We live in a world run by globalization, fueled by social media and insecurities, cuffed by the idea of people-pleasing and erasing what makes us different. This calls for an emergency. An emergency to save humanity and make creativity rejoice. Well, that’s where Eric Mathieu Ritter’s brand steps in.
It all started with the moment Eric joined a team of barely skilled seamstresses and chose to train them, leaving behind a luxury fashion studio. He thought them everything he knew. This became the beginning of a new special friendship, where the women in return showed him their hometown of Tripoli, its hidden and secret gems, authentic shops and feeling. That’s what determined him to create fashion with personality, made by real people for real people. A celebration of diversity.
Launched in 2018 in Beirut after a coming-to-senses of both urgent and emergent state of fashion and consumerism, EMERGENCY ROOM is a clothing brand with a mind of its own. A brand with a mission to build a community of like-minded open people, who dare to be themselves and content with their uniqueness.
Stemming from the belief that fashion production processes urgently need to change, EMERGENCY ROOM is a sustainable and ethical solution to clothing creation.
Using unique vintage materials and dead-stock fabrics that are locally sourced create one-of-a-kind pieces, providing a conscious and authentic ready-to-wear-line. They are working hard to keep local small communities alive and are dedicated to up-cycling and creating one-of-a-kind pieces.
The brand is lobbying for change in the industry, while inviting skilled artisans from all throughout Lebanon to participate in its poetic meaning. A protest for personality. We invite you to take a peek into Eric’s view with our interview.
WHAT WOULD MAKE YOUR SOUL SING? WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY?
When justice is served and people are treated equally and fairly, even more so when it’s done naturally and not forced.
A CHILDHOOD STORY THAT ANNOUNCED THE CREATIVE PERSON YOU ARE TODAY
To be honest, there are a lot of stories, I used to be a big fan of singing, performing in concerts and such. But I think what really shaped the person I am today are the countless hours I spent drawing in class instead of taking notes on biochemistry… Makes you think of our educational system and how obsolete it is…
BEST CONTEXT EVER FOR INSPIRATION WAS
Going out of my comfort zone, going towards the unknown, choosing to turn a blind eye on the things I was told not to do, meeting new places, new people, discovering we’re not so different, that there’s beauty in celebrating individuality. In 2015, I left my job working for a luxury fashion house and started working in Tripoli, a questionable step for many in my entourage, also the most rewarding step I ever took.
THE PROJECT YOU LOVED MOST
The project I love the most is the one every Lebanese person that descended in the streets on October 17th 2019 has in their heart; that of a better country, of the country we deserve to have.
THE PROJECT OTHERS LOVED MOST
It might possibly be the video we had to make in the wake of the August 8th blast. We were offered the chance to show our work digitally during Milan Fashion Week. With ‘’The Clinic Studios’’, the production house that made the video, we chose to orchestrate a conversation with very different individuals, which all shared how they experienced the year 2020 in Beirut. I think it resonated with a lot of people’s experiences around the world.
THE BEST THING ABOUT LEBANESE CREATIVITY IS
It’s witty, unashamed, straightforward, most definitely humble, raw, and 100% honest.
BEST STATEMENT OF LEBANESE HUMOR
As gloomy as it may sound, I don’t believe we should celebrate Lebanese humor. It’s unfortunate we had to develop such coping mechanisms to face the inhuman struggles brought upon us by our corrupt leading class.
ADVICE FOR INTERNATIONAL HEADHUNTERS, RELATED TO LEBANESE CREATIVES
Do not look through the big media outlets, they do a terrible job when it comes to shedding light on local talents and initiatives that are truly advocating and embracing change. The spotlight is unfortunately shared between a handful of people we’ve been talking about for the past decade(s), somehow corruption runs deep in Lebanon, even in cultural circles.
BEST PLACE IN BEIRUT
We don’t go out anymore… But whenever we get the chance to, I like going to Brazzaville, a hidden gem on the outskirts of Beirut, a bar with the friendliest staff I’ve ever encountered.
BEST PLACE IN LEBANON
Definitely and without a doubt: the souks of Tripoli, they are still infused with so much authenticity, they’re so rich, you can find anything you want there!
MOST DISTURBING CLICHÉ ABOUT LEBANON, IN THE MEDIA OUTLETS OF THE WORLD IS
They say the women here are liberated, but they actually legally still have no rights; they say that it’s a very poor and dangerous country, but it’s rich in many ways and only dangerous because of the government ruling it. There is so much misinformation in the media outlets of the world it will take a lot of effort to address and fix the narrative.
LEBANON SHOULD BE KNOWN FOR
What it is: a country full of people who beautifully rely solely on one another.
YOUR VIEWS ON SPIRITUALITY
It’s overrated, we should all focus so much more on what is concretely happening in our direct surroundings, you elevate yourself when you actively work on bettering yourself, everything and everybody around you.
YOUR VIEWS ON MONEY
It’s paper, it comes and goes, spend it when you have it, offer some if you have too much of it, give it back when it’s not yours.
AN INSPIRATION SOURCE YOU RECOMMEND FOR A YOUNG CREATIVE
Interesting things are not written and are nowhere to be found. Nothing is as inspiring as the stories that are spoken, told by real people, in real contexts, also generally the same people nobody would relate or write about, and who most definitely do not have the time to share anything on social media.
A LEBANON BASED FEMALE TALENT THAT DESERVES TO BE PROMOTED AT INTERNATIONAL LEVEL, AS EXPONENT OF LOCAL CREATIVE SPIRIT
Without a shred of a doubt the photographer Myriam Boulos; for her wonderfully, honestly raw documentation of the Lebanese people.
Photos courtesy of Eric’s personal gallery.
We urge you to check out his shop and get yourself a piece of hard-work fashion design. Wear it with pride. Click here.