“I wanted to be a designer since I was 10-year-old, so when I could, I left my country to study fashion and pursue my dream”, says 34-year-old Berlin-based Iranian designer Sepideh Ahadi, who has since made her dream come true by launching her eponymous brand in 2016.
Inspired by the cultural wealth of her home country, Ahadi—who studied in Milan before settling in Berlin—strikes a smart and subtle balance between her varying references. In fact, despite embracing simplicity, it is nonetheless complexity that seems to be at the core of the designer’s conceptual aesthetic.
Ahadi’s designs display a rare ease at mixing and juxtaposing different shapes and prints, while still somehow creating fluid lines. She ingeniously manages to add a poetically romantic edge to her ‘feminine-meets-tomboy’ looks. And her latest collection, which she created with a nomad-inspired twist playing with bohemianism and modernity, is an obvious ode to her love for her people, women and the world.
We caught up with the designer to find out what sisterhood means to her and why her vision is intensely personal.
What are some of the topics you want to explore through your designs?
I often find my topics through reading novels and stories and I mix the ideas with my personal experiences. It’s almost impossible for me to not involve my life and my experiences in my designs. I often avoid making pieces based on an image and instead make my pieces based on concepts and stories. This is why I often don’t even do mood boards. For example my previous collection was about my grandmother who had Alzheimer’s, my only reference was the memories and emotions I kept inside of me.
Why is the idea of personal heritage so fundamental to you?
Iran is one of the oldest cultures and countries. We have so may amazing untold stories and unknown sources. I still dream in Persian and my Iranian roots are very deep; I can’t disconnect myself from this amazing culture.
Do you sometimes feel like you need to challenge misconceptions some people might have about Iranian women and femininity?
Honestly, no, I just do what I feel is right. I really do not feel this duty to change the mind of others or challenge others. I just want to enjoy my work.
Your new collection focuses on sisterhood. Why does it resonate with you so much?
I grew up in a family with three sisters and we did everything together, we had a special connection based on support and care. This energy carried through school and university as I continued to be surrounded by strong and energetic women. Working and interacting with women is easy for me, it’s a nature that I understand intrinsically. I don’t want to separate men and women, but I feel like there is a different kind of comfort and ease with the females around me that always propel me to do better.