These days, I find myself coming across these wonderful, talented people from the fashion industry and am amazed at just how highly accomplished they are. I recently interviewed Maral Yazarloo, an upcoming designer of Iranian origin, who has now set shop in India, having fallen in love with the country. I first saw her collection at the Fashion Scout Show, London, in September 2015 and couldn’t help but gush over her how lovely and distinctive it was.
(Snippets of Maral’s Fashion Showcase at London Fashion Week SS16 2016- Fashion Scout Event)
When I got the opportunity to chat with her, I was impressed at how multifaceted Maral’s personality and life is! Though she is now very passionately involved in the fashion industry, that’s far from what she was academically trained to do. She first came to India to do her MBA from Pune and now has a PhD in marketing as well. Aside from managing her fashion brand, she is currently also the head of marketing for a realty company called Panchshil.
So, you’re probably wondering how she ended up having an exclusive fashion store in Pune? It doesn’t seem to fit in, does it? Well, even though she was academically pursuing business studies, she had a keen interest in fashion, right from when she was a little girl. She laughs as she remembers how she always had an opinion on what she would wear, often designing her own clothes so they were completely unique. That little girl’s fashion sensitivity led the young Maral to finally take up fashion seriously; she signed up for a design course at IED, Milan, following which, she began her experiments in fashion with a team of just two other people in Pune.
(Maral’s JW Marriot Fashion Store – which houses her collections in India)
Once Maral started designing her own line, it was sheer hard-work and uncompromising determination that led her to where she is today. Just think about it; she created a whopping 600+ designs before launching in Paris! I think there couldn’t have been a better reward than to be debuting internationally in the world’s fashion Mecca. She has also showcased her collection in Rome and London ever since, and is now gearing up for a show in Dubai on February 6.
While this long list of achievements in such a short span of time is certainly commendable, it is her slightly-bohemian, very adventurous take on life that fascinates me. Ask her to describe herself and she says “Being an avid traveller and having visited over 60 countries, I am tough and adventurous by nature and this justifies my hobbies like biking, karate, bag-packing! I am a frank person by nature who loves children, enjoys visiting new places and I make memories wherever I go!” What she didn’t mention here is that she excels at her hobbies too! She holds the record for Harley Davidson Lady Rider in India and was also the first lady owner of BMW and Ducati here. I mean, I’m forced to ask, does Maral also moonlight as Wonder Woman?
Maral is a dedicated person who believes in hard work and following her passion, while designing beautiful clothes. One major portion of her work that requires much personal attention is the unique custom clothing made for Indian brides. These one-of-a-kind pieces she designs are truly stunning. When I saw her work at the Fashion Scout Show, the brilliant colours and exquisite thread-work, really had me going gaga. As I mention this to her, she admits that the vibrancy in her designs comes from a fusion of Asian, Middle-Eastern and Western styles. She borrows the western notion of cuts, designs and silhouettes and brings them to life using fabrics and hues from Iran, India and Turkmenistan. No wonder her pieces are so unique!
Today, Maral has an extensive range of clothing with a variety of styles. She even has a range for women bikers who can enjoy their city travels in chic, comfy clothing from her collection. My personal favourite is her fusion line; the clothes are so striking yet elegant, you could wear them almost anywhere. The bridal lehengas she makes are also spectacular, with lovely detailing using pearls, Swarovski or Zari work. Here’s the full list of her current collections:
Maral Smiles: Casual line with lower-end pieces, priced between 2000 – 15/20k INR.
Ma/Ya – Bridal line
Maral Peace – Resort wear
Maral Platino – Accessories
Maral Junior – Kids-wear
Maral Loco – Leather collection (for bikers).
Needless to say, I am mighty impressed with Maral’s fashion journey. She mentioned that she will be soon embarking on a long bike ride from India to Alaska to experience different cultures and get inspiration for her new pieces. I can’t wait to see what wonderful designs this adventure trip inspires!