https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kevin-shahroozi-fashion-event-runway-show-in-times-square-tickets-60943741371I had the distinguished honor of interviewing the Men’s and Women’s designer Kevin Shahroozi. We met up at Mist Harlem for drinks and a game of pool, and chatted like a couple of old friends. A real gentleman with Hollywood good looks, and a relaxed and down to earth demeanor as well as highly intelligent.
Kevin specializes in in both men and women’s outerwear and brought a couple of his designs which are made with the highest quality fabrics and textiles, such as lambskin leather, cashmere and high grade wool (only the finest quality will do!)All of Kevin’s designs and pieces are make in NYC. He describes his style as: “Business with an edge” or “High end street style”. “Casual outerwear made with high end fabrics”. And after inspecting and trying on his jackets, I must agree!
(Top City Jacket: Silk & Cashmere with Lambskin leather sleeves)
I asked Kevin why he became a designer:
Kevin: “I became a designer because I felt like fashion chose me. I remember when I was like five or six years old, I was telling my parents what I wanted to wear even though they tried to dress me. When I was like ten years old, I would offer my parents to go to the store just to buy the milk for the house, so that I could go out, and put on my favorite pair of jeans, gel my hair and show my fashion style to the world. I felt like it was something that was always in me. I was always into style. I never really thought that it could be a career, because I had a really strict Asian mother. But thankfully I had some really good mentors in my life, and was finally able to go on my own path, it’s just been a dream to be able to design clothing, and put my style from my heart out there.”
(Concrete Warrior Top Coat: Wool with lambskin leather sleeves and pocket trim)
How do you approach your designs?
Kevin: “My approach is just really everything in my life, and what I’m experiencing in this world. The style I see just walking down the street, just living life in New York City. The architecture, the people I see, the cars, everything I just take in and get inspired by, the magazines that I read, and even just studying the fashion market at the same time, the things that are in me, but also what the other designers are doing, the trends and what’s popular and than just sketching out and putting ideas on paper to finally come to a conclusion.
(Diamond Top Coat: Cashmere with lambskin leather lapels on pocket-flaps)
How would you describe the process of your work?
Kevin: “Just taking the experience in life. The restaurants, cafés and lounges, things in the market and magazines, and take all of these and create a vision board of the ideas I get from these experiences. Things that interest me in life and the market, and then I start putting my ideas on paper, like what do I want the jacket to look like, and then, what fabrics do I want to use? I like to keep it with high quality fabrics, I use lambskin leather, I use cashmere, and sometimes I use silk.”
What was your greatest career moment?
Kevin: “It’s a tough choice, but I think it’s the west village bomber jacket. It’s a black jacket in neoprene. The sleeves are in lambskin leather, and the sleeves are removable, there is a hidden zipper at the top of the sleeves so you can remove the sleeves. I still don’t know to this day how I came up with this idea, I just wanted to make a bomber jacket, I was thinking how can I make this different and it just hid me to put a hidden zipper there so you can turn it into a vest. That became a popular piece, and the cherry on the cake was that Macy’s chose that jacket to show on 34th street for a fashion show. I was so proud of that! It was also unisex.
What was your biggest design challenge?
Kevin: “Having a team of designers with me, or having more time to design. I do have to work on other things in my life to help me continue to fund my company which takes up much of my time. So having more time for research for my designs, or having a designer team I would say is my biggest challenge.”
What constitutes a good design?
Kevin: “Someone designing from their heart, from within them, not just designing to beat the market or the trend, or the competition, that’s why I love some of these big designers like Mark Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Tom Ford. I just love watching interviews of them. Knowing your market, knowing your audience.”
(Yorkville Jacket women’s blazer: Cotton)
Can you tell us more about your design background?
Kevin: “I really had to pay it forward, I had to really get my hands dirty. Well first getting a business degree as an undergrad. My fashion background after that was two years in F.I.T. and than I interned for about two or three years, unpaid too! It was paying my dues, with Marissa Webb, she was the women’s wear director of J Crew. She has her own line right now, it was a few years into her own line that I was interning for her. And a very private designer German Valdivia, he makes beautiful couture custom making for socialites and beautiful women. With those internships I was like cutting fabric, cutting patterns, running to the garment district to pick up fabric and than carry it back to Tribeca. I was counting buttons. I remember at Marissa Webb, some days I would have to count a bag of 500 buttons, I had to count every single one of them. it was like a stock count to make sure their inventory levels was right, I had to count different fabrics. There was moments when she would have me do some sketching and she would review it, it was days when you feel like crap, telling yourself is this worth it? One of my mentors told me when you are in the mist of that you feel like giving up. But you look back on it once your a little bit established, and your like you know those was the best days.
What areas of your work or personal development are you hoping to explore further?
Kevin: “You know what, if you want to be successful as a designer or anything, you have to be a leader, you need to be able to lead a large amount of people successfully. I’m always evolving in my designs, the next thing I really need to work on is being a better leader.”
After the interview Kevin expressed that he really enjoyed the interview, as well as I did.
If you would like high quality custom outerwear you can contact Kevin Shahroozi at (917) 628-1822 or go to his website: www.kevinshahroozi.com you can subscribe to his email list to attend his fashion events. He does fashion runway shows in Manhattan every other month. Tickets are between $10.00-$20.00. They have a panel of speakers for entrepreneurs and creative professionals to gain insight, network, with a full stocked bar, and of course great fashion!
Kevin will be having a fashion runway show event on May 31st in Midtown Manhattan. You can get tickets at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/kevin-shahroozi-fashion-event-runway-show-in-times-square-tickets-60943741371
Kevin Shahroozi Designs