Dana Asady is fast becoming one of the boldest brands in the fashion industry. Bringing confident and fierce fashion to women everywhere, the brand is truly for the everyday woman thats ready to grab life by it's horns and look unbelievably stylish whilst doing it. We've sat down with founder Dana to dig a little deeper in the the brand, as we speak about all things from, inspiration to starting the brand to taking on New York fashion week.
Dana Asady, offers women very elegant and iconic pieces. Was this always the plan when you decided to launch the brand?
The brand was born out of a need for high end winter coats to cope with the crucial cold weather in Chicago, i wanted a wool coat that is flattering for my figure,warm yet unique in its design which led me to create a Gustav Klimt inspired coat. Soon enough , women were stopping me in the streets of Chicago asking about the design and how they can get one. Slowly, I started to create more pieces with the same soul of marrying soft fabrics like chiffon with leather,wool with unique embroidery, the next you know aSady was born.
What is the inspiration behind you launching your own brand?
Becoming a fashion designer was not an accident at all, it was a long lived childhood dream that was waiting to be reborn. I always find myself asking the same question, what was the inspiration behind aSady? I believe my mother has a lot to do with my early perception of beauty and fashion, my mother was a working woman who loved to make her own clothes and goes to great lengths for her vision. She was and still till this day my ultimate vision board.
Was it always your plan to name the brand after yourself? What was the reason behind this?
Naming the brand aSady was more about claiming back my identity, my childhood dreams and everything I grew up to know and love, unfortunately I had to abandon my last name at an early age, my country was ruled then by a dictatorship regime, I had to drop and disguise my last name 25 years ago in order to flee Iraq safely with my family.
Before designing your first collection, how much experience did you have in designing fashion garments?
Iraq is a culture of rich traditions , traditions that are not necessarily tied to your social status but instead tied to people’s appreciation for the craft, to see young women flooding the fabric market, measuring, touching , inspecting and haggling to buy the perfect yard for that perfect occasion was and still a common scene. I was no stranger to that environment, I grew up watching my mother and my aunt shop for fabric ,cut patterns, sew in an ad hoc manner, they taught me about textiles,measurements, cutting and sewing at a very young age. Looking back,I still remember the first outfit I made at the age of 11, it didn't look that good but it sure felt amazing to wear.
How did you begin to design what would be your first collection?
I designed my first collection “ Goddesses of The East “ with one main idea,Strong women are Feminin! I wanted the aSady girl to feel beautiful and powerful, but in a way that she gets to define herself. My first collection was meant to elevate the everyday experience, making aSady girl feel invincible in the clothes and accessories--almost like armor, ready to battle any challenges she may face, big or small, with a shield of confidence.
What did you take inspiration from when designing your first collectio
My first collection was inspired by the rich history of the middle east, i tried to tie in my love for Mesopotamian history by incorporating Ur famous lotus flower with my love to the richness of eastern Europe arts of embellishments. However keeping it young and modern was a challenge.
Let's talk about your designing processes, is there anything particular that links the garments? Or are they all individual?
I have a serious fascination with history and era fashion which influences a lot of my looks , but in terms of process i usually start with colour pallet experimentation to decide the colour schemes i like to work with, i move on to research which can vary from reading a book to looking up patterns in different cultures throughout history. The challenge is always in modernising the design concept and cuts to make it fit for modern women.
What would you say is your favourite piece from your first collection?
I would have to say the Czarina red coat with gold Mesopotamia inspired embroidery is my favourite piece, it's very regal,unapologetic and demands attention.
How was it, getting everything ready for your first New York Fashion week?
It was nerve wracking but exciting at the same time as well. I think all designers go through different phases of uncertainty throughout the whole designing and executing process, fitting is the ultimate moment of truth for any designer, at the end of the day, a good design is nothing without a beautiful and confident body to parade it down the runway.
Being your first attendance to a Fashion week as a brand, how was your experience? Would it be something you'd recommend to young brands?
It was exhilarating with intensity, chaotic but satisfying at the same time. I definitely recommend for new brands to indulge and enjoy the full experience of fashion week if they have the chance.
Let's talk about upcoming collections, are you already working on your next collection? Is there anything you can tell us about it?
We are wrapping up the production on our next fall collection.My focus was to create a lot of ready to wear separates combined with signature aSady items that can take any outfit to the next level statement piece. I am super excited and can't wait to show it.
When will it be released?
It should be available to order beginning of july on our website.
For you,where is the future for Dana Asady? Where are you looking to take the brand?
I would love for aSady to bring awareness to traditional art forms that originate from a part of the world that’s largely ignored, or has been painted in a negative light in mainstream media. aSady urges an intimate look at beauty that has existed in the Middle East and Eastern Europe for centuries that is still worthy of appreciation despite years of war and destruction. It’s meant to find beauty in the rubble, and reintroduce an audience to a region of the globe that’s largely misunderstood.
I aspire to redefine femininity and motifs of power. Femininity is not one uniform look. It comes in many shapes, sizes and colours. It can be both smooth and ragged, or traditional or futuristic. Its definition is up to interpretation by both the designer and wearer.
How would you describe Dana Asady in three words?
Unapologetic strong dreamer.
Thank you for your time Dana.
Thank you, it was a pleasure to chat with you.
You can check out the latest and upcoming range from Dana aSady over at www.danaasady.com