“I’d like to see young Iranians create their own fashion language in the world.”
How did you experience your time at L’Ecole Bleu as an Iranian student studying in Paris? How has that influenced your Iranian identity?
I think, the first thing I noticed when I got at L’Ecole Bleue is that the French are not only a head of the time in terms of design, but that they are also very connected to their history and have a great deal of respect for their heritage. So automatically, this aspect of looking back at your culture and renewing it for its continuity resonated with me- naturally inspiring me to do the same with my Iranian background.
And how is Iran reflected in your work?
This is a very interesting question and I apologise if my answer might come off as cliché. Iran is not just poetic through its poetry, but that poetry is also reflected in its colours, shapes, textures and volume- it is a very poetic country and a very poetic culture in general. This is very inspiring for me as an interior designer and I’m surprised that some of today’s influential interior designers haven’t worked with it as much.
You say poetic in terms of colours, textures and volume…
Take the music hall of the Ali Qapu Palace. There is a dome adorned with woodcarvings of musical instruments, indicating the historical place and function of the space. People used to play music here for its great acoustics and in terms of architecture it is very interesting. This inspired me to make my “Isfahan Bar”. When I presented this to my French friends, they found that the attitude of it was very spiritual and reminded them of church. When Iranians looks at it, it reminds them of the domes and when the French look at it, it reminds them of Christian symbols of ritual place. The woodcarvings are very Iranian, yet this spiritual attitude of it relates to every culture differently, in a personal way.
You designed handbags and clutches. How did that develop?
I started doing that when Maison Araz Fazaeli requested me to make clutches for the Maison’s collections and in doing so Mr. Fazaeli asked me to keep the attitude of an interior designer. Therefore all of them are solid and geometric hard clutches. One is made out of wood and mirror and the latest are made out of plexi. I don’t use leather, at least not in a soft way. You’ll find some leather, but in a low-key structured way, either folded on top of the wood or on top of the plexi-preserving the interior design element.
Baluch clutch for Maison Araz Fazaeli FW 16/17
Your collage series: Alber Elbaz, Karl Lagerfeld and Jeremy Scott in a Persian Qajar setting. That is something you don’t see everyday.
We’ve come to a point where- in every industry- people are bored from the repetition of the same stories and aesthetics. As a creative you must always challenge the things you see, to make new stories. I’m an interior designer, so I like to play with space and with these collages I wanted to take the DNA of each brand and put them in a complete new setting. How would the universe of these influential designers look like, had they lived in the Qajar era?
What would you like the audience to take away from this?
I’d like to inspire Iranian designers with Persian aesthetics and I’d like to see young Iranians create their own fashion language in the world. We have come a long way and if you consider the fact that there are currently no fashion schools in Iran, this is incredibly impressive.
That being said, do you see Iranian designers on the runways of Paris or at the helm of high fashion maison’s like a Saint Laurent in the near future?
Well that possibility has been there already. But now, with the sanctions being lifted and modern Iran being presented to the West by this generation through Social Media, I definitely think the chances of that are very high.
Iranian women have always been stylish, but now this is flourishing more than ever. So much has changed throughout the decades. Is this stereotypical thought? What is your perspective on that?
I remember when I was young and living in Iran, my mother and her friends and all the other women on the streets, they were just as fashionable as they were before the revolution, but it was hidden. Of course they had thirty-something years to be creative with the scarf and the manteaux. The industry is new and evolving, but Iranian women being stylish and fashionable is nothing new.
Your career is very diverse. Interior design, graphic design, fashion, marketing. What’s next for Daniel Mirzapour?
I hope to be able to offer what I’ve learned here outside of Iran, to Iranians in Iran. I hope to one day have the chance to do exciting projects in Iran where I could offer my knowledge to my people and country. I would really love to teach and guide a new generation of Iranian creatives and at the same time I would like to learn new things from them. That would be my ultimate wish.
What would you advise young Iranian designers or anyone interested in design or fashion?
Value your traditions. Respect your background and traditions and allow it to inspire you.
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