Q & A with Kevin Shahroozi A New York Based Clothing Designer
Asian Fusion was pleased to have an opportunity to interview fashion designer Kevin Shahroozi, who is half Taiwanese and half Persian and based in NYC. Kevin Shahroozi and his colleague Yossi Shetrit are collaborating to innovate the classic trouser into a modern essential. For more information about their fashions, please visit: http://youtube/ klmWREl0XIA
AF: Can you tell me about yourself?
I was born in Queens, NY to a Persian father and Taiwanese mother. Being raised in Flushing, Queens, it led me to connect with the Asian culture strongly. Still, I connected with the American culture as I was in Manhattan for school and work throughout my life. I have a degree in business from Lehman College. After over a year in real estate, I realized my true calling was in fashion, which led me to my training in The Fashion Institute of Technology (F.I.T.). I have also been associated with fashion houses, including Burberry, Zac Posen, Marissa Webb, German Valdivia, and Giorgio Armani. I have worked fashion shows at the Mercedez Benz Fashion Week in New York City.
AF: What inspired you to become a fashion designer? I did not choose fashion. Fashion chose me. It moved me. I have always had a passion for fashion. I remember in kindergarten and being choosy about what I would wear that day, how my style was, and how my appearance was. I also liked to draw a lot as a kid. As I grew up, I actually did not think fashion would be my career. I studied marketing and business administration in college, I thought I was going to end up in a corporate office job. Shortly before graduating, I met a good friend by the name of Andre C. Hatchett — he is an older seasoned entrepreneur. He helped me tap into my passion for fashion. With that encouragement, I have been going full steam ahead.
AF: What was your career path?
My life’s mission is to inspire others through my actions and to develop myself to the most I can. My clothes are for every
day wear; it can be worn to work and worn after work. The quality and materials are similar to other high-end designers, and
it comes at a more affordable price. Most of my designs are classic re-interpretations into a modern style. Sharing my story about how I was able to tap into my passion as my work, forgetting about the fear, breaking the laziness, and willing myself. I want to inspire people to go after what they want, not what they think they can get and not what society thinks they can get.
AF: Who is your favorite designer?
AF: Tell me about your newest collection?
The inspiration and mood were beaches and resorts. Fabrics used were real cotton, real silk, soft Japanese denim, lambskin leather, and more. We had mostly a light color palette: pastels, light blue, light green, army green, light gray, navy blue, white, beige, and more. There were some prints/ patterns: army fatigue, florals, and more. The vision I had for this collection was a cool guy and cool girl in their late 20s or early 30s going on a business trip or vacation. They usually live in the city and are active professionals, always on the go. Now, they are meeting potential business partners and having meetings with them in this resort. At night, or on the days without meetings, they like to relax on the beach, go to a party, or just have a good time.
AF: What makes your clothing different from other designers’?
My brand’s aesthetic is everyday wear of dressy casual. It is mainly about the people living in popular cities. Clothes you can wear throughout your busy life and many of your daily activities. Wear it to work, then wear it to the cafe, then wear it to seeing your spouse or partner. Or wear it to your date tonight. Or wear it to the bar or club tonight. You might stop by the grocery store between all these activities. The leather trouser is dressy enough for pairing with your button-up shirt and heels or with sneakers and a sexy tank. The denim blazer looks great with slacks and a white dress shirt or with jeans and a T-shirt. People these days have very busy and active lives; especially in big cities, they don’t have time to change clothes throughout the day. They want to look good throughout their day. AF: How does living in New York City shape your work?
New York City allows me to get inspiration from so many different things. From the people, the buildings, the mix of classy to street style, this city has a diverse combination of style. Almost anything goes here. I also go traveling a lot and look at everything outside the fashion world for inspiration. I went to some parts of Europe. From Germany, London, and Paris, it gave me a lot of inspiration. I also traveled around Asia, from Taiwan, to Hong Kong, to Macau, and Beijing. I read fashion magazines and media a lot. Last but not least, I look at everything around me – the people in the street, the buildings, the landscape, and more.
AF: What are some challenges you face?
To be positive, giving all of my energy 110%, and staying as hungry as possible everyday. Fashion is geared to the hungriest person who takes the most action to get their brand out there. I worked retail; I still do part time. I did real estate; I did stocks; I would encourage all entrepreneurs to do what they love. Do not follow the money; follow your passion, and everything else will work itself out. Intern, work for different designers and fashion brands. Go to a fashion school. If not, take night classes while you work in fashion. Know that it does not come easy; it will come with a lot sacrifice. It is not even 24/7; it is 25/8. Ego and achieving your goals do not come together. Be humble; do it with a smile; be happy while you work, even if you have to say, “Would you like fries with that?”
AF: What is your next step, and where do you see yourself in five years?
Running my own nationwide- known fashion brand with my clothes being sold in at least five different states or leading a design team in another company’s well known fashion brand.