As a child, Sanaz Shirazi used to make clothing for Barbie dolls. Today, she designs clothing for human beings. After researching the market, she and her sister Tanaz decided to focus on fur, and together they founded Sanaz Shirazi Collection, which sells Sanaz’s fur designs. Many of the items in the collection were inspired by a coat Sanaz’s mother had in the ’70s, which gives the items a vintage feel. The styles have also been influenced by Sanaz’s cultural upbringing in Iran, India, Norway, and Britain. The gilets (vests), jackets, and hats are made from sheep and rabbit fur, and for Sanaz it has been important to use fur from animals whose meat is being used in food production. Together with her sister, she is living out her dream of having her own clothing line. To learn more about Sanaz and her creations, you’ll have to check out this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
Sanaz Shirazi Collection
Designer and Founder
Los Angeles, California
BA in Business and International Marketing
Central school of speech and drama, London
Marie Claire Magazine, London
Leo Burnett Advertising, Oslo
Mila Ltd , London
Sales Representative and agent
About the company
My sister Tanaz and I founded the company. We always had a dream, a vision to design our own clothing line. After research within the market and with love and passion for using leather and fur, we started Sanaz Shirazi Collection. The cut and the style are from our mother’s coat from the 70s. We wanted to design fur that could be used all year around, with a vintage feeling to each garment.
I was born in Tehran, Iran. My childhood was spent between Iran and India, and later my teenage years in Norway and England. The traveling with my parents through my childhood and experiencing different cultures has been very important and influential towards my work. My mother’s sense of style and my father’s love of Persian art and music have also affected my designing.
I have a B.A. in international marketing and business from Norway and England, which helps in my designing and promoting of our line. My sister Tanaz has a B.A. in Business Administration and works with the development of the brand with focus on production and marketing.
My work experience has been from fashion, advertising and marketing both from London and Oslo in Norway.
What are your day-to-day responsibilities?
- Contacting shops and new customers.
- Designing and developing the styles.
- Lots of paper work.
- Being in touch with our sales rep in Norway.
- Keep the magazines and the press updated with our news.
- Shipping and distribution.
Most notable milestones
Television interview with VOA, Voice of America in Persian from Washington DC.
Our first magazine cover.
What’s the niche?
Working with something as classic and traditional as fur being as young as we are.
The cut, quality and styles of our line.
The mix of the Middle Eastern and European cultures that we use in our work.
We design gilets, jackets and hats using sheep or rabbit fur. The styles are traditional; they represent us, our history. We don’t follow trends but make and design the things that we would like to wear. We are influenced by our Persian culture and our upbringing which makes the designs much more unique.
One important issue for us has always been to use fur where the meat will be used in food production. By doing great research and visiting the manufacturers, we make sure that the animals are not injured just because of their fur. The sheep fur is also offered organically and was ethically made.
A very important issue is that we never use fur of animals that are being eliminated.
The most time consuming part was finding reliable factories for leather and fur production. We did several exhibitions and followed by selling to different clothing and interior boutiques.
Our designs are quite affordable compared to other labels in the market. And at the same time quality is very important to us.
We have a close relationship with our customers, by meeting them personally and collaborating with them when it comes to size, colors etc.
We make the best and coolest styles with the best quality and originality.
What’s in store for the future?
Collaboration with The Connaught Square Squirrel Hunt ball in London this coming October.
Sales at www.fozaza.com
In the future we will be selling to ski resorts and to boutiques in Moscow.
We are doing interviews with fashion magazines, and online sites internationally
Our website: www.sanazshirazi.com
Also, we are holding meetings with several buyers of clothing shops in Los Angeles. We are also presenting our line for stylists and publicists for several talents in the movie industry. Other meetings are with sales reps for our West coast sales, and planning trade shows for New York and Las Vegas for Winter 2008.
At the moment we are collaborating with a LA based denim label called Bread Denim.
We are also working on new styles and planning our next trip for production and handcraft work in Iran.
Best way to keep a competitive edge
Never give up. Learn from other talents. Be brave and modest. Be curious and learn. Development and collaborations with other people is important. Travel for inspiration. Grow and develop.
Guiding principle in life
Don’t get scared by obstacles, follow your heart, don’t give up on your ideas no matter how many nos you will get, work hard, Learn from other people in the industry, be unique and original.
Yardstick of success
Be ambitious but at the same time realistic.
Goal yet to be achieved
Development of a whole mens collection
Best practical advice
Collaborate with other people
Supportive words from a family member or friend on your venture
Never give up and follow your heart. Do whatever makes you happy and never do anything just because of the money. Don’t ever think that you are not good enough.
What motivates you?
To contribute something unique to the world, keeping people cool and fashionable.
Like best about what you do?
Creativity, traveling, being my own boss, meeting with customers and making something unique for them.
Like least about what you do?
Administrative work, accounting.
Most memorable business experience
The first time the sample was finished.
At age 10, what did you want to be when you grew up?
What was your first job?
Making Barbie clothing as a child.
Biggest pastime outside of work
Traveling for inspiration and work.
Leader in business most interested in meeting and why?
Bernard Arnault. Because I have so much respect for self-made people.
Three characteristics that describe you
- Down to earth and laid back
Three greatest passions
“Rebecca” by Daphne du Maurier
Who would you like to be contacted by?
Everything from interns, and people who have questions about our work, from web designers, to investors. Shops, sales reps, media, other designers and talents that we could do collaboration with.
|October 8th, 2007, 22:40:58||permalink|
Good work. Keep it up!