Chic and comfort rarely ever go together. High heels do make women look chic and sexy, but are never comfortable to wear. After a few hours of standing or dancing in heels, you will either have to go barefoot or punish your significant other by forcing them to carry you all the way home. So whenever someone mentions that there is a comfortable and non-pretentious fashion label, the odds are it is probably some sort of sweatpants or sneakers brands. NEZ, a womenswear label based in Jakarta, defies the odds. For three years in a row, Shahnaz Soraya, the creative director of NEZ, has successfully designed collections that are consistently chic, romantic, whimsical, non-pretentious and comfortable – all at once. Perhaps it’s not surprising since her design motto is to not only to set a style through her collections but also to create pieces that are functional and comfortable, the perfect pieces for independent and confident women with great style.
Englave: How long have you been working on NEZ by Soraya label?
Shanaz: I have been working in the fashion industry since 2010 but started working on the NEZ label in 2011 right after I received the 1st prize from Indonesian Fashion Week competition.
Englave: What or who inspired you to be a fashion designer?
Shanaz: My grandma and my mom. I have always been surrounded with music and art since an early age. My grandmother graduated from art school and always did all the artsy things that you can think of, from drawing to sculpting and sewing. She always let me watch her do her work, and even taught me how to draw. As for my mom, when I was in junior high, my mom and her sisters opened a fabric shop in Jakarta. That’s where I started to explore and learn about fabric. Intrigued to go further, I tried to sketch and make some clothes, which was not easy at all since I didn’t know anything about pattern drafting. But since that moment I have known what I love and what I want to do in my life: fashion design.
Englave: What matters to you most as a fashion designer?
Shanaz: Creating something that’s wearable, comfortable, functional and good quality. Also I never forget to add my signature touch to my collections.
Englave: Describe your brand in 3 words
Shanaz: Comfortable, clean cut, and modern
Englave: What is your favorite part of the design process?
Shahnaz : Research and drapping/moulage
Englave: What is your biggest source of inspiration?
Shanaz: Art movement and architecture
Englave: How do you plan on growing your brand?
Shanaz: Thoroughly understand my audience, and have a great business and creative team.
Englave: What is your proudest moment?
Shanaz: When I see strangers walking on the street wearing my clothes, that’s the proudest moment for me.
Englave: What is your biggest challenge as an emerging designer?
Shanaz: Having a brand recognition at an international level
Englave: What is the best career advice you have ever received?
Shanaz: If you really love with what you do, no matter how hard your situation is, just keep believing that something good must be coming for who those who work and fight very hard. Fashion is never be easy, so think hard before you choose fashion as your career path.
Englave: Where can we purchase your collection?