The Barjis show at London Fashion Week took place on February 15th 2013. It was attended by people from a range of backgrounds including bloggers, academics, press and fashion buyers. I had the chance to catch up with familiar faces and meet new ones, including the lovely Aamina, who won tickets via the competition here on the blog. I also had the chance to ask Barjis Chohan a few questions about her latest collection, and you see can see what she has to say below. And not to worry if you weren't able to attend, the show was filmed and you can catch all the action in this video:
Jana: Congratulations on your successful show last Friday! Can you tell us a little about how you got involved with LFW and what goes into planning a show like this?
Barjis: Thank you Jana! I have always wanted to showcase at London Fashion Week as London is my home town and I was getting a lot of interest from the public to do an event in London. It took us around 3 months to plan this event. It is time consuming if you want to get it right. Most of the time was spent on getting the sampling right. It's not easy putting together a show.
Jana: How do you see Barjis' relationship with mainstream fashion and retailers?
Barjis: I always knew that Barjis has potential to penetrate into the mainstream market. I was working on a made-to-order model for over a year and waited for the right time to venture into wholesale. I think my work and the craftsmanship needs a physical outlet so that customers can feel the garments and appreciate the beauty of the pieces. Having an online store is great to reach a wider global market, but nothing can beat walking into a store and trying out a Barjis. Hence I am in talks with boutiques to stock my label. However these outlets will be vetted to ensure that my brand is positioned well in the market.
Jana: Your latest collection 'Journey of Times' featured a wider variety of pieces like skirts, jackets and trouser suits. What made you want to diversify your collection?
Barjis: Public demand and also a natural progression to develop my line. Abayas are great but not everyone wears one. The Turkish, Lebanese and Western markets want modest dressing but more mainstream clothing.
Jana: Which is your personal favourite piece from the collection?
Barjis: I like the screen printed velvet jacket. It's a versatile piece that can be worn with jeans or you can dress it up for a more formal occasion.
Jana: When will your new collection be available to buy from your website?
Barjis: We hope to start production in late March and it will be available to buy in July (before Ramadan).