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Digital Cover featuring Mathieu Forget

Arabian Moda x Mathieu Forget
Mathieu Forget wears a total look by Berluti.

Mathieu Forget is a French multidisciplinary artist who traverses the diverse landscapes of artistic expression. From dancing and photography, to filmmaking and artistic direction, his versatile skills span various creative mediums.

His adaptability and openness to experimentation has gained him the title of the flying man. An ambassador for luxury brands and esteemed events, Mathieu is the talent of choice for the Paris 2024 Olympics. 

We spoke to Mathieu about his artistic style and his ability to connect with diverse audiences through unique and groundbreaking works. 

Fashion Editor & Stylist: Victor Concepto
Photographer & Filmmaker: Yang Wang
Hair & Makeup Artist: Maude Gobet
Location: Hotel The Peninsula Paris

AM: Mathieu, please introduce us to yourself
I am a movement artist. I would describe myself as a dancer, photographer and an artistic director who specializes in motion and levitation arts. Today, my work has been spread throughout social media and exhibitions, with some of my videos hitting millions of views worldwide. This earned me the nickname of the flying man, or the man who plays with limitations. I was born in Paris and I grew up between Switzerland and France. I’ve always been an artistic kid who loved the circus and practicing sports.

AM: You mentioned that you are a self-taught dancer, how did it all start?
I discovered hip hop dance when I was 16 years-old through watching music videos of Usher, Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake. At first, I would copy what I see on TV, replicating the same moves and learning how to do backflips and complex movements. Almost 20 years down the line, I developed my own style and started make a living out of it.

Arabian Moda x Mathieu Forget
Total look, Hugo Boss. 

AM: You’ve spent many years in the United States, tell us more about your experience there…
I lived 10 years in the US. Back then I was playing tennis which granted me a scholarship in Santa Barbara, California where I practiced the sport for four years. Tennis paid for my tuition fees in artistic studies like costume design and theater. I took lessons in acting, music and more. Later on, I had a job as an artistic director for a ping pong social club called spin. It really helped me in familiarizing myself with all the production aspects, the visuals and the hospitality industry. On the other side, as I was going to auditions, I discovered social media where I started sharing my content and creations that I had in my mind. After six years of constant creations and testing different forms, one of my TikTok videos blew up and from there on I established a large community. Overall, the US represents a stage in my life that forced me to get out of my comfort zone.

AM: You are also a photographer, what brought you to this field?
It’s quite linked to my dancing career. When you are a dancer, you're dependent on the director, so I started using photography and filmmaking as a way to promote myself and to create my own little platform. Then social media appeared so all my work was being published there. Photography came to me because I had a lot of photographer friends and I discovered that it was a lot easier to take photos of myself. The visual aspect of the domain is something that I've always liked. What I love about photography is that you're able to capture a movement, make it magical and be limitless, like when you're able to stop a movement in midair.

Arabian Moda x Mathieu Forget
Total look, agnès b.

AM: As an ambassador for several brands, how do you choose your projects?
I’ve always believed that the image is more important than money and by watching other artists I look up to, I learned that I have to choose wisely. Also having a background in the business aspect of the industry has also helped me in selecting the right brands that tell a story similar to mine. Luxury brands are aspirational and convey values and experiences that I like to tell through my work. I like to find beauty in the world that surrounds me, and that's what I try to highlight within my work; the beauty of an architecture, the beauty of an outfit, the beauty of an athlete and so on. I like to bring beauty through art and that’s why I have established an affinity with luxury brands.

AM: You are working closely with the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games…
The project with the Olympic Games started when I moved back to Paris three years ago. At the time I wanted to go back to the US but started gaining a lot of media and press around my work here. I was contacted by the organizers, and as a former athlete who played tennis at a really high level, it made sense for me to be involved. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I'm currently an ambassador for the event. My first mission was to highlight the locations that are going to host the Olympics. And from there on I started reaching out to athletes for collaborations, to take photos and videos with them as well. I am trying to blend my arts with their sport. 

Arabian Moda x Mathieu Forget
Total look, agnès b.

AM: What is your proudest career achievement?
I think that every project marks a little victory of its own. As a dancer, I got to perform with Taylor Swift on the stage of the VMAs. Dancing at the French Open Roland-Garros is also a highlight. I did my first exhibition last summer. I am quite proud of this accomplishment that commemorated all the visual work that I have done for almost a decade and showcased the evolution of my multi-faceted work.

AM: What are you working on next?
I am working towards the Olympics in Paris. My dream is to dance during the opening ceremony. I'm going to be exhibiting my photos and videos around different cities in France, hopefully internationally as well. We're also going to come out with a book which is about all my collaborations with athletes. And then many artistic projects are in the works here and there.

Arabian Moda x Mathieu Forget
Total look, Berluti.

AM: Finally, do you consider working on projects in the Middle East?
Yes, I've worked with Cartier in Dubai. Overall, the Middle East is a region that I am attracted to and I am very interested in doing more things over there. I would love to start exploring that part of the world once the Olympics are over. I feel like Asia and the Middle East are the next two destinations where I want to experiment my creativity.