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Industry InterviewsProduct Launch

Mani Jassal in Conversation about her Recent Fashion Show at Airship37 : Her Creative Vision & Future Big Plans

MANI JASSAL presents MANI JASSAL presents Alamārī RESORT2017 FASHION SHOW at Airship37 event venue Toronto.

Your friend Raz Soos Transformational Coach, writer and speaker gave a beautiful introduction to the show.  She touched on some inspirational ideas and insights for the audience to think about. In what ways do you feel this introduction best represented your fashion show that followed?

I think its important for people to know the beginnings of someone. I had Raz do my introduction  because she is someone who knows me best as a person and a designer. I met Raz when I had just graduated from Ryerson, and she is someone that pushed me and encouraged me into becoming the designer that I am today. She believed in me when I didn’t even believe in myself. I feel that to remember your roots is important in recognizing all of the progress you have made.

Photographer Baljit Singh

Raz Soos commended you on the consistency of your process and your ability to have an unfaltering confidence in yourself and your creative vision. What qualities and strengths have you cultivated that help keep you consistently moving in the direction you want to?

 The most important thing is to have a VERY good work ethic and to continuously work towards a goal. You have to have the ability to motivate yourself in moments you may not feel the most motivated. Determination and passion is key in moving forward and expanding. I am also very fortunate to be surrounded by people like my family and friends that have unconditionally supported me.

photographer Ajay Dhaliwal

What part does fashion play in self expression?

I think fashion is one of the best ways to express yourself. You can dress up however you like depending on your mood, and anyone can  do it. I express myself through my collections and designs and I put a little bit of me out with each piece.

photographer Ajay Dhaliwal

All of your collection pieces are hand-made in Canada. What is the significance of this production choice and what are some of the outcomes of this decision?

When I initially startedI was producing all my pieces, and then my mom started helping me sew. After a year or so I was able to hire on more members to my production team. However because the brand has been expanding so quickly, all Canadian production is becoming difficult. I have slowly started outsourcing my production in India for certain pieces, however majority of the pieces are made here in Canada. This is important as it helps promote the Canadian economy and helps fashion students in finding a job. I think the biggest issue I had after graduation was finding a paid job in fashion. I want to give back to the fashion students by offering them internships and careers in the fashion industry through my company. This will only empower them and it will also help in expanding the Toronto Fashion Industry.

Photographer Baljit Singh

Once your fashion leaves your domain and is worn it continues to have a life of its own. What are some of the affects of seeing through social media and sharing the new environments that your creations exist in?

It is always so amazing to see others interpret your designs and wear them as your own. I love seeing the creativity in others. It is always so inspiring.

photographer Ajay Dhaliwal

Your Alamārī RESORT2017 collection was inspired in part by your encounter with Moroccon culture, architecture, history geography and climate. What sparks your initial interest in Morocco and how did your interest develop and inform your collection?

Travel and architecture remain a consistent inspiration in all of my collections thus far. I was inspired by Moroccan architecture and weather, along with my personal ALAMARI (closet). The inspiration behind this collection comes from the blend of Moroccan architecture and my personal closet. I am always fascinated by other cities as I find them as an escape from reality ; just as I feel about clothes.

photographer Ajay Dhaliwal

You designed your initial fashion line based on a strong concept and vision that has carried through all of your creations.. How would you define this original concept and how has it evolved?

When I originally created my brand I knew I wanted to appeal to a woman that was not afraid to be different , and wanted to rebel from typical South Asian Fashion norms (a concept I apply to my personal style always). I initially created a Non-traditional  and very experimental collection for my final year at Ryerson. The collection rebelled from typical South Asian Fabrics, Colours and silhouettes. The feedback I received after the collection was amazing as I found that many women here in North America resonated with the collection. I was told that my pieces and designs were the perfect mix of their Canadian and SouthAsian roots. They were something that no one has seen in the market before. This is something I have continued through out my brand. Now it has developed and prospered into its own culture of clothing.

The event styling at Airship37 was integrated so seamlessly with your designs. What was the process designing the space for the fashion show?

I knew that I wanted a unique space to have my fashion show since the clothes are also unique. I loved the industrial feel of AIRSHIP37 and I thought it worked perfectly with the brand. I worked with Chic Events by Sonia and EXCLUSIVE Designs Decor to have the space be filled with palm trees and Moroccan motifs  for guests to feel like they were brought to Morocco .

 

 

What part do creative style shoots play in creating your brand identity and how do you approach each new shoot?

Creative style shoots are very important in brand identity and I think it is a way that you can show your audience how you envisioned the collection to be worn. Each shoot always has a theme that works with the collection . It wouldn’t make sense to have a plain white wall everytime. You have to think of something new and creative every time, and this is the fun part of the job.

photographer Ajay Dhaliwal

How would you describe the mood and attitude of this collection? How was this collection a departure from your previous ones?

This is a resort 2017 collection so the pieces are light and perfect for the summer season. The collection starts with whites, and transcends into soft pinks, powder blues which transform into navy’s and finally blacks. These are the colours in my closet and I wanted to show a personal side of myself in it.

photographer Ajay Dhaliwal

What were your impressions of the fashion show as it was happening and how does seeing your complete collection in this forum affect your future creations?

I feel like during the actual fashion show everything happened so quickly. There was months and months of prep that went into making this show happened. At the moment everything went by so quickly. There was a moment of relief that it was done!!!!! It felt like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulder. Having completed and launched this collection meant that I can start working on my next one. I have already started the concept, and visualizing it in my head and am excited to be launching this.

In closing the opening talk your friend invited the audience to view this experience as more than a fashion show, as an opportunity to remove any barriers that do not serve ones higher self to achieve your goals. This generous and empowering message set a tone of collective positivity to the nights events. What are your impressions of this?

I think its an important message to share with everyone . It basically means that if you have a dream to be something , then you can achieve it no matter what. You have to be motivated , determined and passionate. I am so glad that it set a tone of positivity because I want to inspire people to do what they love and to follow their dreams.

How has your parents’ continued support and encouragement played a role in your career?

I would not be where I am today if it was not for my parents. They may not have initially agreed with my career choice but they saw how determined and passionate I was about following my dream. They are so proud of me, and I always feel so fortunate to have that. It makes me keep going. I just want to make them proud, and let them know that they did the right thing by letting their daughter do what they love.

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