Chennai's young fashion designer Nazia Syed tells why she chose to fight it out at the highly competitive world of fashion. ARCHANA SUBRAMANIAN

Nazia Syed chose the right time to make her debut …Armed with her knowledge in fashion and lot of travelling around the world, she knew when to enter. Her launch was probably the most talked about pre and post-event. Her designs, fabrics and cuts were spoken about for a long time. And before one got enough of that she also entered as one of the youngest fashion designers' in the Chennai International Fashion Week. A chat with Nazia reveals why she chose fashion and how she fulfilled her dreams…

How did you get into fashion designing?

I have always loved fashion and one of my strengths is that am very creative. But after school I joined engineering due to peer pressure. But even after completing my graduation my mind was always on fashion. So I decided to change my line. I did a foundation course in fashion in Seneca College of Arts, Toronto, Canada. I moved to London and studied Fashion Design and Merchandising in Central Saint Martins and did a few technical courses in London College of Fashion. Right now I retail out of my Studio on TTK Road but shortly I will be opening my own store in Hotel Park Sheraton.

What's your forte?

I design Bridal, Indian, western, club and cocktail wear plus Indo-western fusion pieces. My speciality is evening gowns and fusion pieces where I can combine my Indian and western sensibilities as well as customised bridal wear. My clothes are priced between Rs. 1000 and Rs. 50 000. My clients range from 20 to 60 years of age. Soon I would like to do men's wear and children's wear as well... I will be retailing accessories as well from my new store.

On Chennai as a fashion hub…

Well, Chennai was chosen as the venue for India's first International Fashion event. That explains it all. There are a lot of designers in the city today. Chennai is a growing fashion hub and has a lot of scope for new designers with people becoming increasingly fashion conscious. I think I have managed to carve a niche for myself.

How do you go about designing the clothes?

I source my materials from all over India like Bangalore, Calcutta and Varanasi and if my clients want imported materials then I also source them from abroad.

The amount of time I take depends on the kind of outfits. It could take anything between three days for simple dresses to three months for exclusive bridal wear.

As a designer I do give suggestions to my customers. If I think something might not suit them then I suggest alternative patterns and designs for them.

What are you currently working on?

I am working on my new line for Spring-Summer 2010 titled ‘La Belle Epoch — an art nouveau', an inspired collection which was showcased at the Chennai International Fashion Week. I am also currently designing for a Tamil film that's due for release in April.

As a designer, how do you keep yourself updated?

As fashion keeps changing I keep myself updated by following all the Fashion Weeks both Indian and international. I also travel around to observe the trends on the streets all over the world which is very interesting and inspiring for me more than the catwalks actually.

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