PHOTOGRAPHY: MIGUEL RASCO
STYLING: MUSTAFA AL HAMMAD
30 DECEMBER, 2021
Sam Temraz is a Palestinian-Canadian artist who grew up between Montreal and Dubai. Both cultures fostered his unique love for art, fashion and luxury. As a kid Sam says he drew a lot: sometimes clothes, sometimes abstract art. In college, he pursued film and fashion photography, which made him realize later on that he wanted to create the objects for others to capture. In 2020, Sam launched “Fuji Loft”, a concept brand that allowed him to create within all the spaces he grew up in. The brand according to Sam is his "True, unfiltered form of expression.”
When did you decide to start your own fashion brand?
The concept of Fuji Loft before it even was "Fuji Loft” began around 2019. I had moved to London temporarily to shoot street photography, fashion and the skate scene as a personal project. The idea to make my mark in those realms grew from there.
Did you come from a creative background, or was starting a fashion brand more of a business venture?
I was always creative. I don’t remember a time where I wasn’t learning how to draw, making YouTube videos, taking pictures, writing music. I always had the urge to build something out of nothing. I’d like to thank my mom for seeing that in me at a young age and pushing me to do so.
What do you think are important things to consider when getting into the fashion brand game?
Do something different or take something that works and change it up in your own vision. A lot has been tried and tested and a lot has been done and overdone. Find your sweet spot, there’s an audience out there for everyone.
What obstacles have you faced whilst creating FUJILOFT and how have you overcome them?
"How do I even do this?”, was my first and a lot of people's initial obstacle. Will I be able to create concepts and designs that have an impact and how do I translate an idea or drawing into a tangible object? “If others can do it, then there’s no reason I can't” is a line I always remember when I feel stuck with an issue. People have been here before and moved forward.
What has been the most exciting part about building FUJILOFT?
Receiving messages from all over the world. Interacting with people that don’t even know me. Receiving positive feedback on something that really I just wanted to make for myself at the start. I think that drives me like nothing else.
What important and useful lessons have you learnt along the way?
Be true to yourself. Create something meaningful, In a world polluted with products and advertisement people can see right through it.
What are your thoughts on the street culture scene in Dubai at the moment?
It’s growing. I’ve seen how quick too. I always tell myself I can’t wait to see this place in another 10 years. There isn’t noise loud enough being made about Dubai’s street culture, but you can tell there’s some people trying to change that and that’s pretty sweet.
You usually hangout at FRAME, what makes you frequent our place?
Funny story, and he might not remember this but I first met Peter at the old Kinokuniya bookstore back in 2016 and he was in the midst of conceptualizing what was soon to become FRAME. I started coming there from the moment it opened up and loved the ambiance. I’d sit there for hours editing film photos and hanging out with the staff. I always feel welcomed as an individual, not just as a customer.
What brands are your favorite here?
FRAME carrying a lot of Japanese brands has always attracted me. Notably "Neighborhood" and I think the first piece I bought at the store was an “Undercover” Tee. Watching more brands like “Braindead", "ERL" and Even "DIME" is amazing seeing as Montreal is my hometown.