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Culture and FASHION - Sejal Anujah Shah

Q1.What is your project about?

My design labels are an amalgamation of my Indian/Eastern heritage and British/Western upbringing. It is structured to make sure that people aren’t made to feel lesser than because of their size or shape. If I were to pick one word to sum up what my labels are about and strive to achieve, it would be ‘representation’. Clothing itself can be a freeing representation of a persons identity - take a plain t-shirt as an example. Some might just wear it over a pair of jeans and trainers while another might curate a look with leather trousers, heels and jewellery to match. I think it’s important that people

Q2.Where did the original idea stem from?

Sejal Anujah Shah was formed out of my own experiences as a teenager and a young adult. I’ve always had a love for fashion - I would spend hours and hours sketching clothes I saw and everything I created in my Art classes would be influenced by fashion in one way or another. It wasn’t until I was at university, away from the heavily Indian area that I’d grown up in that I really saw the beauty in my culture. It was from then on that I decided I wanted to champion the vibrant beauty of my heritage with the sleek, modern design style of where I was born. My experience taught me the ways of creating bespoke garments to fix the wearer like a glove. It showed me how detrimental the fashion industry is to someones mental well-being but that there can be change. I myself have fallen foul to the negative personal image that can come from the industry. What we don’t think about is how sizing varies form label to label. Clothing itself can be a freeing representation of a persons identity.

Q3. What challenges have you experienced in your journey so far?

The last year has had many highs and just as many lows. I had taken some time out at the end of 2019 to restructure my couture label. What was mean to be a 3 month breather to go back to the drawing board has ended up being a 15 month term that I am now starting to emerge from. Juggling my inner narrative of needing to get the business running again with my day job and a new online label has taken a lot of trail and error to even begin to balance.

Q4. What is that you are trying to achieve by the end of the year?

By the end of the year, I want to have built up my couture label again while seeing an increase in the sales of my newly formed R-T-W label would be great. I also think it’s important to give back and I’d like to think that I can use my brands to help support others - whether that be through creating events around particular issues or starting a charity.

Q5. What do you want the legacy of your project to be known for?

I want to be remembered for championing just causes through the work I do as a designer. Whether that be gender equality, body positivity or celebration of culture, I want to be known for creating labels that celebrate all. In a world that is full of negativity and hatred, I want to have a brand that honours everyone.

Q6. Where can people find you?

Insta : @sejalanujahshah @anubysas

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