Friday, 8 May 2015

FASHFEST Special: Q&A with Hana

When I was asked to interview Iranian born designer Neda Alemohammad of Hana Apparel Design, I was extremely excited.

I was so interested in asking her so many questions about her culture and her design aesthetic. Arriving in Australia from Iran in early 2014 Neda took her culture and fused it with ours, culminating in modern cuts with a Persian edge. Find out what her dream is for Iranian women and how important ethical fashion is to her label. 

See Hana Apparel Design when her collection hits the runway at FASHFEST on Day 2

You arrived in Australia in early 2014, was it a big culture shock for you?

I think probably yes and I still think culture shock is happening to me in different aspects of my life here.

Westerners do not always have the correct assumption if the Middle East, what do you want people to know about your culture that they might not know?

Unfortunately a lot of bad things have happened recently in the Middle East.  However, this region of the world has some of the oldest cultures, which makes it fascinating. For example, in my previous collection, called ‘Wear a piece of art’, I tried to highlight that Persian poetry, which plays a big role in our culture, is all about love and peace. Each garment told a story and I attached a note to each garment explaining the symbols and scripts hand-painted into each piece.

How important is your Persian background in terms of your design aesthetic?

It has a big impact still, especially since it’s only a year ago that I lived in Iran. I came here in early 2014.

How do you feel showing your first major collection at an event like FASHFEST?

In Iran there are no fashion parades, never mind one of this scale and quality, so taking part in FASHFEST is a dream fulfilment for me.

How important is ethical fashion to you and your label?

It is very important and that is what I love about Australiait is a country where ethics matter. I don't want my customers to wear clothes that are made by exploiting other people.

You named your FASHFEST collection "Immigration". What was your inspiration?

It is my cross-cultural journey. It shows the beauty and splendour of both the Iranian and Australian cultures. It celebrates the cultures of those who arrive here and how they mix with the richness of Australian culture and this country’s nature and landscape.

Lastly, what's your dream for Iranian women?

I hope Iranian women will gain their rights as human beings (they are very brave and are trying hard).

Photographer : Eric Piris; Red Photography
Location of shoot : National Museum of Australia

Model : Katie van den Bos

Hair : Ashley Cirovski

Makeup : Ashley Cirovski