Ilias Mettioui

Ilias Mettioui is an art director and graphic designer who has built up a many-sided body of work, travelling among separate havens devoted to on-target pop-culture analysis: Antwerp, Paris, and London. Mettioui’s 2-in-1 practice has caught the attention of popular pace-setters such as BY FAR, Meyy, Virón, Lorette Colé Duprat, Stof Store, d’Heygere, Rombaut, and Marc Jacobs.

Amidst the golden age of crazed teen star controversies and sadistic tabloids, Ilias Mettioui was among the true grassroots of online fandoms—a stan avant la lettre, Spears-heading all the scandals with a certain protective momentum. Though embroiled in a subtweeting network of back-shaving has-beens, Ilias reclaimed his two-faced allegations aliased as tweezak (read: “two-bag” in Dutch), proving to be a true branding prodigy early on.

Following this cascade of Tumblr fan pages and restaurant jobs—after realising that “a piece of bread” is always a gluttonous temptation for tranquility, and gastronomy is the permanent “Beast” that calls wisdom from the third circle—The Real Housewives of Limbo star decided it was time for the Art to be directed, and so arose the prime and persistent peak of fake gay jobs.

Ilias, at first, did what every severe creative can only dream of: unpaid internships. But those confines to Antwerp soon proved too small to accommodate his larger-than-life vigour. To that end, Ilias Mettioui did as only a sensible Belgian would do: he moved to the city of love (which is, of course, equally the city of hate), started working there à la Emily, and so fuelled his spectacularism as he took it upon himself to free Paris from its moral bankruptcy. Two years and three (3) goodbye drinks later, Ilias brexited Paris and by that point was picked up by Farfetch to become an integral part of London’s upper echelons, where he, in no time, managed to adapt his executive status to its fiercely British mise-en-scène.

Mettioui succeeds in art direction because he, just like a conductor, understands orchestral responsibility—eat your heart out Lydia Tàr! His digital media is steadfastly tailored to the client, backed by testimonials proclaiming “the best BY FAR ad so far?” (thanks Mark!). Frankly, Ilias works with cosmopolitan verve, yet at all times Mark-ed by titillating-car-commercial sensationalism. He makes work not for the fashion victim, but for the fashionably victimised. Faced, for example, with the bespectacled panic of Ashley Tisdale buying 400 books for the sole reason of filling her bookshelves (she wanted the space to appear fully furnished ahead of her Architectural Digest house tour), the unibrowed visionary boldly counter-quips “¿Dónde está la biblioteca?” and booklets knowledge accordingly.

Long story short, Ilias has fun. He simply gets typography, he freaks out on silhouettes, he obsesses over the inframince, and he knows a thing or two about supposed “strategy” with his brainy reference party of Luxuries and Stunts. His sophisticated pulp fixation is propaganda to live with delusions of grandeur (made obvious in the writing of this biography itself). In reference to this divinity, Ilias Mettioui recently admitted to the most controversial thing he has ever done: being the very embodiment of the “making PicsArt collages of disillusioned starlets” trope careering in “graphic design territory”.

Stan Van Rompaey is a NY Times Best-Selling Author.