Moei Al Debis’ passion for fashion comes from his mother. When he was a kid, she used to dress him in new outfits every day in school. He received compliments for the outfits and step by step his interest in clothes and style grew stronger. In secondary school, Moei started a fashion blog and now, a few years later, he works as a model, stylist, designer and influencer.
– Fashion is crazy fun! A really cool outfit makes you confident. Then it depends on my mood, you can kind of tell from my clothes what mood I’m in, he explains.
His career started moving during 2013, with an art contest for secondary school students in the Ale region just outside Gothenburg. Moei’s art teacher thought he should take part in the contest and so he did – and won the whole thing.
– But before that I said that, if this painting wins the contest, I’m going to make a collection of tote bags with the painting. My parents helped me out financially so that I could print the bags, and then my sister and I went around in Nol where we lived, knocked on every door and sold them.
The tote bags with Moei’s artwork on them soon caught people’s attention on social media, famous profiles started carrying them and different actors contacted him about collaborations.
– I think my message was good. Then I think everyone should make their own interpretation of it, but the motif was a face split in two, where one half was me as a child, and the other was the face of a tiger.
Nowadays he works more as a model and influencer as an artist, and has an agency that helps him find and book various commissions. The larger part of his work is done in Stockholm, where there are more specialised PR agencies and showrooms than in Gothenburg, but Moei has no plans on leaving the town where he grew up and feels at home. Here, he works extra in the amusement park Liseberg and can relax a little from the hectic life in the capital packed with photo shoots, events and meetings.
– Here I can take it easy and I feel safe here. Also, things are starting to happen on a wider scale in the fashion industry here now.
"The fashion scene is really starting to pop in Gothenburg"
One commission in his hometown was modelling for the shopping centre Femman in Nordstan.
– That was really special to me. I have always visited that mall when I was little, and it’s my hometown you know? So coming to Gothenburg and seeing myself on a huge poster in this shopping centre, that was amazing.
Acting and living your own brand can be hard; all social media posts as well as contacts with other influencers need careful thought and planning. And on the contrary to what many may think, a large part of the clothes he wears are borrowed or bought for his own money, it does not all come for free. But then again, the virtual world also offers a lot of possibilities.
– I think I have the courage to be me even more in social media than irl, if you see mee I’m a bit “weaker”. It’s easier to be confident on the internet.
Most of Moei’s inspiration though, comes from his offline life – his family, people close to him, someone he sees on the street, fashion weeks and art. He tries not to follow too many people’s accounts on Instagram or other social media, to be able to focus on his own expression.
– It’s easy to end up copying someone else, so I mostly follow my friends and actually don’t read any other blog, he says and laughs.
In the future, the goal is to give inspiration to even more people – ha has plans of an own clothes brand and a career on TV. Working with some really big brands is also tempting.
– Who doesn’t want to model for Gucci, for instance? It might not be that realistic a goal, but you need to be allowed to dream a little.
Moei's Gothenburg highlights
JOS, Le Pain and LE Gbg
Instagram friendly and insanely good food! There is also a salad bar called Beets that opened earlier this year with tasty stuff.
Just chilling in the park with friends and have a cozy picnic.
I love the street Magasinsgatan, it’s nice to hang out there. And there are plenty of good restaurants in that area too.