"Going green doesn’t start with green acts – it starts with a shift in consciousness. This shift allows you to recognize that with every choice you make, you are voting either for or against the kind of world you wish to see..."
… Ian Somerhalder
I see myself as a Designer with a purpose to fulfill. I speak not only as a Designer, but as a strong Woman with diverse life experiences ranging from extremely difficult to amazingly joyous. I am an Environmentalist, a Global Citizen having lived in many countries, a Mother who wants her children to live in a better world, and a Creator with an aesthetic shaped by my take on the human condition. My 10+ years in the industry has definitely advanced my technical skills, while having opportunities to live and work in different cultures around the world has provided me with an immense amount of knowledge about people.
Art has always been a passion of mine. I was good at drawing from a very young age, but what really brought out the artist in me was a friend in the 7th grade who would draw these amazing pictures of women in beautiful dresses. In her free time, she would talk endlessly about their dresses, fabrics and jewelry to me. I was so taken by it, that soon I started drawing the same, and realized that I had the aesthetic sense to make things beautiful.
Coming from a conservative business class family, career was never an important subject of discussion. I was not really expected to have a career let alone ﬁnd a profession I would be passionate about. Finding this passion about art made me focus during high school and ﬁght to overcome the struggle with low expectations for myself. I worked hard to land a spot at a top institute for Fashion Design, where I was very fortunate to be taught by real artists, architects, and experts coming from a variety of backgrounds. Their goal was not just to groom Fashion Designers, but true Artists with an honest viewpoint on creating.
While looking at my work, my grandfather once asked me, “why do you people always design for models and not real persons?” That struck a chord in me and made me realize the deep need I had to connect my work with people’s lives in a meaningful way. I began to explore many areas in fashion such as gay wear, maternity wear, and design for senior citizens. For my final bachelor’s degree project, I let my grandparents and their friends walk the ramp…an incredibly satisfying moment in my life that I savor to this day.
Further inspired by an exploration of the Bauhaus concept of design while studying women’s body shapes and sizing, I created a range of comfortable garments that fit & accommodated a number of shapes. The garments made use of detachable accessories such as safety pins, strings & hatpins, which reflects a trans-season & global flavor in terms of color, fabric, and silhouette. The design philosophy also led to the elimination of various sizes and control over the production. So, as you can tell, I do not shy away from uncommon paths!
After finishing a double Bachelor’s degree in art and fashion, I was selected by Nottingham Trent University to pursue a Master’s degree in fashion and textiles in 2002. This provided me with an opportunity to strengthen my skills further, and really see myself as a true artist. I realized that while art and aesthetics was something people are born with, proper schooling does provide you with the ability to mold yourself into a better form by expressing your thoughts and ideas through design.
I have had some great opportunities to work in different arenas of the fashion industry since then. From leading big companies and great startup brands, to traveling, exploring, and learning from some of the great artists in the industry, I have gained an immense amount of knowledge from every project and every place. I finally realize that this is my moment to work on something that will matter most.
22|7 is a reminder to live beautifully inside and out. I am surrounded by great Men in my life: both my Father and Husband are really talented, self-made Men, and I am a Mother of two amazing Boys. I sincerely think that 22|7 expresses my design aesthetic, philosophy, and is a legacy to leave for my Boys. I want to let them know that life is full of opportunities, and we should use every experience to make something great out of it. Together we can fight adversity and find the cool, creative, happy side of life in spite of the pain of dealing with extreme hardships. I want my Boys to know not to let our trials and tribulations define us, but have hope and find beauty.
22|7 is not just great design and artwork, it is about the infinite possibilities of joy and love. It is also about the connection between people and nature, which is why we source and recycle excess fabrics from major brands: to encourage making ethical choices.