Conversation with ALEEM ARIF

Let’s talk to Aleem Arif, creator behind the fashion label Bano eeMee. Aleem Arif left his career as a stock trader in New York to pursue fashion, and thus Bano eeMee was born.

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

I am self-taught. I used to be a stock broker prior to switching my career to fashion design.

 

Is there someone in the fashion industry who inspires you?

Alexander McQueen’s life story and how much work he put into building his brand. People who work hard always inspire me J

 

What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?

I love fashion and being creative hence I chose fashion design as my medium of creative expression. I am very grateful to be able to pursue my dream job each day because it doesn’t feel like work at all.

 

How did you come to start your own line?

I wanted to be creative, work for myself and make a difference. Bano eeMee allows me to do all this and more. I get my creative fix by designing amazing leathers for Bano eeMee. I make my own schedule and I try to create fair work opportunities in the third world through the creation and manufacturing of my designs. We started by employing three people. Now Bano eeMee employs sixty artisans in South Asia.

 

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

The design aesthetic hasn’t changed much however now when I design I pay a lot more attention to little details. Versatility is also very important to me. I want my designs to not only be visually appealing but also fit conscious, comfortable and functional.

 

How would you describe your brand?

Bano eeMee is a Canadian luxury leather label that prides itself on creating timeless designs and using sustainable and ethical practices in realization of its designs.

 

How is your work received internationally?

We have only recently started marketing outside Canada and are very humbled by the love we have received thus far.

 

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

Architecture. You can see it in my design lines and in the structure of Bano eeMee leather jackets.

 

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Being kind and genuinely nice goes a long way.

 

 Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?

Work hard and love all

 

Where do you go for inspiration?

No particular place J inspiration is all around us. I love people watching, traveling and architecture and these heavily influence my designs.

 

Do you design your own clothes, or you have go to label?

My personal wardrobe is quite small. I focus on buying pieces that are comfortable, well made and that I can wear lots. My style is not label/ brand driven.

 

If you were a superhero, what kind of powers would you have?

I would be Captain Planet with all his powers.

 

In your opinion, which super villains needs fashion advice?

Green Goblin’s style could use some sprucing up


If you were to date super hero, who would you date and why?

Dating a super hero would be too much work so I think I’ll pass J

 

What advice do you have for other aspiring fashion designers?

Work hard, be open to critique and aim high


Anything we should be keeping our eyes open for in the future?

Lots is in the pipeline would love for you to connect and follow my fashion adventures through Instagram: @Bano_eeMee or Snapchat: Bano_eeMee

 

 

 

Conversation with Lennard Taylor

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

Self taught but study everyday.

Is there someone in the fashion industry who inspires you?

Rick Owens, Yoshi Yamamoto and of course Alexander McQueen

What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?

When I started sewing, the designs started flowing out of me.

How did you come to start your own line?

Starting making tshirts with a friend and it wasn’t enough, I wanted to make more interested thought evoking pieces

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

My work has evolved to suit my customers, their needs and wants.  I want to cater to my clientele.

How would you describe your brand?

Timeless, clean and POCKETS!

How is your work received internationally?

My work has been received very well overseas in Asia, once I get more exposure over there I know it will take off

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

I am fascinated by oversize cshapeless clothing, I like to create pieces that are timeless and can drift from season to season.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Take a deposit and get a book keeper

Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?

Life is this moment, right now, its all we truly have.  Don’t worry about tomorrow or the past for right now is all we truly have.  Be findful and thankful for all we have.  Rules are to make people smile and stay positive in any circumstance.

Where do you go for inspiration?

The sketch pad.

Do you design your own clothes, or you have go to label?

I design and construct the garments, I feel good designers know how to sew the pieces in their collections.

If you were a superhero, what kind of powers would you have?

If I was a superhero I would love to fly!

In your opinion, which super villains needs fashion advice?

Yikes hard question, I would say superman, his costume is pretty sweet but his clark kent needs some help


If you were to date super hero, who would you date and why?

Not real, Wonderwoman.  Real person Scarlett Johansson playing black widow in IRON man 2.  I’ve always had a crush on her and her hubby for that matter.

What advice do you have for other aspiring fashion designers?

Sew until your sick and then keep sewing.  Also unless you’re prepared to starve pick a different industry, fashion is an art form.

Anything we should be keeping our eyes open for in the future?

When I live paint at one of my next shows!  I’ll live paint on the models (with smile)

Conversation with VANDAL

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

Studied fashion design at Toronto’s Seneca College – Fashion Arts

Is there someone in the fashion industry who inspires you?

Two Japanese designers, Yohji Yamamoto and Nigo (founder of street-wear giant A Bathing Ape)

What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?

I have always taken fashion as a genuine interest – and when I learned how to create it, it took the passion to a new level.

How did you come to start your own line?

I wanted to create fashion under an alias, so a separate brand detached from my own name seemed appropriate. The goal is to create a whole new identity for the fashion itself, I did not want to have any association with it.

How has your work evolved since you began your own label?

With each collection, the fashion becomes more refined, inherits better construction and fit (as each season teaches me something new). Aesthetically, styling has become more sophisticated and mature but I constantly try to maintain a sense of playfulness.

How would you describe your brand?

VANDAL illustrates a hybrid of street-aesthetics and classic tailoring. An outerwear specialist, the label draws influence from multiple disciplines of fashion; fabricating statement pieces with a premise that is unmistakably fun-to-wear and exciting. Conceived in 2014, VANDAL serves as an alter-ego; a medium in which unorthodox styling, pattern design and colors can be relentlessly experimented upon - creations that communicate a sense cool and boldness.

How is your work received internationally?

Equally enthusiastic overseas; fashion is a universal language and when you inject excitement into your clothing, the reaction is always positive.

What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?

Soft, pastel colors, and photography. These things will be very apparent in the SS/17 Collection.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?

Always be time – sensitive to the “fashion calendar”, always create a timeline and plan and stick to it at all costs.

Are you superstitious or do you have any rules you live by?

Not superstitious. The only rule is that anything the label creates, must be top-notch.

Where do you go for inspiration?

Impossible to pinpoint any specific area(s) – inspiration is organic and comes from any and everywhere.

Do you design your own clothes, or you have go to label?

I design everything, including pattern making and fit assessments.

If you were a superhero, what kind of powers would you have?

Spider-man, with Tony Stark’s bank account.

In your opinion, which super villains needs fashion advice?

Pretty much all of them, whoever thought leotards and spandex jumpsuits were good a good idea?!

If you were to date super hero, who would you date and why?

Psylocke from X-men, because her outfit and sex appeal.

What advice do you have for other aspiring fashion designers?

Be willing and prepared to make compromises from your personal life / time – fashion design is extremely demanding.

Anything we should be keeping our eyes open for in the future?

Spring Summer 17 Collection @ Toronto Fashion Week, and hopefully one of the finalists at Mercedes Benz Start up!