INTERVIEWS

At the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity,many people from all over the world had a chance to see “DREAM” written and directed
by Arefeh Mansouri.

The most talked about apparel and accessorie designers were chosen by WWDMAGIC Designer Arefeh Mansouri is one of the 12 winners that were chosen and invited by Womens Wear Daily and MAGIC to exhibit Their pring/Summer 2015 Ready-to-Wear Collection at the WWD MAGIC Emerging Designers Showcase. WWD MAGIC is the collaboration between WWD, the world’s most authoritative fashion publication, and MAGIC, the largest global marketplace for contemporary Fashion.

Designer Arefeh Mansouri collaborated with Celebrity Photographer Juan Pont Lezica to create a beautiful picture that was inspired from Sir Fredric Leighton art “Flaming June”. The picture was exhibited at “The Parthenon”, Nashville’s Art Museum.

Who is the AREFEH woman?
The AREFEH Woman is not wish-washy. She knows who she is and is not afraid to show it. She is not into conforming and is not afraid to stand out.

What inspires your designs?
Anything and everything. It doesn’t have to be a tangible thing at all. Many artists get inspired by nature, landscape, and things they can see and touch. I get all that, and I use those elements also. But sometimes I wake up from a dream, and I instantly know that I have to transfer the image in my mind on paper before I lose it forever… and I have no clue where it comes from. At times I become inspired by a smell or a feeling. It’s never any one thing. It’s everything.

What kind of fabrics and textures do you gravitate toward?
Oh, I love silk. I can do anything with silk. In fact, come to think of it, I would like to be mummified in it when the time comes.

Why did you decide to open your signature store in Palm Beach and specifically, 150 WORTH?
For me Worth Avenue is the place to be for high fashion in Florida and at least one of the most important fashion locations in the country. I love the sophisticated energy there, and I am comforted by the fact that many of the biggest designers in the world are represented there.

What do you think sets Palm Beach apart from other fashion destinations?Â
Fashion density. You have all the best of the best squeezed into a small area that has a beauty second to none. If you don’t live in Florida and you haven’t been for a while you really should go and see it for yourself.

What trends are you predicting for fall?
Beaded, romantic and soft bridal gowns.

How do your three collections (ready-to-wear, evening gown and couture bridal) differ from each other? Â
Ready-to-wear is everyday clothing such as sportswear, things you wear and use over and over for multiple occasions. I have both an affordable and high-end ready-to-wear line. My evening gowns range from ornate, one-of-a-kind pieces for formal events to simple and chic dresses for more casual occasions. Of course, couture bridal or evening gowns are one-off pieces. They will never be duplicated. They are made with the best fabric and materials and command a higher price.

How would you describe your design style? I am best known for my couture evening gowns and wedding dresses.That being said, my design style or paradigm, if you will,has been described most often as avant garde.I personally never felt that way because it tends to typecast me a bit. However, I can see how peoplecan come to that conclusion when observing the complexity and detail that goes into some of my pieces.ÂThe more complicated and unique the better, from my point of view. Nothing gives me more delight than creating something that defies what people expect or defies their sense of what can be–in a good way of course.

In three words, what can we expect from AREFEH?
Total world domination.
You became successful in the industry at an early age. Do you have any advice for aspiring fashion designers?
Be prepared for the word no.

What are some of your current must-have items?
Black pencil skirt, little black dress and a black blazer. With these three items you can dress up or dress down based on the occasion, and it’s always fashionable and classy.

What was your first reaction to this project? Arefeh Mansouri: When I first learned of the project I felt privileged to be a part of it. However, I did have some trepidation about taking an art form that already exists in order to inspire a second piece of art that wasdivergent in construct yet with a similar motif. What was your initial response to your piece of art? Arefeh Mansouri: The art work that was chosen for me (an abstract representation of Tulips) felt surreal.You see, I lost my childhood best friend after she underwent high risk surgery to correcta heart defect.
This girl (Laleh) was everything to me and her name, translatedmeans Tulip.It felt like a chance to do something that would make her smile. Something she would have wanted to wear. What was it from your piece of art that served as your main inspiration for your design? Arefeh Mansouri:The juxtaposition of colorsand the imagery it created in my mind How do you feel that your design compliments your piece of art? Arefeh Mansouri:Well I feel that my design personifies the artwork. By giving it human form andby becoming functional and fluid. What do you feel is the connection between public art and fashion? Arefeh Mansouri: To be honest, I feel that they are one in the same. Both express how we feel aspeople and both have historical significance for the people that appreciate art and fashion for what they are:an account of the human condition.

Arefeh Mansouri Wins Awards in Best Shorts Film Competition Arefeh Mansouri (U.S.A), has won 2 prestigious Award of Merit from “The Best Shorts Film Competition.” Two categories were awarded for Mansouri’s Short Film: “DREAM”, (Experimental and Women Filmmakers).
The Best Shorts Competition recognizes film, television, videography and new media professionals who demonstrate exceptional achievement in craft and creativity, and those who produce standout entertainment or contribute to profound social change. Entries are judged by highly qualified professionals in the film and television industry. In winning the Best Shorts Awards, Arefeh Mansouri joins the ranks of other high-profile winners of this internationally respected award including The Weinstein Company for Market Hours and Oscar winning production Mr.Hublot from Laurent Witz from Luxembourg. Rick Prickett, who chairs The Best Shorts Competition, had this to say about the latest winners, “Best Shorts is not an easy award to win. Entries are received from around the world from powerhouse companies to remarkable new talent.
The Best Shorts Competition helps set the standard for craft and creativity. The judges were pleased with the exceptional high quality of entries. The goal of Best Shorts is to help winners achieve the
recognition they deserve.”

