Alia Khan, designer and businesswoman
|She has one of the most popular and innovative designer websites among South Asian designers, Alia Khan is more than just a talented designer, look out!
|by Pauleen Arneja
Hey girls, remember back in the day when you had to go to some family party and your mom opened up the closet and bravely ventured back in that dark dusty corner where she kept that one Shalwar Kameez that some aunt's brother's, niece had brought back for you from a trip to India? And this was the suit you wore to every party that required Desi-wear? And remember how stupid you felt because you were wearing something that went out of fashion ten years ago? Oh horrors, thank god those days are gone and now we can go online and shop for stuff like that. (Imagine that... even guys can buy stuff too!)
I was fortunate enough to sit down and have a little chat with the woman who started it all. Not only is Alia Khan this super motivated female who knows what she wants, but she's got the best designs for Asian wear out there for anyone who wants to stand out and look classy at a party. Who could ask for anything more?
Let's talk to the diva herself.
Pauleen Arenja: Alia, tell us a bit about yourself. Where were you born and raised? Where did you go to school?
Alia Khan: Well, I'm a New York based designer. I launched my own label in 2001 as well as introduced the first South Asian mail order catalog of designer couture fashions to the South Asian community in the USA and a user friendly, fully functional website aliakhan.com. I was born in Pakistan and raised in the USA, primarily in New York and I attended school here, including college at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
PA: How and when did you realize you were fascinated with fashion? When did you realize you wanted to actually do something with it?
AK: I always knew I wanted to be a fashion designer ever since I was about 8 years old. But I think it was during my high school years when we all have to make the decision of where we want to go to college and even more importantly, what we're going to do with our lives, that I decided to pursue it realistically.
PA: So what is Asian Andaz?
AK: Andaz basically means "style" and Asian Andaz is the catalog name of my label, which is ofcourse Alia Khan.
"my clients are professionals, doctors, attorneys, politicians, celebrities..."
PA: How was the idea of Asian Andaz born? Are you the sole designer for the clothes available on Asian Andaz?
AK: I had always worked in the designing sector for the western market, but I knew there was a dire need in the Asian community for a different attitude in dressing, so "Asian Andaz"... Asian Style was born! Yes, I am the sole designer of all the designs featured on my website catalog www.aliakhan.com.
PA: There are many sites out there that offer a catalogue of beautiful Indian clothes for sale. Why should someone choose to shop at Alia Khan over any of these other sites? What makes Alia Khan so special?
AK: You're right, there are many sites out there just like anything else. My clients choose my designs mainly for exclusivity and to break that monotonous traditional look of the past. I know what's available at other retailers and they have their own target market that they cater to. But we've always received compliments on the quality and unique design and the unparalleled customer service we provide and that's really our main goal and the trademark, which we stand behind. I can honestly and proudly say that my designs are not like any other.
PA: What exactly is the Platinum Label? Who are these designs for?
AK: The Platinum Label is my exclusive line consisting of designs, which will never be duplicated, the concept of the style will, but the actual design and details will always be different. This label gives my client assurance that they are the only one who will be wearing this design from my couture collection, naturally this is a higher end collection and for those seeking distinction, its well worth it.
PA: I already have an idea about this, but just to clarify, which clientele are your clothes geared towards?
AK: Almost all of my clients are professionals, doctors, attorneys, politicians, celebrities as well as some high profile media personalities. Just about anyone seeking the look that's different and elegant can fit into this category.
PA: One of Alia Khan's emphases is unique expression. Can people send in there own designs and have them created by you or are the creations offered exclusively designed by you?
AK: Among our many services, we also offer personal consultation, we will never duplicate a design from another designer or magazine, that's just not how my business works and it's simply not ethical. I have personal consultation with my clients and work with them by getting to know what type of colors, styles, cuts their interested in and then come up with a concept they are comfortable with.
PA: What do you see yourself doing in the future career wise? What are your visions?
AK: Wow! I see myself doing lots of different things in the future all relating to fashion of course. I'm launching my collection in Toronto and London. I will definitely increase my business and design for the mainstream Hollywood. There are many things planned for the future of Alia Khan, Inc., we'll have to do another interview next year to catch up!
For more information on her beautiful designs, please visit www.aliakhan.com.
Do you have any thoughts on this? Feel free to send Pauleen an e-mail @ Pauleen Arneja.