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When people talk about sex they usually whisper. But Ninamounah shouts it out louder than loud without having to make a single sound. Her collection does it for her and it is not doing it quietly. The debut collection, titled Mother Nature is a Slut, is going to activate your salivary glands, make your cheeks flush and your lips become moist. Her collection is an ode to the pure animal. Human in its most honest form. 

Ninamounah, a young, barefaced Amsterdam-based fashion designer raised her flag on the catwalk of the Rietveld Fashion show 2017, Lichting Amsterdam Fashion Week 2017 and was nominated for the Frans Molenaar award 2017. Her name is easy to remember and her collection is difficult to forget. Recently she has made a collection movie with Lara Verheijden and Mark Stadman and will be showing her new collection at London Fashionweek 2018.
Ninamounah, please, give me a bold answer to this one: who are you?
I feel like a full-grown man inside a girl’s body. I am very misplaced in society. You either hate me or love me. It’s hard for me to get outside my studio. I don’t like the idea of people seeing me as a human. I rather live through my work, I cannot communicate with this human shell. My body is not a representation of myself. But I wish to see myself as a biologist that uses fashion as a medium. My work is always a research, a conversation. My worst nightmare is that people find it ‘pretty’. Being pretty is the most boring thing I can think of.
What is your fashion story? How did you get into it?
It was a very natural step for me to communicate my concepts because fashion has a hundred different kinds of disciplines and it can extend in many ways. I also love to gamble, the speed and the aggression. This lured me in.
You are freshly graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. What kind of moment are you having? How does the ‘out-of-institution life’ feel like? Finally breathing or choking because of all the air of freedom?
I am an angry child if people push me to do something I don’t like. I seriously start screaming and crying, I have a lot of anger inside. I know exactly what I want and what I don’t want. I have never wanted to please other people but myself. I have always known what I wanted, and Gerrit Rietveld Academy trusted me, but directed me when needed. My teachers are still directing me when I ask them to. I love to reflect, discuss or fight with them but only when I indicate this. The umbilical cord is freshly cut but I can get breastfed when I am hungry.
As a kid/teen, how did you imagine yourself in your twenties? Does this image/idea match your current space and time situation?
As a kid, I was a shapeshifter, from human boy to human girl. I also loved being a boy horse or a girl dragon. Now I feel like I am everything.
Who or what is your muse?
I have a big group of amazing artists and animals around me that completely hypnotize me, like Michelle Janssen, who took these pictures. She has this crazy sex drive around her; you can almost smell it. When we are working together I often don’t look at my work, which she is capturing, but at her way of moving around it. The naked cats we were shooting even felt it in the studio. They acted very strangely around her. I think Michelle is a cat in heat.
Or for example Jean Paul Paula, you cannot look at him without seeing him naked. The clothing on his body looks like shedding skin. His body needs more space, it needs to grow.
And for example my pet Axolotl: he is a water salamander but if water disappeared or there were too many predators, he would drop off his external gills and would live on land. I think this is magnificent, being so adaptable to your surroundings.

“My work is always a research, a conversation. My worst nightmare is that people find it ‘pretty’. Being pretty is the most boring thing I can think of.”
Your collection has a very strong title: Mother Nature is a Slut. What’s the meaning behind it?
I see my collection as visuals of my thesis. I think the layers of culture are heavy on our animal instincts, the first oppress the latter. There is no space for our animalistic needs. We forget that we are monkeys walking on two legs to follow our genitals. Deep down, every action is led by my instinct that wants sex. We are animals wearing a dress of culture.
You worked with a lot of different animal sourced materials. Are they fake? Are they real?
My grandmother is from Jakarta (Indonesia). She protected a herd of cows there from predators. The wrapped snakeskin skirt was made out of a huge python she had to shoot when she (the snake) was crushing a calf – the bullet hole is still in there. When the village was cooking the meat my grandmother decided to skin the snake. It has been in our family for almost fifty years now.
You have quite some nice butts walking the shows for you. Who are the people you work with? How do you choose your models and how important is this choice to you?
They are people with whom I have extreme sexual tension. They are my best friends, lovers or exactly the opposites. This means everything to me. Working with this tension is a huge experiment. They come at least three days a week to my studio. Often unannounced, they need to see the process and discuss the work with me. They won’t represent anything that they don’t believe in. I see them as hungry wolfs. It was so unnatural to see them at fashion week. I got scared. Backstage they are restless, hungry and getting ready for the hunt. There was so much sexual aggression on the catwalk.
What satisfies you the most about your collection? Is it the creative process, sewing and producing it, the moment you see it on the catwalk, or the backstage after party?
This whole process cannot be without the other. But the moment when the work lives and walks is a huge relief, it’s an imploding orgasm. But when these five seconds are over I wish we could hide everything in a closet and go on with the next project. I hate to see work stretching too long. It loses its power.
What results am I going to get if I Google your name ten years from now?
That I raped Trump.

Words
Nikola Cemanova
Photography
Michelle Janssen
Models
Lauren Raaijmakers, Karina Zharmukhambetova (Touche models), Patrick Cramer, Christiaan de Donder, Milou Wansink, Max Bauhaus, Huub Kooijman, Julia Kiryaniva, Martien van Ouwelant
Jewellery collaboration
Ninamounah x Zoe Nina
Hair and make up
JOYCE CLERKX (Angelique Hoorn)
Hair and make up assistant
JODIE GESKUS (Colourfool Agency)

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