Conversation with Aman Dhalay - Javeda Designs
How do you define "fashion" and why do people care about it so much?
Fashion means something different from person to person, but at Javeda fashion to us is a tool from which we can define ourselves, express ourselves. Style is a mechanism through which one reflects their personality and preferences to the world. Fashion is a method of personal expression. People care about fashion because it’s something which is engaged with daily and something which we use to reflect ourselves, our persona, our taste, etc. It is through fashion that one is able to stand out and feel good about themselves.
Why did you decide to become a fashion Designer?
I have always loved good design --whether it was interior design or couture. When it comes to creativity and design I was influenced by both my parents. My mother has always been a fashion diva who serves as an inspiration to me. My father has influenced me with his creations, designs and meticulous attention to detail. I developed a passion for interior design at a young age and later in life I created my own fashion brand and interior design business. To me the two fields are closely linked. Both a beautiful living space and a fine piece of clothing require the same amount of creativity, craftsmanship and attention to detail.
What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer? What inspires you when you are creating your designs?
My favourite part of being a fashion designer is that I am able to creatively express myself and my clients through designs! Inspiration can come from anything and anywhere. But most of my inspiration comes from my Indian cultural heritage infused with the western culture which I was born into. My clothing line is a fusion of this inspiration; however I also focus on a lot of traditional Indian wear.
What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?
The first piece I ever designed was when I was 15 years old. It was a dress that I designed and stitched for my 6 year old cousin. The dress was of a black and white checker print on cotton fabric, with little red bows across the neck line. I remember the excitement when it was completed!
Who are the celebrities (Bollywood and Hollywood) you would love to dress up and why?
Bollywood – I have many favourites but one in particular that I would be honoured to dress up is Sonam Kapoor. She would best carry my designs.
Hollywood – Sarah Jessica Parker. Ever since “Sex and the City” she has been my favourite Hollywood actress. I have always loved her fashion in the show and in real life.
It would be a dream come true to dress both these beautiful ladies up!
What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
As a fashion designer what really matters to me is quality of my work and how I can make someone feel and look beautiful in my designs.
How do you feel you have grown or changed as a designer since you entered the fashion industry in 2009? What have you learnt since you started out?
It’s been 7 years since I launched my brand and as any designer in the beginning it’s always a struggle to get your brand out there. You have to understand your market and people’s desires, and based on that you can move forward. Product knowledge is essential in being able to bring my clients vision to reality, and this learning is continuous. Each year as time passes fashion changes and as a designer I need to stay on top of my game.
I first started designing professionally for family and friends and soon after I developed a well-rounded clientèle. In 2010 I had the opportunity to run a fashion boutique where Javeda was one of the brands that was carried amongst other Bollywood celebrity designers. Having a store front gave me the experience of running a business and understanding the market. I begin taking part in local fashion shows and then was invited to Western Canada Fashion Week in 2011 where I launched Javeda’s first collection “Vibrant”. In 2012 I became part of WedStudio as their South Asian Bridal Gown designer. I have learnt that being a designer and running a business is 2 different things and you need find a balance between both to make a successful brand.
“Aman Dhalay” in one word would be?
“Javeda” in one word would be?
If you were a superhero, what kind of powers would you have?
I think it be fun to have the super power of being able to read minds. I’d like to know what my clients are thinking, their visions, desires, ideas, to be able to truly bring to life what’s in their imagination! But in the meanwhile we here at Javeda go with the traditional chat over some tea or wine.
What’s next for you?
Currently I'm excitedly developing our 2017 collection. In the long term we are working towards participating in the New York fashion week.
Anything we should be keeping our eyes open for the future?
There are always plans with Javeda! But a girl can’t spill all her secrets. Follow us on Facebook at Javeda and Instagram @javedadesigns to keep tuned with the unravelling of our plans!