Tessa Johnson’s “Mainstream And South Asian Fashion Designers To Watch For in 2016”, Jan 04, 2016, on Anokhi Media caught my eye. She wrote very positively about Zaid Affas.
She stated that his ‘Clean and razor sharp tailoring against a simplistic…’ was an editorial favourite in 2015 and a must watch for 2016. I know Tessa Johnson is a serious writer on fashion.
I remembered reading another article ‘10 Designers to Watch In 2015’ by Lauren Sherman, December 30, 2014 on Fashionista in which she mentioned Zaid Affas along with Simon Porte Jacquemus, Peter Copping of Oscar da la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Guillaume Henry, Riccardo Tisci and others. And Lauren Sherman isn’t an ordinary writer, either. (a writer, editorial strategist and Fashionista’s former editor at large)
So, I got curious, did some research and found some interesting facts about this upstart fashion designer. I love writing about upstarts (newcomers) as much as I do with the top startups that have reached higher levels. I mix them up to give the upcoming stars a shot in the arm, a very mild one, though! I am sure you will agree with me that we need more and more of such daring entrepreneurs in the fashion industry to have the billions clothed in a fashionable way.
Zaid Affas, born in Kuwait and raised in London, wanted to be an architect. Following his father’s advice not to be an architect because there wasn’t much money in it, he took up designing and graduated from Central St. Martin’s College of Art and Design. Later he worked for Ralph Lauren, BCBG Max Azria and Ports 1961, and in 2014 started his own namesake Brand ‘Zaid Affas’ in Los Angeles.
The proof of his designs making a big impression on the fashion loving ladies is in finding them at Just One Eye and Rosetta Getty, Net-a-Porter, Saks Fifth Avenue (USA) and Harvey Nichols (London, UK) and D’NA (Middle East).
It is a fact that celebrities, especially those in show business, wear clothes made by famous designers in order to show off their status. That long established notion has been altered by Zaid Affas’ irresistible shapes that are natural, organic and urban.
Back in November 2014, Kate Hudson wore Zaid Affas £ 3,000 or something gown for a benefit show. Though the gown looked immaculate, Catherine Kallon in her “Kate Hudson In Zaid Affas – ‘Love in For Kids’ Benefit” article for the Runway To Red Carpet, on Red Carpet Fashion Awards (RCFA), 24-11-2014, felt that the gown looked too bland for her (Kate Hudson) and was also coming off a tad maternity! Well, naturally folks expect a sizzling hot atmosphere when Kate is around, so, Catherine must have been disappointed seeing Kate in a gown that covered her from neck to ankle. Can’t blame her, I suppose. Check out the photo at: http://www.redcarpet-fashionawards.com/category/blog/blog-designers/zaid-affas/
“Zaid’s work reflects minimalist, sculptural and intellectual sensibility,” declared Noreen Flanagan in her January 1, 2006 article ‘This Designer Creates Luxury Fashion That Is Powerful But Not pompous” on Elle Canada. And true to her observation, Zaid Affas confessed in one of his several interviews that he wanted women to feel dressed up but not pompous and also that he got his inspiration from the Late Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, a renowned German-American Architect and from Frank Gehry, a Canadian-American architect. For his Fall 2016, Zaid got the inspiration from sculptor Barbara Hepworth and painter Callum Innes. (Remember Zaid wanted to be an architect, and his love for designing in that line hasn’t been done away with; it’s reflected in most of his clothes designs.)
Kylie Jenner, the youngest of the Kardashians, wore a Zaid Affas high neck dress when was on her second trip to London, and the media was all aglow saying the young starlet looked fantastic in that dress.
Michelle Lynn Monaghan, the Kiss Kiss Bang Bang fame, wore Zaid Affas bralette and pants for a photo shoot!
Affas is such an open-minded person that when asked who he would love to dress up the most, he, without a moment’s hesitation, replied: Tilda Swinton (Katerine Matilda “Tilda” Swinton) and Cate Blanchett (Ctherine Elise Blanchett), two of the most popular fashion muses!
Emmanuelle Gattuso donned a Zaid Affas gleaming bronze metallic top for a show. On this occasion, Affas said he believed a woman could be relaxed and cool at a ball in his outfits.
Let’s wish this designer who puts pockets in all his gowns a satisfying pocket-full success in the coming seasons!