Afshin Feiz Collection — Original Photo: Charlene Davies
Iranian fashion designers are a budding breed and a creative force to be reckoned with. Designing visionary, Afshin Feiz leads the pack with his ultra-feminine and crisp designs.
His cuts are flattering and progressive, and his aesthetic is ethereal and richly classic all at the same time. Afshin’s tasteful use of flowing fabrics float down the catwalks of all the fashion capitals across the globe, and yet we still can’t get enough of his art.
Even the most influential fashion-mavens would agree that “Fashion” is probably one of the toughest industries to break into, and sustain oneself in. Outside of the copy-cats and holier-than-thou attitudes, there’s a whole layer of creative chaos in addition to the highly-competitive business crust. Having successfully pushed through these, and other, barriers Afshin Feiz sparkles amongst his peers.
His designs are sophisticated enough that the stylists and wardrobe department of shows like Gossip Girl, should consider taking note and dress Blair and Serena in Afshin Feiz haute couture to give the show’s fashion-followers a new reason to shop!
Enjoy Persianesque.com’s exclusive chit-chat with the best thing that has happened to Iranians in fashion since Behnaz Sarafpour: Afshin Feiz.
Where were you born?
Where did you grow up?
Iran until I was 6, then Switzerland until I was 10, then between England Holland and Spain as my parents were divorced and I was in boarding school so Id split holidays between them. Then I moved to Vancouver Canada when I was 17 and finished high school there before going to university in the States in Portland Oregon. After that I stayed in Vancouver for a few years before moving to Paris.
Where do you currently live?
I am based in London
When did you realize you wanted to get into fashion?
I have always been interested in fashion but was not particularly encouraged to pursue it. I finally knew that this was what I wanted to do after leaving university when I was 21.
How did you enter the world of fashion?
I attended the avant garde fashion school Studio Berçot in Paris and started interning at Thierry Mugler as well as working as a model.
Have your parents been supportive of your decision to become a designer and not a “doktor”?
Not initially but once I had done university they were very happy for me to pursue it and are very proud of what I have achieved today.
Do you design and make all the clothes yourself?
I design everything 100% myself but I do not have time to make the clothes. I have a team of pattern makers etc for that.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
I am very inspired by love, nature and spiritually related themes. My first ever collection for Spring/Summer 2005, named ART AS FLIRTATION AD SURRENDER was inspired by 13th Century Persian Poet Rumi whose references to butterflies and candles were synoymous to lovers and their beloved. The quest for love despite its dangers. My last collection for Spring 2009, SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO LET GO was inspired by Buddha’s Silent Sermon where he finds beauty and meaning in the simplicity of a flower.
What time of day do you feel most creative?
It changes all the time. It really depends on my mood. Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night and start drawing!!
How does a design go from an idea in your head onto a model on the catwalk?
I often make lots of notes and little sketches in my pad or on a piece of paper depending on where I am from whatever comes into my head. Then I sit down and develop these ideas into real designs. i then give the sketches to my pattern maker with instructions of proportions, lengths, fit, anything that will enable her to work accurately. She makes a muslin out of this and I do a fitting on my house model and make any necessary changes. Sometimes this stage gives me new ideas and I adapt the design. Then the pattern is adjusted and we make the piece in the real fabrics.
What’s your favorite Iranian dish?
How has your Iranian heritage influenced your work (if at all)?
Because of my international background I am influenced by many cultures rather than one specific one and so the needs of different women fom different cultures all find their way somehow into my work.
What’s your favorite color?
What’s your favorite fabric to use?
What are your favorite silhouette?
This changes depending on my mood for each season
Do you have a signature cut or style that we should look out for?
I use a lot of curved seaming that make the clothing fit the body in a very flattering way rather than playing on cutting the fabric on the bias as some designers like to do.
Who are your clothes designed for?
Women who are feminine and flirtatious, sexy but not vulgar and most importantly, fashion conscious and literate.
If you could have any model in the world in your clothes for a day, who would you choose?
Who are your favorite designers?
Tom Ford, Stella Macartney, Phoebe Philo, Proenza Schouler and Sonia Rykiel
How does it feel to be the recipient of the “visionary of the year” award?
Very exciting to be recognized.
Do you speak, read and/or write Farsi?
Yes though my reading leaves much to be desired.
Where can one buy your pieces?
London, Riyadh, Dubai, New York, Washington DC, California Tokyo, Moscow to name a few.
What advice do you have for younger Iranian designers out there working hard to make a name for themselves?
It is 95% hard work and 5% glamour so you had better love doing what you do.
Do you make your own clothes as well?
I wish!! I don’t have the time…
Will you ever do a men’s line?
I would love to eventually do a [men’s] line but I have plans to develop accessories for women and maybe a second cheaper women’s line first.
Winter 2009 Collection and a few projects too early to talk about.