Selina Farooqui

A graduate of the Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Arts in Qatar, is an upcoming young designer who started her own label in August 2010 specializing in luxury ready-to-wear apparel and accessories. Her brand image is a collaboration between Indian and Arabian cultural influences on contemporary styled garments. Unique blends of fabrics, details, embellishments, colors and use of textures are what set Selina Farooqui apart from her competitors. Her designs combine luxury, beauty and femininity into everyday glamour. Selina Farooqui sells her collection privately and in boutiques in Qatar.

Interview with the designer

1. Describe your style?
As a young designer, I found my style of design to be dictated by the constant exploration of my own capabilities. As I started to develop my brand, I challenged myself to do something different each season, whether it be a collection inspired by flowers, nature, Indian architecture or Arabic culture. However I recently stepped back from my work and looked at it from an objective eye and noticed that there was a common thread running through all my garments and all my collections, and that is when I discovered my style. My style is international yet ethnic, feminine, playful and luxurious; I love experimenting with embellishments, mixing fabrics, and colors, from rich jewel tones to creamy pastels.

2. What Designers/Artist do you consider very influential on your work?
I admire the work of luxury design houses like Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Lanvin, the way they play with fabrics, new shapes and embellishments excites me and reminds me of why I love fashion. The delicate femininity and craftsmanship of Nina Ricci and Valentino…seeing what the designers dream up and produce each season inspires me to push myself.

3. What inspires you?
Fabrics! Whenever I think of starting a new collection, I go to the souk with an open mind and lots of creativity. I look and search for something that grabs me…hours can easily go by in this process, but once I find that one statement fabric, whether it be a rich brocade, or an exotic print or any other fabric that sparks a memory or an image or an idea in my mind, I take it from there. I collect and build a textile and color story first, and shapes, volumes, and garment combinations come next, based on the fabrics I choose.

4. What inspirations/directions will you be exploring for your next collection?
My next collection, I want to do something fresh and easy to wear everyday for SS 2012. I recently fell in love with florals and graphic prints again. I made a mini collection of cotton prints in my final year at university, and I’d like to explore this further, but this time with a combination of printed cottons, silks, chiffons etc.

5. What do you see as the direction for fashion for the coming year?
Fashion is becoming more and more about individuality and style. While trends are there to guide the masses, I think people now more than ever will want that one of kind, special piece to add into their wardrobe. As fashion moves in this direction, it’s great for us young designers, as we are there to fill that spot in the market and provide people with a unique and fresh take on fashion.

6. What is your current obsession?
Statement jewelry of any kind! It’s a great way to transform any garment or ensemble! In my most recent collection, I designed and hand-made fabulous Indian-inspired yet geometric crystal neckpieces and headbands and now I can’t wait to start my own jewelry and accessory line!

7. Do you have a muse? Which modern woman do you see as influential in fashion?
My muse is an international woman, who loves to be feminine and glamorous, without having to put too much of an extra effort. Her clothes speak for themselves without being too overpowering and she stands out in a crowd for her exotic, ethnic flair.

8. What is the most prized possession in your wardrobe?
The most prized possessions in my wardrobe (other than the garments I’ve designed for myself) are my shoes. Since I don’t design shoes (yet) they are the one thing I love to shop for! When the weekend comes around, the high heels come out! They have the power to make a woman feel powerful, confident and beautiful, whether she is wearing a gorgeous evening gown or just a t-shirt and jeans!

9. What is fashion now in your eyes?
Fashion to me is self-expression. When I’m not designing or being creative, I feel bored. When I’m searching for fabrics, and sketching and running back and forth to the tailors, I feel inspired and I feel alive. Through my work, I have the chance to show the world myself and my passion for what I do.

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