Designer Arefeh Mansouri of United States, was awarded the Bronze award for Avant-Garde design at the International Design Awards. IDA honorary juries examined over 1000 entries submitted by architects and designers of interiors, fashion, products, and graphics from 52 countries throughout the world. After final decisions had been made, the jury rewarded the best professional and emerging designers for their achievements in terms of design, creativity, usability and innovation. IDA is the design sibling of the Annual Lucie Awards for Photography, which has emerged as one of the world’s most prestigious photography awards.

EMERGE! NY Fashion Week Interviews Costume and Fashion Designer Arefeh Mansouri Can you tell us a little about your work? I work as a Costume Designer and I have a line of Couture Wear. Most of my designs are currently Bridal and Evening gowns. So tell us more about your designs? My designs are a fusion of old and new. A
combination of timeless traditions that never go out of style, with an edgy modern flare. Who or what inspires you? There isn’t any one thing that I can identify as inspiring. I can find anything inspiring. For example, nature, people, types of fabric and even music. How does it feel to show your line in EMERGE!? I am ecstatic!
EMERGE! is a great opportunity for up-and-coming designers to show their talent on a world platform. Going back to your designs, what kind of women do you design for? My designs are created for the unafraid. Decisive women who are nonconforming, trend setting and like to stand out in a crowd. What does the future hold for Arefeh Mansouri? God willing, in the not too distant future, I will have the opportunity to expand my line and one day see women from all over the world wear my clothes.
I am also hoping to advance my career in the Costume Design Industry and have many more movies under my belt. However, in the immediate future, my newest Ready
To Wear items, from my Couture line, will be available in Soho, NYC.

For answers to many of your burning questions, check out Arefeh Mansouri’s interview for Zee Report. Arefeh started as a Pre-med student and very soon realized that following her passion for fashion and Design is what she really wants to pursue in life. She has been successful as a designer. Like most,she has seen her share of struggle. Let’s see what she has to say about her journey 1. So how did you start your career? Fashion first or something else? I Initially chose a path that was far removed from art and fashion. I entered college with the intention of matriculating  into medical school by majoring in Biological Sciences. I soon realized that, although I was headed to a worthy career path, I simply was headed for a vocation that didn’t allow me to express my innate creativity. So I simply followed my instinct and went with what I was most passionate about. Fashion and Costume Design was way of being an artist, a historian, and an architect all in one. 2. What attracted you towards the fashion industry? To be honest I simply love to design and create. I can’t say that I got into this because of the Industry. The Industry is the infrastructure and engine that makes it all possible. But I am not just in this to make a buck. I am in this to feed my passion 3. What do you do in the industry? I currently design Wedding dresses and evening wear for  boutiques. I am also launching an high-end Ready to Wear Couture line that will be available for sale in NYC.  These unique pieces are a representation of my soul and passion for the art of design. 4. What were the challenges you faced in the industry? The Industry has become very difficult to break through as of late. I believe that everything has become celebrity driven.  The unfortunate consequence is that, these days fashion has become more generic because of it. People have lost the confidence to be uqnique and seem to want to fit into whatever stereotype they are being forced into. This is obviously make the jobs of top emerging designers difficult when trying to make a name for yourself. But if you are talented and hard working enough you can break through. 5. How did you overcome them? I simply don’t give up. Not that I haven’t felt like it. But persistence is the mother if success in this industry. Not that I am in any way complacent. I have a long way to go and I wont stop until I am there. 6. What could you have done differently? I could have done many things differently but each mistake was an educational event. 7. How did therecession effect you? Well people are less likely to spend, as a whole, so you have to tone down things a little to make them more affordable withoutsacrificing quality. 8. Did the stress level affect your personal life? Thankfully I have a supportive husband and family. But I don’t get to see mylong time friends as often as I would like. 9. What are your long term goals? To take over the world!  Actually, I just want to do what I love and be the best at it. 10. Ten years from now where do you see your brand and yourself? Ten years from now I am hoping that I have established myself as oneof the worlds top designers who is known for her unique style and creativity that profoundly effected the world of fashion. I am also hoping to advancemy career in the Costume Design Industry and have many more movies under my belt. 11. What is the advice you would like to give to someone who is starting out to do something similar. Be smart with your money and try to anticipate things that can go wrong in production so your not caught with your pants down (Pardon the Pun) Currently i’m preparing for NY Fashion Week I was chosen to show my collection at EMERGE! fashion show at NY
Fashion Week (September 11,2012)

Fashion designer Arefeh Mansouri being interviewed backstage by FashionTV at Miami Beach International Fashion Week! Photo Credit: Web City Girls