Where are you from and how did you get into fashion?
“Fashion is about two things: The evolution and the opposite.”- Karl Lagerfeld
As I look back in retrospect, this statement has inadvertently been the guiding principle in regards to my career in fashion to date and most certainly acted as the backdrop to my impassioned journey of self-discovery with respect to my creative vision for fashion.
What made you want to study fashion?
Since I was a child, fashion has always been paramount in my consciousness. My mother who is an extremely tall, elegant, and stylish woman was always swathed in layers of the richest and most fluid gossamer fabrics, adorned with the finest embroideries and intricate hand beading.
Growing up in India and travelling extensively around the country with my family as I child I was exposed to some of the most luxurious materials and surface techniques. In India, the silhouettes are quite conservative as per the requirements of the society, but the surface embellishments are sumptuous and varied. Fashion was inescapable for me, so I decided to pursue it and commit to turning my passion into my profession.
Can you tell us a bit more about your background?
My initial journey in fashion began in 2006 after I enrolled in NIFT (National Institute of Fashion Technology) in Mumbai, India. NIFT gave me a structural foundation with which I was able to organize my scattered creative thoughts. After graduating from NIFT, I began my career as a professional designer with a very well-known design house in India, ‘Ogaan’. That experience helped me understand how the fashion industry really works. It was this environment that taught me how to apply all of my academic knowledge and skills to the commercial market. The next big step in my career was working with the well-known design duo Pankaj and Nidhi, a very reputed Indian label, known for their contemporary and eclectic designs. Heading off their design team for six years was a transformative experience. In order to oversee the brand globally, I was often required to travel to places like Dubai, Singapore, and London which brought me closer to international fashion. I just got my Master’s degree in Fashion Design Technology: Womenswear from London College of Fashion, but still, my soul yearns to reach even further in order to sharpen my skills and move to a higher level when it comes to my craft.
“My design practice entails an enduring interest in artisanal methods that privilege manual skills and handmade products.” – Zaib Ahmed Quazi