Interview with Naeem Khan, New York Fashion Week Spring ’16 Show

This story is a part of ABC News and Fashion Week Online’s partnership for NYFW FW16.

Naeem Khan NYFW Fall / Winter 2016

Image by ABC News

ABC News and Fashion Week Online were privileged to go backstage for a very special Naeem Khan show this season. ABC reporter Charli James interviewed Naeem — as well our Editor-in-Chief Chris Collie — about the collection, as well as his creation for the beautiful Trinity Moran, living her dream of being a runway model thanks to Make a Wish and Glam4Good.

Interview by Charli James for ABC News

Q: I’m Charli James, you’re watching ABC News Digital and I’m here behind the scenes with Naeem Khan. He is a well-celebrated women’s wear and bridal designer. We’re backstage right before his show here at New York Fashion Week. So first off, tell us a little bit about the inspiration for this beautiful collection. I’m sensing a lot of royalty; a lot of metallics and reds.

It’s the New York reality. So having grown up in New York, I spent most of my life in New York being involved with Halston; a lot of the grand dames of New York that I’ve come across.

If you look at New York architecture — which is predominantly a lot of Art Deco — which I love. So if you look at all the buildings or the ornate work, we did a study on that, and I love that.

If you look at New York architecture, it’s a lot of Art Deco, which I love.

So it’s New York City, the beautiful life of New York in the ’30s and ’40s. Architecture, Art Deco, lots of gold, all the metals. You know, all that kind of stuff.

It’s the beautiful life of New York in the ’30s and ’40s.

Q: Do you have any favorite pieces? I’ve seen a couple of jumpsuits also here. It seems that jumpsuits are just one of those pieces that just continues to be cool no matter what.

It’s so great because I started doing jumpsuits about 4 or 5 seasons ago. And I thought it might last for like maybe a couple of seasons. But every time I’m out I see lots of people buying jumpsuits and wearing jumpsuits. So we continue the tradition of jumpsuits. A little different: different embroidering, different colors, different cuts.

I see lots of people buying jumpsuits and wearing jumpsuits.

Q: And you designed for the red carpet — as we are in awards season — and just this season for the Critics’ Choice Awards, and for the Grammys …

Yes, you know my collection is predominantly red carpet because I love that kind of look, and I made a name in that world.

So to me ,I can do it with my eyes closed, you know. So it’s almost like a chore, this collection, because that’s my next thing that I want to do: in a couple of years I want a show or two in Paris. So I’m just practicing right now.

In a couple of years I want a show or two in Paris.

Q: Can you explain for our viewers who might not know the differences and similarities between designing for an actress or designing for the runway?

For the runway or the actresses, it’s the same actually, there is no difference.

Because when you’re designing for the red carpet of course it’s a lot of glamour, it’s different techniques, how much skin you show that’s important. And it’s a dress that makes a statement. It makes you feel like a million dollars when you arrive. I mean you’re on the top of the world. So you’re designing clothes that make you feel like you’re on the top of the world.

It’s a dress that makes you feel like a million dollars when you arrive.

Q: And finally I want to ask you about a very special guest, a model that you have walking today. You collaborated with the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Oh my God, Make-A-Wish Foundation and Glam4Good are two causes that are so close for my heart because it’s like our job — you know, fashion is great but we also influence children, people, women, we empower women.

Fashion is great, but we also empower women.

So when Mary Alice [Stephenson] came to me with the idea: that she has this beautiful girl Trinity who wants to be part of the fashion show. I said, like, there is no two ways about it. So she’s going to be walking the runway with me tonight, and I created a dress for her.

Q: It’s a beautiful dress, too. We’ll be taking you over to speak with her hopefully soon: a beautiful little red dress that also kind of matches the collection, as well.

I wanted to make her happy, I think red would make her happy. So that’s why I designed a red dress for her.

Q: Thank you so much for seeing you at ABC News Digital.

Thank you.


Learn more

Make-A-Wish: Make-A-Wish
Glam4Good: Glam4Good
ABC News: ABC News
With love,


(Transcription by Fiona Luvell for FWO.)