studying here at IFA?

Menna/ Hello, in the program of Fashion design and technology, we focus on various subjects ranging from design to the fashion marketing aspects.


2/ What led you to choose this university and this subject in specific?

Menna/ Well I was gaining a double major in Business administration and media at Webster University in Holland, and it was up until my second year that I realized that it wasn’t in my complete interest to be focusing on business and decided to challenge my creative side and take on a degree in fashion design, especially since I have always fancied drawing and sketching garments.


3/ How do you find the courses at IFA regarding fashion design?

Menna/ I would definitely say I have improved a lot in my years at IFA and still remain to be fascinated at the new information our professors engage us in. Also I very much appreciate how they focus on pushing our creativity to the limits.


4/ What about the workload and time duration given before submission to each project? And do you feel like that affects the overall quality of the work?

Menna/ It can definitely get overwhelming at times. We can have a few submissions on the same date and that can get pretty nerve- racking, especially since our projects have to be finalized perfectly and that requires time and energy. But I would definitely say it’s helpful that they do that since it is a preparation for the future.

IFA Fashion Student
A detailed look at her wicker designed garment

5/ How about the student/ teacher relationship? Do they help students regarding things aside from university work?

Menna/ I would say some teachers (who will remain unnamed) are slightly more involved with the students on a personal level and try their best to help us in any obstacles we might face being on our own in Paris, whereas others keep a more professional relationship with the students and focus on just giving out the course and nothing else.


6/ What inspires you before starting on your projects? Do you take some time to think alone, go for a walk, or just refer to someone’s opinion?

Menna/ I try my best to use my cultural difference in helping me in my inspirations as well as techniques in my work, whether it is to bring something new to my designs or help my work be much more personalized. Just now we are working on a recycling projects in which we must deign a garment made from recycling elements. So after some though I decided to use a common object we have in Egypt which is wicker.


7/ Do you think that it makes a difference between studying fashion design in Paris as opposed to any other place or country?

Menna/ DEFINITLY, I can’t emphasize enough how much it makes a difference. Be it the inspirations you get from the rich streets of Paris or just the different street styles you see that help inspire you in a creative side. Also having many exhibitions being held here and major fashion house are based in Paris this all makes a difference in your future vision on the subject.


8/ Finally what kind of trips does the university involve you in regarding fashion?

Menna/ Well I would say they did do so a lot more in our first year rather our second, it feels as though they focus on involving the first year comers on fashion shows and exhibitions. It is a shame since I believe we could all benefit from them, especially if we were to be accompanied by our professors to help and explain things to us.

IFA Fashion Student
Hard at work

We would like to thank you so much on you honest and beneficial information you filled us in, and we wish you luck on all your future works and endeavours in Paris.

Stay tuned for our third and final interview with another IFA student from the master’s degree this Sunday.


Read part one to find out more about how it is to be a Fashion Design Student at IFA Paris.


Written by Karim Kurdi

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