Tunisian-Born, Dubai-based fashion and street-style photographer and Creative Director Moez Achour has turned his lens away from the sidewalk’s most stylish in New York, London, Paris and Milan, and shoots for the likes of Chanel, Dior and Kenzo, to focus on spreading social and environmental awareness with a provocative photo series he’s entitled The Real Issue.
These striking images, currently exhibited at Nasab Dubai, explore climate change, pollution, gun control and the refugee crisis through the medium of high-end fashion photography, paired with a satirical take on the situation written in fashion-speak. Grazia meets Moez to find out more about his motivation…
Why did you decide to share these messages in this way?
The Real Issue comes from a need to help and spread a positive message. I always believe in the power of fashion’s aesthetic, so why not catch people’s intention with imagery to raise awareness on importance issues? I played with the words and aesthetic to create a parallel between fashion and reality.
What’s the real issue?
The real issue is any issue related to the health, the safety and our existence as a species. I don’t want be a too dramatic, but unfortunately, the issues are too many to count.
Shine bright like a diamond
This image satirises the catwalk’s penchant for metallics using emergency blankets more commonly seen at scenes of mass trauma and devastation.
How do you reconcile your passion for the environment and the high-fashion world?
It’s hard to reconcile, as today the fashion industry is the second most polluting industry in the world. As a fashion photographer, I love my job, but it’s like raising children – you can love them so much but you should sometimes push to make them better.
Did becoming a father change your views about sustainability and the environment?
100 per cent. I remember one summer I was having great time swimming in the Mediterranean sea and I thought for a second that maybe my daughter will never have the chance to do so if we don’t act rapidly.
The Thirst edit
A statement about ethical manufacturing methods in the fashion industry, this image refers to the 10,000 litres of water needed to make just one pair of jeans.
Have you managed to work and live more sustainably since working on this project?
I do my best to waste less, buy better and stop any single use of plastic, making a special rate for any sustainable brand, making an effort to change habits.
What’s the one thing Grazia readers can do to be more sustainable today?
Talk about it, and stop single use. It takes 66 days to change a habit. I think people are just not aware – the information exists, but in the recesses of the internet. Nobody goes to an NGO website to read about problems, that’s why mass media can be really helpful to spread the message. A lot of people have starting thinking sustainability is trendy and this is a good thing, I wish other trends would follow suit to make the world a better place.
Don’t miss The Real Issue until 20 December 2019 at Nasab Dubai. Also open to non-members. For more information, call +971 4 886 8182 or visit nasabdubai.com/event/therealissue