The Elizabeth Azadi Fall 2010 Collection

When did you know you wanted to be in the fashion industry?
I’ve always had a fascination with fashion even at the age of 3 in Iran when my mother use to dress my sister and I in coordinating outfits and we would wear our stylishly wide brim wicker hats and prance around the house in them. I think fashion has always been genetically coded into my DNA, but it wasn't until I moved to NY in 2007 that I realized that fashion has always been my
calling but unfortunately in the past I wasn’t listening.

How long have you been in the industry?
I started going to school for fashion design in 2008 and since my graduation 8 months ago, i’ve been working on my own clothing label.

What is your role in the industry?
I’m a fashion designer climbing my way to the top.

What does fashion mean to you?
Fashion to me means “FREEDOM”. The freedom that liberates us as individuals. Fashion unfortunately is not a right in some countries around the world including my home country of Iran. The government has wrongfully stripped the freedom of fashion away from its people. Women are prohibited from practicing their “God” given rights. I believe that all individuals on this planet should have the right to the freedom of fashion because it’s our skin for the rest of the world to see.

What is your inspiration?
“LIFE” As a designer I’m inspired by so many things around me everyday, from the simple
peaceful things like the colorful flowers that bloom in spring to the complex and horrific signs of war and destruction that we’re reminded of on a daily basis by watching the news. As a designer my designs are a direct reflection of my mood and how I perceive life at that moment.

Is there a theme or message in your clothing?
The message that I send with my designs are that of power & self confidence. Fashion is such a powerful tool in the way it makes a person feel. It’s like the cover of a book, no matter how you like’s the means for which the world judges you at first glance. I look to the woman that’s
strong-minded, independent, powerful and self confident for inspiration and that is the message that is sewn into my clothes.

What makes your clothing/accessories unique?
My designs come from passion. They’re not just another article of depressed clothing barely hanging on a hanger hidden away in your closet for dust to collect. They’re full of life and passion and you get that feeling when you wear “Azadi”.

Your target demographic?
My target demographic is any woman that not only feels confident on the inside but wants that to resinate on the outside. My designs have a youthful classic edge to them. I have pieces that girls in their 20’s would feel young and vibrant in as well as pieces that a woman in her 50’s could
feel sexy and classy in.

Where can readers buy your clothing?
Currently my website is under construction but will be “shopping” ready by August 2010

What are the materials you work with?
I don’t necessarily like to limit myself to certain colors and patterns when I'm designing, but I do follow trend forecasting sights that help guide me with what women feel is fashionable today. As a designer I feel that you have to move with the times and not be bound to the past.

What is your favorite piece/item you have ever done?
A pair of black crinkled chiffon ruffled pants. They look so festive and full of life. When you try them on you just want to samba into the night.

What is the quote that best defines you in the business or personally.
“Fashion is a powerful tool...always use it wisely”

What is your favorite fashion season?
Fall is my favorite fashion season because of the convenience of being able to wear a light organza blouse with a high waisted heavy wool pants. It’s like getting your cake and eating it too.

How do you feel the recession has affected the fashion industry, if it has at all?
I definitely feel that the recession has driven many to be a little more thrifty when it comes to clothes shopping. People are making due with what they have or they prefer to spend money on clothes that are more versatile. That effects the fashion industry greatly because as designers we now have to do more market research and careful picking and choosing of fabrics, colors and silhouettes. We have to clearly listen to what our consumers want to wear and better tailor their needs with what we produce. It has forced designers to carefully read between the lines.

What trend could you do without this year/season?
I could ALWAYS do without men’s cropped pants. Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think men should ever have to feel the need to compete with women on the “who has better legs” department . I prefer my men wearing full length trousers.

What trend do you love this year/season?
I love the animal print trend as long as its done in a tasteful manner. This would exclude animal print leotards with black patent heels. Somethings just need to remain on hollywood boulevard.

Most loved designer/brand?
I absolutely love Chloe & Stella McCartney. Their use of colors and silhouettes are divine. Here are two design houses that listen to women and are out to make women look & feel strong and elegant.

What is your most beloved fashion item (accessory, shoes, clothing)?
A cropped black leather jacket that I wear with absolutely everything.

Being a (insert country/origin) designer, do you feel American and (country/ origin) fashion tend to differ, and so how much? How you would you define your city's fashion?
Being a Persian-American designer I feel that currently there is a vast amount of difference between the fashion in Iran vs. the fashion in the United States. Under the current government, the Islamic Republic Regime of Iran women are stripped of their rights to fashion. They have to cover their heads with a scarf and be fully clothed from head to toe. The showing of skin is strictly prohibited. If women do not obey these strict laws they could be brutally punished and thrown in prison. What people don’t realize today is that prior to the overthrow of Mohammad-Reza Shah Pahlavi in 1979, the country and people were free to dress as they chose. Women would walk the streets of Tehran wearing the latest fashions from Europe and all around the world. Women had the right to wear their skirts as short or long as they pleased. Their hair & make-up worn to perfection and elegance and opulence oozed from women’s every angle. You would see women laying out on the beach with revealing bikini set ups or dancing in a cabaret with a skirt so short you couldn’t take your eyes off her legs for one second. Women’s sexuality and self confidence was a source of their power and Reza Shah supported women in their quest for strength and independence. Unfortunately, times have changed and not for the better. As a Persian-American I feel blessed and am grateful to have the right to wear what I want in the United States and hope that someday very soon the people of my beloved country of Iran will have the same freedoms as they did pre-Islamic revolution.

What is the most memorable/favorite moment in your fashion career/history?
The day I decided to take my life into my own hands and follow my dreams in hopes of becoming a successful world renowned designer. Coming from a persian background and culture it is common that children are influenced at a young age by their parents to achieve great wealth and happiness in their lives by following reputable careers such as Medicine, Law, Engineering, etc. It becomes a great source of achievement for parents to say”my daughter/ son is the head of the neurosurgeon department of so-&-so hospital. Though that career is definitely a stressful but rewarding career, we are not all created to live a picture-perfect lifestyle. After high-school I was pushed towards a lifestyle that better suited the needs of others in my family and not mine. After years of studying, getting my degree and racking up some hefty loans and living a life that felt empty and meaningless I decided that enough was enough and that I will do what I was put on this earth to do...make women feel strong, self confident and sexy through the power of fashion. The moral of the long drawn-out story is, “follow your heart and not your will lead you to happiness through priceless adventures


EDITOR'S NOTE: Elizabeth Azadi will be one of SJFW's Fashion Writers at the Acadmy of Art New York Fashion Week S/S 2011


Designer / Images Elizabeth Azadi

Fashion Writer Elizabeth Azadi

Fashion Editor Stevn De Lozada



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