Today I wanted to shine the spotlight on Ida Nematipour, I had the pleasure of chatting with this local Designer and Instructor at the Austin School of Fashion Design about the trailblazing work she’s done with the school and in her personal life. This recent UT grad has found time to work at the school instructing classes while also diligently working on an upcoming collection that she’s hoping will be ready later this year. This lovely lady used her vast knowledge to help create a College Prep Program with the school, allowing upcoming designers to get hands on experience creating their first mini collection and portfolio. Having sewn her first garment at the age of 12, who better to learn from?
Read on to learn more about Ida and her creative process & watch out for this lady’s designs because it’s only a matter of time:
Q: When did you first know you wanted to work in the fashion industry?
A: I knew I wanted to work in fashion ever since I was a child. My grandmother, mother, and aunt are all professional seamstresses, so I grew up around fabric and sewing machines. I began creating my own designs around the age of 12 with my first project being a dog coat for my poodle, and eventually grew to start making my own dresses. I even designed my own dress for my first school formal.
Q: What do you design? What’s your area of expertise?
A: My design style has definitely changed since then, and I’ve grown to work with different types of garments and materials. My more recent designs have been heavily influenced by classic lingerie mixed with an edgy, grungy aesthetic, but I am also influenced daily by art, music, and the people that surround me. I am currently working on my first lingerie collection along with a ready to wear collection which will feature tailored suits and lacy evening dresses. I love working with
sheer fabrics and laces, and love to play with the structure/fluidity of my garments.
Q: Define your personal sense of style.
A: My personal style is very dark and mysterious, yet feminine, elegant and floral.
Q: Which brands or designers influence you the most?
A: While some big name designers like Alexander McQueen influence me greatly, I am mostly influenced by local designers and friends like Melissa Taylor of Katastrophic Clothing. I started out as her design intern, and she has grown to become one of my good friends. Her fashion ethics and style have changed the way I view fashion and manufacturing, and I am forever grateful for all that I have learned from her.
“I’ve changed majors and career paths many times, but I have always been creative in nature and I know that I would have ended up in another creative industry if I wasn’t in the fashion industry.”
Q: What led you to start teaching at ASFD?
A: I started teaching at ASFD the summer before my last semester at UT. My garment construction professor at UT, Karen Bravo, also taught classes at ASFD, and suggested that I apply for the summer camp instructor position. My life has changed dramatically ever since, and I am so glad to be apart of such a great community of strong, talented women.
Q: What advice would you give to all of the hopeful/starting out designers?
A: My advice to all starting designers is to always learn, always grow, and always be confident in yourself. The fashion industry can be unfriendly at times, and not everyone is going to love all of your designs. You need to be confident in yourself and your work, and learn to take criticism in a positive way.
Q: Tell me more about the College Prep Program?
A: The college prep program is designed to help aspiring designers create their first mini collection, and gain hands on experience working with pattern making, garment construction, and styling as well as have their first professional photoshoot experience.
Q: Do you think, as a fashion designer, having a degree makes a difference in designing opportunities?
A: I do think having a degree makes a difference, but I also acknowledge that a path to a degree might not be the best option for everyone. It really depends on what kind of experience you are looking for and what you are looking to gain from your education. I’ve learned many things in the process of getting my degree that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise, but it was a difficult journey. Overall, I am glad to have a degree versus not having a degree, and I have learned many invaluable lessons and met many amazing people along the way.
Q: Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
A: In 10 years, I see myself running my own brand and business. I’m hoping that I will be able to grow and refine the brand that I aim to launch within this year, and possibly have a storefront for the company. I also hope to sell my designs to major retailers at some point in the future.