Fashion Chat: 10 Questions With Naeem Khan
In addition to his richly embellished signature collection of cocktail frocks and eveningwear beloved by the likes of Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Michelle Obama, India-born designer Naeem Khan's also designs a successful HSN collaboration. Timeless by Naeem Khan debuted in October 2009 and swiftly sold out its entire inventory. More recently, Khan created a special capsule of faux fur outerwear and accessories with French company Tissavel as part of his Timeless line. Since the collection went live on HSN.com just this week, we thought timing was perfect for a Q&A with the master of feathered frocks.
What—or who—inspires your designs?
Inspiration comes to me from many aspects of my being. I love life, people, travel, nature, books, movie, movie stars, geography, history and the arts. There is no one muse in the process of my work, but at times I have been obsessed with certain figures, such as Marie Antoinette and Diana Vreeland.
What are your favorite materials to work with from season to season?
I love glamour—the materials that reflect that are what interest me the most. Beads, sequins and silk threads.
You've outfitted many celebs over the years—which of your A-list dressing successes stand out in particular?
Dressing celebrities is a big part of my brand! Some of my favorites were Eva Longoria at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and Mrs. Obama at her first state dinner.
On that note, what was it like dressing the First Lady? How did you approach that project differently, if at all?
Dressing her was a lifelong dream come true. The inspiration had to be completely thought through; for example, the shape of the dress had to be timeless and classic, to mix part of my culture from India and my life in America. The beading pattern we used was inspired by Andy Warhol's work and the beading itself was hand-stitched using an ancient process from India.
Tell me a bit about how your relationship with HSN came about.
Mindy Grossman (HSN's CEO) was the force behind making it happen. I am very happy with the business we've developed over the past few years—through HSN, my brand now reaches over 90 million viewers.
Can you shed some light on how the collaboration makes the Naeem Khan aesthetic more accessible?
Since my primary collection is sold at top fashion stores across the globe, I love that HSN allows my customers to shop from the comfort of their own homes.
But isn't it a challenge to work with lower-priced materials?
Nowadays, there are so many techniques one can use to make a great-quality product at reasonable prices. It really isn't a challenge to stick to a lower budget. HSN has been a great partner in that from development to delivery, they make sure everything runs smoothly.
What made you choose faux fur as the primary material for this new collection?
Tissavel makes the best faux fur in the world. It's made in France and the fur is woven so it doesn't shed. And the hand-feel is so real—it's truly the most luxurious faux fur you can buy.
What's your favorite piece from the collection?
I love them all, but the vest is my favorite. It's beautiful, well-priced and practical.
What's on your holiday wish list this season?
More time to spend with my family...and a faux fur blanket from Tissavel for my bedroom!
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