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Creativity is more than just a skill you list on your resume; it’s a way of life. I’ve brought my creative thinking and problem-solving skills to every job I’ve had, and every project I’ve worked on. Over 10+ years, I have accumulated all kinds of skill and knowledge in garment construction and sewing. I perform freelance alterations for custom requests that I receive, and I construct garments from start to finish to build and enhance my portfolio for the future. I have my collection, “Potpourri” which was featured in the CSUN TRENDS 38th Annual Fashion Show and won 2nd place. I also have experience working as an intern for Aneros Design Studio where I assisted the lead designer in product development, including pattern making, draping, grading, and full construction of costumes for film and tv. At UNIQLO I worked as an Alteration’s Specialist where I performed alterations on customers’ pants upon their request. My creative thinking, leadership, and skills in garment construction, were critical to my success in all my previous positions. Overall my record as an innovator includes garment construction, sewing by machine and hand, including single-stitch, overlock, blind stitch, etc., pattern making, draping and tailoring, computer-aided design – Gerber, adobe illustrator, photoshop, as well as an overall knowledge of the apparel industry from my studies at CSUN.
Our readers would love to get to know you more Ani. Tell us about yourself, what is unique about you?
My name is Ani, I am 23 years-old, and I am a fashion designer. Most people tell me I remind them of a cartoon character. A fashionable nerd would be another way to put it. Standing at 5'1", I'm small, funny, and incredibly sarcastic. I love making people laugh, it sparks excitement within me, and this is where my explosive character comes in with large gestures, exaggerated facial expressions and goofy sense of humour.
Ani, what are your passion and aspiration in life? How did you start as a Designer?
My passion and aspirations in life are all about inspiring people. I love the feeling of knowing that me, 1 out of the billions of people on this planet, inspired someone or a group of people through my designs and creations, or even just my personality. It makes me feel connected to people. My designs are aimed at making people feel beautiful and glamorous. I specialize in women's wear and focus on flattering the figure as much as possible while adding details that sparkle and turn heads. That being said, I studied fashion design at California State University, Northridge, where I graduated with my Bachelor of Science. From there, I've been working on expanding and growing my name as a fashion designer to one day join the ranks of some of the world's best designers and artists.
Who is your inspiration in life Ani? How do you keep inspired?
My inspiration stems from many different things. Family, friends, other fashion designers, musicians, etc. Some of the fashion designers that inspire me the most are Ralph & Russo, Elie Saab, Dolce & Gabbana, Kate Spade, etc. I love seeing beading and embroidery on pieces. When a piece looks like it's exploding in detail, I only wanna look at it even more and examine all the work and creativity that was poured into it. I also love working with floral prints, 3-D flowers, or even handmade, beaded, and embroidered flowers. It adds the perfect feminine touch to a piece, regardless of the genre of clothing it falls into.
We all make mistakes Ani; we wish we could take back. Please tell us about time being a Designer, you wish you’d handled a situation differently with a colleague.
I had an instance with a colleague once who tried to make me second guess my work and get a reaction out of me. Let me tell you, it worked. I got super upset, and this colleague succeeded and walked away satisfied while I was left feeling aggravated and hurt. I later realized, after a lot of thinking and practice with controlling my thoughts and emotions, that not everyone deserves a reaction from me. I should have smiled and let this colleague pour out their lack of self-confidence, instead of taking it upon myself and letting their words infect my creative space. I came up with a very simple equation to help me with this: "If it's not going to be important in 5 years, it's not worth a second of thinking over."
Ani , when you’re working with a large number of clients, it’s tricky to deliver excellent service to them all. As a Designer, how do you go about prioritizing your clients’ needs?
Something that has always helped me prioritize my work load and client needs has been making lists and placing everything in order from most urgent to least urgent. This helps me go down my list and cross off each task as I finish and move on to the next one. This also helps me plan my schedule and balance my everyday life with my work life. I recommend keeping a notebook or planner to anyone that needs a bit of help prioritizing and balancing their tasks; It has helped me a lot.
Please tell us Ani, about a time you had to be very strategic to meet all your top priorities as a Designer?
While I was getting my line "Potpourri" ready to be featured in the TRENDS 38th Annual Fashion Show at CSUN, I had to put my organization skills together, refer to my lists, and multi-task to the best of my abilities. I had to conduct a fitting with one of my models who was almost impossible to get ahold of, and I was running out of time and falling behind the track, so I had to improvise and find other methods to fit the dress according to her measurements while finishing up other pieces all the same time. It was rough, but thankfully I got it done by moving some things around and re-prioritizing.
Ani, please give us an example of a time when you were able to successfully persuade someone to see things your way at work.
I was once in charge of ordering fabric for an employer I worked for, and they normally ordered fabric from the same vendor who they trusted every time. In the process of researching to find the fabric they wanted, I came upon another trustworthy source who was more affordable and quicker with completing the order and having it ready for us. So I brought this to the attention of my managers, and although it wasn't their trusted source that they usually did business with, I explained to them that this could be a great addition to their vendor's list in the future which could benefit them in case of emergencies and also save them money. They took my advice into consideration and submitted an order with the new vendor.
Ani, please tell us about your proudest professional accomplishment as a Designer. There might be many, but there is always this proudest moment that you just want to share with everyone. What is it and why?
My proudest professional accomplishment so far would be winning the 2nd place in the TRENDS 38th Annual Fashion Show at CSUN. My very first collection "Potpourri" placed 2nd amongst the top three winners, and I was extremely thrilled to have left such a positive impact on the judges and shown them something to remember while they were judging and picking the top three winners. I remember during the preparation for the fashion show, I kept telling myself that "I'm going to win, I refuse to not place in the top three." I put my mind to it, and that is exactly what I did, and I was so proud of myself.
Ani, please give us an example of a time you were able to be creative with your work. What was exciting or difficult about it?
I was able to get creative with my work when I had to make my first Avante grade piece for my collection. It took some thinking, brainstorming, researching, and gathering inspiration from different sources until I finally decided exactly what I wanted to make. I chose to make a dome-shaped cage skirt covered in 3-D flowers that trickled down from the waist. It was a bit of challenge to start it off and begin making it, but once I started, I created my methods and techniques to put the piece together. It felt so fulfilling because the final product was so unique and beautiful.
What advice would you give to the people who want to be successful as a Designer?
The advise I would give to aspiring designers, is to be as original as possible. Even if your ideas and designs are out of the norm or do not blend with current trends, it's okay, stay true to your ideas and do not conform to anybody else's thoughts and opinions. Constructive criticism is always a good thing, but from personal experience, do not ever feel discouraged. In the fashion industry you will come across a lot of criticism, but only let that criticism inspire you to be better than you were yesterday.
Are you looking for collaboration with fashion talents, brands and creatives? If yes, please state what type of collaboration you are looking for?
I am always looking to collaborate with great minds and creative souls that have a mutual desire to do the same. I would love to collaborate with magazines, such as Model Citizen Magazine, and others for editorial shoots or even Magazine covers and ads. I would also look forward to collaborating with fashion and beauty bloggers and celebrity stylists so we can promote one another and grow in the fashion world.
Photographers: @ace_style @avoug