Q+A TEXINTEL TALKS FASHION AND THE FUTURE WITH AMINAH HAMZAOUI
Today we talk to Fashion Graduate Aminah Hamzaoui, with a unique style and a passion for print Aminah’s talent is sure to go far. Created for a generation that increasingly demand Couture, Comfort and Creativity her garments offer boutique style…
Firstly congratulations your work is stunning!...
What Inspired you to become a fashion designer?
I have always been a creative person, the process of coming up with a idea in my head and following that through to an end product is so amazing and super fulfilling for me. Growing up, I was always artistic, loving textiles and experimenting with different medias and textures.
However, my particular interest in fashion and style definitely grown with me. I can’t pin point an exact moment I realised I wanted to be a designer, i think was a realisation over time that what I loved to do could also be a career.
Why did you choose Sheffield as your pathway?
Sheffield is a great city, it is super creative and has so much on offer, including art, music, film and literacy is a big part of the city. As a creative with a wide range of interests, I think being in an environment that stimulates me on a daily basis is so important.
What or Who inspires your style?
Most of my inspiration comes from my surroundings and experiences. I find using real life situations makes my work much more personal and meaningful to me. I like to take inspiration from traditional culture, social movements and personal beliefs.
For example my mixed heritage (I am half British and half Algerian) plays a lot into my inspiration. Growing up and having these very opposing cultures influence my life, allowed me to really recognise what makes each one so unique.
Your prints offer incredible textures, layers, graphics and pictorial elements…Why?
I find print one of the most creative outlooks in the design process, it has the potential to completely transform a garment, whilst allowing me to communicate my inspirations.
Creating prints that draw the eye is obviously most important when trying to communicate an idea, therefore the large graphic prints do that. Building layers to a print gives the garments depth of thought. I love the idea that you see a particular graphic/ colour that draws you to the garment, and then when you get closer there is even more going on that you first thought.
How do you create your designs and garments?
I begin by accumulating my research. This can be images, videos, books, artefacts, fabrics, social movements etc. I then try to immerse myself fully into capturing everything I have found, analysing it for similarities and clashes.
From there I begin to design, however I must prefer to drape and design off the stand, so I like to sketch the basic shape, create the pattern, make up a toile and then work into the details. It's at this stage I begin to work on the prints, as I can visualise the impact of the print much better when already having the basis of the garment.
Which software do you use? Which is you favourite and why?
I use a combination of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Illustrator definitely is my favourite, it is so versatile and works so well for my style of work, whether that be developing prints or creating CAD’s.
Digital Print offers incredible creativity, what were the challenges and benefits for your work?
It certainly does!! Some challenges for me included cost, especially as I take so much time developing the aesthetic of the print, I don't want to then ruin the details and vibrancy with low quality printing.
You’ve incorporated weaves and screen print into your work…Why?
Experimenting with different medias is so fun as a designer. I love inter-twining the different ways of printing, as each has their own benefits.
For me using screen print added another dimension to the garments. Especially as the stripe fabric I used was not as hectic as my digital prints so I found the screen printing added depth and interest.
What are you favourite Fabrics, and where did you print them?
All my digital printing was sourced from Contrado. I used a fabric called ' soft brushed jersey' for my joggers and jumpers, not only is this fabric great to work with, as the fabric is such good quality, even as a pair of joggers the garment looks clean and sophisticated.
What was your favourite part of the course at Sheffield?
The course at Sheffield appealed to me as the class sizes are small, this meant I really got to engage with my tutors and develop my work much further then I could ever imagine.
How was Graduate Fashion Week? What was the highlight?
GFW was great, the event is rich with talent which is so inspiring to see. Also the brand stands were great to get feedback on portfolios.
The highlight was without a doubt the Sheffield Hallam show! It was such a great achievement for me to see everything I had work for be show up on the catwalk and have it receive such positive feedback, it was honestly one of my proudest moments to date. It was also so lovely to see all my fellow designers and true friends show their collections up there too, it was a fantastic event and a memory I will hold forever, I am beyond proud of us all!
If we can grant you one wish what would that be?
I think the exposure the grow my brand to a point where I am reaching an audience level that allows me to be able implement and convey and communicate the thoughts, ideas and issues that I hold close to me and express through my designs. Honestly creating a positive impact is all I can ask for, so whether that be via environment approaches or speaking out on social issues, I think all are valued and deserve the expose and conversation.
If you made one sustainability pledge what would that be?
The main point of sustainability to me is creating a product with longevity, whilst also ensuring minimum waste in the process and reducing the negative impacts on the environment.
A large percentage of Products are disposed of after only minimal amounts of wears. With my approach I aim for the consumer to understand where the product has come from and invest as a timeless piece and value their purchase. For this to be implemented the product must be produced to the highest quality, this being inclusive of raw materials and manufacture.
What’s next? Do you want to start your own brand, or gain Industry experience?
I would love to launch my own brand, however I think before I can really delve into that project I have so much more to learn about the industry. Im currently working as a Production assistant for a smaller brand, which I giving me so much experience in the running and backend logistics of a brand, which is not taught on a fashion design course.
Also if I am to start my brand, I want to implement and consider aspects such as sustainability from the outset, therefore this requires a certain amount of research and adaptation to a business model.
How can our readers contact you?