Azeeza KhanCreative Director, Atelier Azza
If you’re an in-the-know fashion fanatic, Azeeza Khan is already a familiar name—if it doesn’t sound familiar yet, it will soon: the Chicago-based designer of Atelier AZZA is bringing her spring/summer 2013 collection up from the fashion underground as she presents to buyers and retail prospects for the first time. Of course, it will be an instant hit—if it isn’t the bold colors and rich embellishments (which make each piece undeniably AZZA) that catch the eye, it will be Azeeza’s South Asian beauty that does. Never not in AZZA, she constantly and flawlessly embodies the look she creates for her collections. Though she was born in the US, Azeeza studied fashion in India and uses textiles native to the area (think smooth, vibrant silks) in almost all of her pieces. Still not impressed? She’s also philanthropic: for each garment sold, Atelier AZZA provides a garment to an impoverished South Asian woman or child. We chatted with Azeeza for this week’s spotlight.
BEAUTY MUST-HAVES>> scent: CHANTECAILLE PETALES // moisturizer: REN MOROCCAN ROSE OTTO ULTRA-NOURISHING BODY OIL // concealer: CLÉ DE PEAU IN MIELE // primer: ARGAN OIL followed by GUERLAIN L’OR RADIANCE CONCENTRATE WITH PURE GOLD // bronzer: SOLEIL TAN DE CHANEL IN DÉSERT BRONZE // mascara: L’OREAL VOLUMINOUS CARBON BLACK // lips: YSL ROUGE VOLUPTÉ IN SWEET HONEY // nails: CND SHELLAC NO-CHIP IN RED BARONESS
Q: First thing’s first: tell us about the new collection! What inspired your designs?
A: For this collection I juxtaposed feminine pure silk silhouettes against potent embellishments and color for a balanced aesthetic that is super differentiated. I’ve come to define my overall aesthetic as “modern opulence” and the SS13 story reflects just that.
Q: So where does the whole process begin each time?
A: I start with a mood board to define the theme and color palette. This helps me develop a story and synergy between all of the pieces. Once the vision is really clear for me so I go off and start prototyping and sketching.
Q: Your designs are intricate and ornate. What makeup look best accompanies an AZZA ensemble?
A: My outfits are really bold, so I love to balance with clean makeup. I always love a good smokey eye and shimmer-less bronzer—totally completes the AZZA dra-ma.
Q: Love it! Are there any celebrities who pull off that look especially well?
A: Olivia Palermo, Blake Lively, and Kate Middleton really know how to wear embellishments and differentiated silhouettes. All three are always perfectly fresh-faced but still are not afraid of a dramatic eye or bold lip.
Q: Totally agree. As a designer, you must always be looking at and noticing fashion. What’s your verdict on Chicago’s look?
A: I love that woman are so diverse and daring; a walk down Oak and Rush can get you some of the most well-put-together, elegant femmes and dapper men; a walk down Armitage will get you some majorly avant garde, unexpected pairings that make you go “hmmm.” There is no specific, stereotypical “Chicago look,” and that’s what I love most.
Q: Well said. We couldn’t agree more. As we take off, tell us one thing you are still searching for.
A: The next level. Design pushes me to attain the impossible only to move onto the next feat to conquer.