Last week was a busy, busy week for us, but also a great one. We went to Stockholm Fashion Week and besides seeing amazing new collections, we got to meet amazing people too. One of them is Naim Josefi, a designer that we like a lot for his work, but also for his point of view on life.
Here is our little talk with him:
Tell our readers a bit about yourself.
I am a young designer on the Swedish fashion scene. I am working on different collaborations right now, and just trying to survive in the fashion world. I got a bachelor degree at Beckman’s College of Fashion in 2011. Now I am trying to collaborate with different brands, not just from fashion, but I also work with some galleries, working on different exhibition. It is a bit of different work, I have different orders from different clients and I do my best to make them happy.
Are you more interested in pret-a-portet or haute couture?
Actually, my passion is couture, it is my dream. My goal is to work in couture. I have a plan and in five years I want to show my couture collection in Paris. I am trying to do it here too. I also do pret-a-porter because I have to survive. I have my own fashion brand and I did some collections. They are more commercial, selling in different web-shops, and they are more functional, easier for customer to wear. That is my way to survive with my brand in Sweden.
Is it hard starting your own brand in Sweden?
Yes, that’s very hard. It’s hard because you are competing against very big companies and it’s hard to be their competitor. For every young designer it is very difficult to sell your products at start. It might be more difficult here than in some other countries. Let’s say, if we were in London, it would be easier to sell because people are more open and they are more interested in young designers. It’s not the same here because all the big companies like H&M and others have all the customers so it’s very difficult to catch them and attract them to a new brand like mine. But, there is always a way out, and I am trying to find it. I am always happy when I get to do couture like with this collaboration here. Here a got to do a bit of both (pret-a-porter and couture) and to show how you can combine them together.
How did the collaboration between you and Ljungbergs Factory happen?
I received a call from two architects, they are called Nyström Persia. They work together with Ljundbergs. They are helping on building their new identity. It used to be a print company, they made fabrics and prints mostly for furniture and interior like wallpapers and etc. Now they have a new owner that wants to expand the company and reach new customers and they are going into fashion market. As they knew me from before, and liked my work, they asked if I would be interested to collaborate with them. To bring the fashion to them and that is how this collection was made. I wanted to present them as a fashion bran, a new brand.
What was your inspiration for those pieces?
They are inspired by a very basic, organic system in the world. The collection is called “Chaos Sensitive” and it’s the most basic idea of life and art. I did some research way before, when I was still at my college. My exam was about how I could reach my customer, how I can divide into fractals my customer. That was the basic idea for this collection. I am thinking about my recipient, all the fractals that make a whole and then I know how to reach my recipient. “Chaos Sensitive” is about how the first life on Earth found a new system to develop. I put my customer in that system and help them develop. It is a very basic idea but we could talk about it for hours.
I find it very interesting how the customer is put in the system. It’s been fashionized. You can be interested in some shape and it all comes from your subconscious that got the information. For that I find it is a system, a pattern. So I put the patterns into my collection.
We have to ask about your experience on The Project Runway Sweden show.
It was a very good experience. It was very hard, very tough. I liked it because it was very different, a very modern way to get some marketing for my work and that is why I applied for it. My first goal remain in the competition for first six episodes to show to Swedish people how much I can give. To be a designer for the people, not just for brands. A lot of people knew even before know who I am and how I’m working. But, those people were not my customers. I wanted to build a relationship with Swedish people and I was very happy to be able to do it. It was very difficult, a lot of cameras around you and I wasn’t used to it.But, it was also fun. Now I get a lot of attention from that, I get a lot of new jobs, it gave me a taste of what it’s like to be a celebrity. People now recognize me, when I travel around the country they come to me and say hi. People remember me from the show and that’s very cool. I like that because it’ s so honest, people liked my work and that is actually my goal.
Do you feel it all changed you somehow?
Yes, of course. It all changed me. Every collaboration, every step of the way made me develop my persona and my work. Today, I feel better financially, I get more jobs, I can sell new projects. I am going to lots of events and it helps me still have the connection with people and with my customers. All that I want is to be in sync and have a connection with my recipient.
At the same time what we saw from your collection is that you try to make the world a better place with every project you do.
It’s a very fundamental idea in my designs. I want to be in a better world, I want to feel better, I want to live in happiness. The fashion world is sometimes not like that. In my last collection, The Melonia, it was all about Utopia, how my ideal society would be. That’s because I want to show happiness, I want to show joy. Maybe you can see it in the collection. I want to show that side of fashion. The couture is not just the pain, it’s something you love, something that makes you happy. Because you choose what you wear every day, you choose something that makes you feel good, makes you feel better. It is my goal to design clothes that make you feel that way.
Can you tell us about the Melonia shoe?
The whole collection was about the future. The idea was that you can share you design with people in the digital world and you can have a 3D printer at your home and print your shoes every day. I have a lot of organic shapes in my work but when I sketched the shoe I din’t know anything about the 3D printing. I was thinking how I can find a way to produce that model. It is very organic but so hard to make by hand and than I found the 3D printing and it was just made for my collection.
Your plans for the future?
I have a 5 years plan for my brand. By that time I want to have a very stable fashion brand in Sweden. I also want to move to Paris and have my couture collection. Right now I am trying to make my way working with different brands. I am also focused on opening a shop with my two partners. It is going to be a concept store selling fashion, furniture, art in a cafe. I have lots of ideas I am working on but nothing is guaranteed. I am finding my way and my goal is there. I know I am going to reach it.
We cannot wait to drink a coffee in Naim’s concept store, because we are sure that all of his dreams will come true. If you want to keep up with his latest projects, go and like his official Facebook Page.