Interview with designer Golnaz Ashtiani

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell readers about yourself? How did you become a designer?
Golnaz Ashtiani: Coming from a creative family, I was always surrounded by art and music.
When I was 14, I moved to the UK where I studied art and design.
In 2007, I graduated from the prestigious London College of Fashion with a Bachelor in Fashion Design and Technology specializing in Womenswear.
After working for designers including Amanda Wakeley and Jasmine Di Milo, I made my return back to Toronto. In 2010, after gaining a great deal of experience in designing and learning the business side of fashion, I decided to work for myself and I started my label ASHTIANI.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us how the label was created? How did it start?
Golnaz Ashtiani: I launched my label ’ASHTIANI’last year after being awarded the TFI Best New Labels competition for my Autumn/Winter 2011 collection.
After five months of hard work and several judging sessions, I was thrilled to land in first place.
We officially showed our spring summer 2011 at Toronto fashion week last season.
We will be showing our Autumn/Winter 2012-13 collection during World Mastercard™ Fashion Week. This will be our 3rd season in a row presenting our designs and we are very excited to reveal our latest collection called “Ethereal”.
I’m fortunate to have a great team working with me who help me during the hectic lead-up to fashion week.

Sarah Velasco: Was this something you always wanted? How or when did you decide you wanted to become a designer?
Golnaz Ashtiani: I think I always new my passion was in the arts. A combination of being fortunate having  such a supportive family  and living in London where you are inspired by simply walking on the busy streets, allowed me to expand my creativity in fashion.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us about the label? What target audience do you aim for?
Golnaz Ashtiani: Ashtiani is a contemporary womenswear brand, synonymous with modernism and precision cutting. Structured silhouettes combined with soft draping techniques make the collections suitable for the fashion-forward woman who still wants to remain classic and elegant.

Sarah Velasco: What types of pieces will we see in the latest collection?
Golnaz Ashtiani: Our signature structured pieces in new and unexpected fabrics. 

Sarah Velasco: Who or what is your inspiration? What was your vision for the latest collection?
Golnaz Ashtiani: My main muse for this season is a Moscow-based artist called OLEG DOU who has a unique style of combining reality and idealism by digitally manipulated images. Other inspiration lay in European history and surrealism.

Sarah Velasco: Have there been any major changes in your designs since you started? What has remained the same? What has changed?
Golnaz Ashtiani: The brand has always focused on a consistent image of quality and elegance while being unpredictable and innovative with the design and the choice of color and fabrications.

Sarah Velasco: Can you tell us what trends you think readers should anticipate for the summer?
Golnaz Ashtiani: Lots of soft pastel colors and sorbet tones, fluid silhouettes and peplum dress are the must-have trends for this summer.

Sarah Velasco: Any key pieces for the spring /summer you can suggest from Ashtiani?
Golnaz Ashtiani: For a smart-casual look, our wide collar white shirt with fitted trouser and a soft leather waistband. The structured shoulder dress with pleats and peplum in contrasting colors will be a great cocktail dress for special occasions and in warmer weather.

Sarah Velasco: What should readers anticipate for the next collection?
Golnaz Ashtiani:  A fresh winter color palette, lots of structured shapes with interesting textures and fabrics.

Sarah Velasco: Any current or future projects you can let readers know about?
Golnaz Ashtiani: We are working on our Spring/Summer 2013 and also we have been asked to be part of the White Cashmere design contest.

Sarah Velasco: Where can readers purchase items?
Golnaz Ashtiani: Our main stockist is Wolf and Badger a great independent boutique in Notting Hill, London where we have our complete spring summer collection available.
We also accept special orders through our website www.ashtiani.co.uk
We are launching our official online shop March 14th; just in time for the Fashion Week!