Farida Ap­parel is the gen­der­less con­cept break­ing down bar­ri­ers, one be­spoke stitch at a time. Schön! speaks to Im­ran Ma­lik, founder and de­signer of the brand.

Schon! - - Fascinating Farida - Words / Pa­trick Clark Pho­tog­ra­phy / Eva Pen­tel Styling / Chelsey Clarke Mod­els / Liam Gard­ner & Emily Jones @ Se­lect Hair / Re­becca Amoroso Make Up / Lucy Gib­son

“Farida stems from my own vi­sion and per­sonal be­liefs when it comes to fash­ion,” Ma­lik tells us. “It should be lim­it­less, with no bound­aries, hence hav­ing a gen­der­less ap­parel line.” With a ca­reer as a mu­sic pub­li­cist, it might seem an un­ortho­dox tran­si­tion to make – go­ing from cre­at­ing a client’s im­age and work­ing on their styling to craft­ing the very gar­ments that the dis­cern­ing few would wear – but for Ma­lik, it was a seam­less and ev­i­dent change to un­der­take. “It’s some­thing I wanted to do for such a long time. I have al­ways had a clear vi­sion as to what I wanted my brand to be, which has a strong syn­ergy with my per­sonal style.”

Bap­tis­ing the brand af­ter his mother (whose name he also car­ries tat­tooed on his arm), pur­vey­ing a fully per­sonal sense of history to the la­bel, Ma­lik founded Farida Ap­parel in late 2014. The fun­da­men­tal prin­ci­ples – that of gen­der free de­sign and un­par­al­leled ex­cel­lence in terms of qual­ity – quickly came to de­fine the Farida core. “Hav­ing a gen­der­less line was one of my first pri­or­i­ties when cu­rat­ing Farida,” he ex­plains. “I be­lieve it echoes a lot of peo­ple’s per­sonal pref­er­ences.”

Tap­ping into a wave of de­con­struc­tive de­signs, Farida Ap­parel seeks to cater for the in­di­vid­ual, ad­min­is­ter­ing agency to the sub­ject, rather than dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing ac­cord­ing to sex. “Fash­ion has be­come more and more ex­per­i­men­tal and free in many ways,” Ma­lik con­firms. “We are not so con­cerned with stick­ing to a cer­tain lane when it comes to con­sum­ing fash­ion. It’s an in­di­vid­ual’s cre­ative ex­pres­sion and what form that takes that is so ex­cit­ing.”

While the­o­rists and the arts have un­de­ni­ably been tak­ing on gen­der con­structs for decades, it seems a fairly novel no­tion for the very cor­po­rate world of gen­dered fash­ion. “If you look at the var­ied in­flu­ences (both cul­tural and so­cial) amongst brands to­day, whether it’s from a vis­ual per­spec­tive on a cam­paign shoot or a deeper rooted mo­tive be­hind their col­lec­tion, it’s ev­i­dent fash­ion is mov­ing for­wards,” Ma­lik muses. “I think a lot of that has to do with the con­sumer, their cre­ative ex­pres­sion and the broad land­scape of con­sump­tion.”

One chal­lenge the de­signer faced was to cater for both male and fe­male body shapes – not so dif­fer­ent in essence, but minute ten­sions have to be taken into ac­count. The process be­gan with close stud­ies of the body: “It’s all about tak­ing time to an­a­lyse the struc­ture of a gar­ment and fig­ur­ing out what works for both forms.” With sleek vol­umes and care­ful cuts that em­brace the lines of the body, Ma­lik seeks to go with in­di­vid­ual cor­po­real struc­tures, so as not to be lim­ited by la­bels. “Play­ing with dif­fer­ent fab­rics and their tex­tures, fully ex­plor­ing the de­sign el­e­ments and gag­ing how they fit both forms is ex­tremely im­por­tant. I am so glad we took the time to get this right and that is why I think we have achieved some­thing truly spe­cial with our AW15 col­lec­tion.”

Capsule 1.0, the AW15 col­lec­tion, works with a com­bi­na­tion of clas­sic and more mod­ern tex­tiles, blend­ing mixed wools and tex­tured cot­ton with con­tem­po­rary tech­ni­cal fab­rics such as neo­prene and meshes. “I would spend hours in dif­fer­ent fab­ric stores all over the world touch­ing dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als, tak­ing away sam­ples and fig­ur­ing out which would be the best one to use,” Ma­lik re­lates. “Qual­ity was ex­tremely im­por­tant to me so the tex­ture of fab­rics had to be the best of the best.” Time was no is­sue as the qual­ity and pat­terns had to be im­mac­u­late.

Finer de­tails and a be­spoke ser­vice com­plete the con­cept of Farida Ap­parel – some­thing that Italy was able to cater for when it came to pro­duc­ing the col­lec­tion. “I spent some time ex­plor­ing op­tions to pro­duce in Lon­don as our pat­terns were cre­ated there, but af­ter a while it made sense to make this hap­pen in Venice,” Ma­lik tells us. “My cre­ative di­rec­tor had worked with a cou­ture seam­stress in the past and when he re­ferred her, it made ab­so­lute sense for her to be a part of Capsule 1.0.” Hand-fin­ished de­tail­ing and ex­quis­ite tex­tiles com­bine to cater for a lifestyle, ex­ceed­ing the bound­aries of a mere com­mod­ity.

Farida is at once a hub for cre­atives and vi­sion­ar­ies, as well as a cul­tural mo­tor: one that drives for change. In line with this, Ma­lik wants Farida Ap­parel to de­velop into “a lifestyle that con­sumers are not only in­vested in, but also cul­tur­ally in­flu­enced by. We want to end up by gain­ing aware­ness and cus­tomers in mul­ti­ple ter­ri­to­ries and work with some fan­tas­tic teams that broaden our reach.”

Capsule 1.0 can be pur­chased at www.farida-ap­parel.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.