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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Fashion Files: Atelier AZZA


I am thrilled to share that my talented friend, Azeeza Desai Khan debuted her gorgeous new Monarch collection, under her fashion label, Atelier AZZA at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York last week. Azeeza has always been an inspiration. Not only is she the kind of girl who always looks perfectly put together from head to toe, she is also a go-getter—the type of girl who dreams big and makes exciting things happen for herself through her commitment and hard work.


{The Gorgeous and Talented Azeeza Desai Khan with a Model at Atelier AZZA’s Debut at New York Fashion Week}

Drawing inspiration from her Indian heritage and travels abroad, Atelier AZZA offers glamorous clothing blending everyday style with a high-fashion twist—think beautifully embellished, classic silhouettes. Azeeza recently took some time out in between Fashion Week and walking the red Carpet at the Emmys this past Sunday to chat with me about her fashion line, her inspiration, and the team that helps make it all come together.


La Dolce Vita: What inspired you to start your own fashion line?

Azeeza Desai Khan: I have always been a fan of fashion because it is a way to speak to the world without using words. Expressing oneself through what you wear can be both inspiring and uplifting and most of us dress the way we feel. I knew from an early age that I wanted to make clothes that made a woman feel empowered and beautiful. There is nothing better than getting dressed and feeling like your best "self". During high school I had taken two years of design lessons and also studied it privately abroad in India. Fast forward to current day, I am immersed in the business side of the fashion industry as a Marketing Executive with some amazing designer clients that have achieved great success from placements in Vogue to a bevy of influencers wearing their products. I am really blessed to have such great family, friends, and industry supporters who encouraged me to follow my dreams, it is largely because of them that earlier this year, I made a decision to make this buried dream of AZZA a reality and here we are.307359_119159204852481_119072918194443_79814_3477360_n[1]

{Azeeza’s Fabulous Street Style as featured by the New York Times}

LDV: Who/what has influenced your style? Are those influences reflected in AZZA?

ADK: For my line, I am so inspired by the “balance of life,” the juxtaposition of it and how it flows through fashion. With highs and lows and mixing the two to make “imperfect perfection.” My Indian and Afghan heritage and love for European “chic simplicity” has also played a huge role in the designs of my collection. I love marrying the billowing textiles, rich color palettes with embellishments that embrace a beautiful silhouette. You will also find the collection compliments nicely with renown jewelry designer Ranjana Khan’s stunning baubles.MY brand’s debut at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week was paired with Ranjana’s jewels so the collection did compliment her pieces. I think it was a perfect match as I love her statement pieces day-to-day for the past years.


{Backstage at the Atelier AZZA Fashion Show}

From a style standpoint – I really admire modern day fashion icon Olivia Palermo for her youthful, statement yet timeless style. She just mixes the most random pieces and also reflects my personal style of “high fashion meets high street” – mixing high end pieces with Zara and emerging/indie designers. I’ve had the pleasure to run into her a few times at NYFW and have to say that after conversing with her multiple times on different occasions, I only loved her more than what I saw of her in the media-- major grace and etiquette and even more of a stunner in person. I know LDV fans love her as well and can understand.


LDV: Who is the ideal AZZA woman?
ADK: Confident, seeking an understated yet statement-making level of glamour. I am all about empowered, career-oriented femmes. They understand and respect fashion not for the superficial aesthetic, but the power of expressing a reflection of your inner self.


{The Talented, Multi-Tasking AZZA Team: From top left—Karla Pope, Director of Publicity and Editor at Parade Magazine / Zeenat Desai, Brand Manager who Spends Her Days Working at a Top Media Company / Roma Shah, Fashion Consultant and Executive at YSL / Jeanette Robinson McWilliams, Director of Marketing- came to AZZA after 8 years at Rachel Roy / Sarah Khan- Production Coordinator}

My team is a great reflection of the AZZA woman – I have assembled a group of extremely strong, young, career-oriented women on the business end to surround myself in areas that I do not excel in and just help me take AZZA to the next level.


LDV: What is your favorite piece in the collection?
ADV: My favorite piece in my collection is 8 yards of silk-chiffon in a classic cream/nude with a mix of rock stud, spike, Swarovski and star embellishments on the collar. This was actually also the first piece I tailored in the collection and also hand-embroidered myself. It was really surreal to see AZZA come to life with this piece and is a true reflection of my personal style. I can also see this as a simple “day to evening” piece –just throwing a blazer over this piece will make it work/lunch appropriate; in the evening, a chignon, smoky eyes and a pair of statement heels can totally turn this into a red carpet ready look. After the line was fully completed, this one still is my favorite.


LDV: What has been the most challenging aspect of starting your own fashion line?

ADK: The most challenging part of doing this line was balancing my time and priorities. I actually did the collection in tandem with my 9 to 5 day job as a Consumer Marketing Specialist for a Fortune 500 company, while releasing a major award-winning documentary to AMC theaters ( for a private marketing client (it released 2 days before the big show), planning the MBFW show itself, establishing the AZZA brand, and moving and furnishing/decorating our newly purchased home! I am not sure how I made it out of these past few weeks in one piece.


LDV: What has been the most rewarding part of starting Atelier AZZA?

ADK: The most rewarding part is just seeing it come to life on the center stage of a fashion authority such as MBFW. It is surreal that for the past 4 years I have attended NYFW in the rows and this S/S 2012, it was my personal brand and vision on the catwalk. Also, within 4 days of the launch this past Monday, I had write-ups in my "go-to" fashion publications that I went to for news and advice, including Vogue India, Wall Street Journal, Refinery29 (and now LDV!). If I had one word to describe this whole situation, it would be "humbled." This is really a true example of just strategizing your vision with a good business model + differentiated creativity to bring a concept to reality.


{Whether she’s on duty or off, Azeeza always looks impossibly chic.}

LDV: Which celebrity would you most like to dress in AZZA?

ADV: I think AZZA is versatile and adaptable to subjective style. That said, I can see the following fashion icons donning an AZZA piece – if I’d ever be so fortunate:
Olivia Palermo. Victoria Beckham. Michelle Obama. Blake Lively. Katie Holmes. Kim Kardashian. Charlize Theron.


To learn more about Atelier AZZA visit the official website. To keep up with this stylish and talented group of ladies as they delve into the world of fashion, follow Atelier AZZA on Facebook and Twitter.

{Runway Photos by Errol Dunlap}


Luciane at said...

This is the kind of person I'd like to know. I mean, she's the kind of person that make us feel inspired. I'm like that also, I don't wait for things to happen, I make them happen though hard work, faith and positivity.

This interview was great and yes, she's so chic! :-)

Enjoy your day!


Luciane at

Lindsay @ A Walk in the Closet said...

Stunning pieces! This girl has so much talent, beauty, AND just seems to be truly nice person. Thanks for sharing this interview!

The Golden Girls said...

wow congratulations to your lovely friend! her work is so beautiful and she is extremely talented! thank you for sharing :)
p.s. i still am loving my robe and wear it to get ready everyday <3 xx
Golden White Décor

Kristy @ I Design Love said...

Gorgeous clothing! I have never heard of this designer before, her designs are fabulous.


Paula Kasas said...

I am a frequenter of your blog, Brazil, and would like to invite you to visit, which will give me immense satisfaction.
Your blog is wonderful.
Paula Kasasa

Christina Elaine said...

Love her collection and her personal style.... thanks for sharing....


Glam at Home said...

Very pretty!

Claudia Juestel said...

Azza is just up my alley, simply stunning. Thank you for introducing me to her Paloma.