Interview with Naeem Khan
Naeem Khan knows what his international bride wants to wear on her big day.
Naeem Khan offered up a different look for each woman in the audience, whether it be a playful plunging jumpsuit or a more classic one-shoulder, fully beaded number.
We sat down with the designer moments before the show to discuss his vision.
Q: What was the inspiration for this collection?
The main inspiration was the women of the world. My ready-to-wear collection sells across the world, and I have been designing for so many brides from the Middle East to Japan to Korea to here in America.
So who are these women? Why not make individual pieces that are so important that they have a couture feel to it? We want to make clothes that resonate throughout the globe.
We want to make clothes that resonate throughout the globe.
Q: What are your favorite silhouettes and fabrics to play with, and why?
I’m a big fan of embroideries. That is my number one. I like playing with silks and different types of fabrics.
But it all depends; for example, I will use tulle if I want something to drape, but if I want to do something giant it’s always organzas or fabrics that have a lot of body. So it’s hard to say “I only like this,” because at different times I like different things.
So I have standard things I always go back to, and interesting fabrics create a level of newness in my collections.
Q: What did becoming Halston’s apprentice at the age of 20 do for your career and influence, even this collection?
Oh my God, Halston was my ABC.
When you are 20, to hone your skills with Halston was to experience the best of America.
It was not just fashion, it was about how do you live; because fashion has to do with how we live, who you associate yourself with, and who is that woman that’s going to be wearing it?
Halston was my ABC.
You have to understand her lifestyle. To me, all of these women have become friends of mine. I would be at the Louvre for parties or in LA for something else.
So it was through Halston that I learned to entertain, and learned fashion as well. Learning how to understand textiles, learning how to actually let the fabric talk to you; standing back and giving it a breathing, and letting it come back and say “do this to me.”
Q: How excited were your parents when you moved from India to New York City, and you could tell them you were the apprentice of Halston?
That was super exciting for them. They are still super-proud of what all we are doing. And now, of our new journey of giving back to society through what we are doing in Miami*. So it’s a place where the education industry and community meet.
(*Naeem is creating a vocational school of fashion in Miami.)