Two Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Dubai graduates redeployed their university education to pursue their lifelong passion for professional fashion design, breaking away from traditional career paths linked to their business and engineering degrees.
Mechanical engineering student Osama Mootassem and business management major Chrystel Anne Clasicas graduated from RIT Dubai in 2018 and has since created her own unique fashion brands, launching their brands at the height of the global pandemic.
Osama and Chrystel Anne both believe their college experiences helped them get to where they are today. Osama says, “RIT allowed me to explore and this is part of what shaped me as an individual, extracurricular activities taught me skills such as organization, teamwork. and project management which I now use on a daily basis, and now I’m here years later with my own brand of clothing.
For Chrystel Anne, her business background allowed her to understand what it takes to be an entrepreneur. “It was during my entrepreneurship course, where we had to develop a business plan, that the idea of launching a label was born.” After graduating, Chrystel Anne won a scholarship to the College of Fashion and Design in Dubai, where she surprised her peers with the business knowledge she brought from her business degree at RIT.
In 2020, undeterred by the onset of the pandemic, she launched her brand, Chrystel Anne Fashion, which she describes as luxury bespoke, waste-free and body-positive design. Having an immediate impact on the international scene, Chrystel Anne saw 15 of her pieces unveiled at New York Fashion Week in February and will showcase more of her designs at the next edition of the event later this year.
Osama describes his clothing brand, nvr frgttn, as trendy street clothes with a twist. He explains: “My brand is all about inclusiveness and diversity, inspired by my environment which grew up in Abu Dhabi. The short term goal is to provide anyone with a fashion that will make them feel both confident and at ease. My long term goal is to develop my brand into a platform large enough to showcase emerging talent. “