Enri Mato: What sparked your interest in fashion?
dorsaLi: I have been on the move for countless years, accumulating vast cultural and people experiences. Being born in Iran, cultivated in India and studying demi couture at an esteemed French fashion school in Dubai UAE, I have now settled in Canada. Bouncing around between cultures and communities, I realized that fashion was my personal pillar, allowing me to project my vision of multiculturalism through this lens.
Enri Mato: What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
dorsaLi: Being originally Iranian there is a lot of influence exerted by parents on the future of their kids. I am fortunate enough to have a dad who is a self-taught architect and part time musician and a mom who has been a pattern drafter for more than 30 years. I was fortunate to have my parents’ support behind me, and that itself was all the confidence I needed at the time. It was a good feeling to have acted as a trendsetter in my extended family and to inspire similar decisions made by my cousins for their future.
Enri Mato: Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?
dorsaLi: I had the opportunity and privilege to study at one of the oldest fashion schools in the world, dating back to 1841, called Esmod Ècole Supérieure des arts et techniques de la mode and graduate in demi-couture in 2013. The positive impact of this on my development cannot be denied. Some of the best professors at the time influenced my development, including the former chef of harper’s bazar Arabia as my fashion design teacher and one of the couturiers from Pierre Cardin as a pattern drafting teacher.
Enri Mato: From where are you getting your inspiration?
dorsaLi: I usually come up with the ideas first and then allow varying forms of inspiration to push me towards the collections’ finish line along the way. It doesn’t work the same way for all of us I guess. When you study fashion design at school, one of the first things they teach you is to have an inspiration first. Connecting my thoughts to this was always hard. Why does it always have to start with inspiration? I typically already knew what I wanted to design. I could imagine the final product. This forced me to work backwards, to fit into the standard school system. My message for the students is that there is no right or wrong way in design. Let yourself discover what works best for you.
Enri Mato: How do you describe your work?
dorsaLi: Timeless, sustainably pleasing pieces. Each and every pattern is draped by the art of moulage on the dress-form, processed by samples in canvas and with final production done in house.
Our aim is to create thought-inspiring pieces to perfection, worthy of being reproduced in select batches only, from the greatest quality fabrics. dorsaLi is signed by the art of pure craftsmanship.
This process may be time-consuming for today’s world of fast fashion, yet in a world of slow and timeless pieces, these high-quality garments are aimed to please sustainably for years to come.
Enri Mato: Does your approach differ when designing menswear compared to womenswear?
dorsaLi: At the moment dorsaLi is concentrating on women’s wear only and we are working hard to launch a gender-neutral wear by end of 2021. We can’t wait to share this with you and our supporters.
Enri Mato: What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
dorsaLi: I believe in a self-sufficient clothing industry. As a result, I will not stop innovating, seeking to stay fashion forward, with the support of a diverse community of designers and artists. How could I continue to promote creative pieces, while advancing sustainability and the protection of our planet? As results, our new collection “Omnipresence” addresses these concerns, by being season-less, made from fabric deadstock and puts emphasis on upcycling. For example, our linings have past lives as curtains and tablecloths.
Enri Mato: What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started working in the fashion industry?
dorsaLi: The “traditional” fashion industry can be quite overwhelming both as an entrepreneur or an employee. My biggest takeaway so far, has been to believe in your decisions and to commit to your choices and to know that there is no right or wrong in art, or in general for that matter.
As an entrepreneur I work long hours and surely a lot more than a typical employee. The benefit is that I do not have to follow the fast and often grueling pace the world of fashion imposes, because I believe that “fast fashion” is coming to an end anyway. Our generation, the “millennials”, and the generations after will be much more aware and conscious of their buying habits. They will connect their purchasing decisions to their environment, buying fashion in consideration of many factors, which will lead us to a better, more sustainable future in the industry. I am anxiously looking forward to being a part of a new era in the fashion industry, in which technology will also have its major impacts.
Enri Mato: What are your future plans?
dorsaLi: I am glad to share that the future is forever becoming. My biggest lesson is to live in the moment. Things will move forward at the pace they may, yet I am thrilled for the future prospects of dorsaLi.
To me, the future of dorsaLi will depend on the finding the right balance between:
the values of the past, social media and technology. While they are all intimately linked, I find them to sometimes contradict each other.
Hopefully, my supporters will recognize the power of dorsaLi from its innovation and distinctively identifiable values. Social media as a vehicle, yes, but sometimes I question how this impacts our values, our innovation and our creativity if we are all following the same trends?
I’m curious how the readers of Utopian Magazine perceive social media’s influence on innovation and values. I invite you to reach out, comment, water and grow our thoughts together.
Enri Mato is an architect and photographer born in 1986 in an artist family. His father was a sculptor and his mother was a restorative, who worked in the Louvre Museum. He grew up in Tirana, Albania where he discovered his interest in photography and art at an early age. In 2005 Enri moved to Paris to study Photography and Architecture. He later pursued masters dergree in Urban Design between Geneva and Tirana. He graduated with a research project called Remembrance. Through his thriving business Enri had the opportunity to travel the world to share his vision and experiences with an international audience.