24-year-old Moa ZHANG from Sweden is a citizen of the world 

I was born in China but moved to Sweden with my mother when I was nine. I can’t tell you whether I feel more Chinese or Swedish. Today I live and study in France but tomorrow I may move to another country. I like to adapt and learn about different cultures.

I arrived in Paris only two years ago to join IFA’s bachelor program in the second year. Before, I studied fine arts and design at an art school in Stockholm for one year. 

What were your beginnings in Paris like?

Paris is very different from Stockholm. There are many more people and so many more things happening. I love the city, even though my beginnings here were a bit difficult as I didn’t speak any French. And studying at an international school where the teaching language is English doesn’t speed up your French learning.

So what did you appreciate at IFA?

In fact, its international character was exactly the reason I chose the school. And then also I was interested in the program the school proposes: the studies are oriented practically towards business and management while still developing your artistic creativity. I found the mixture of both really well-balanced and useful for our future careers.

In Sweden, I used to make garments for private costumers. But I was a self-learner. I wanted to learn how to design clothes in a professional way. At IFA I found what I needed.

How was your final collection accepted?

Well, I didn’t expect people to rush to buy my clothes. When I designed my five looks, I was trying to explore my inner personality. So my approach to the collection was very personal and rather artistic – far from ready to wear. I like to explore the texture of textile and how to transform and manipulate it. But I think it’s not that easy to wear.

What are your plans for the nearest future?

During the holidays, I’m doing an internship outside of Paris for Dominique Borg. She’s a successful costume designer who produces costumes for theatre and movies. Among others, she designed costumes for the French film Le pacte des loups with Vincent Cassel. She has also done fabric transformation for big companies like Chanel or Dior. So I will work with them for one and a half month and then I’m going to travel. I’d like to see New York this summer.

And what about your plans after graduating from IFA?

I know that creating one’s own company is a dream for every fashion design student. For me, it’s something I really desire. I’ve been dreaming about it since high school. In which country? I can’t say and I don’t really care. I’ll take whatever life will bring. But sincerely, I really enjoy Japanese fashion, so if it happens in Japan, it will be a dream come true.