Set on her path to become a doctor, Barjis never thought that designing her sister’s wedding dress would ignite her passion for choosing a career in fashion. Every time I interview someone who inspire me, I always end up learning so much more than I thought I would.
Barjis Chohan, the designer behind her label “BARJIS” based out of London, always emphasizes on how important it is to receive a formal education or at least some sort of training in the career of your choice. Starting your own label is no easy task; entrepreneurs often have to overcome hurdles of financial difficulties to start up businesses without any loans to create a profitable business. Aspiring woman entrepreneurs worldwide and also successful designers like Ms.Chohan often face more questions about their hijab than their actual creativity. I totally agree with her on this regard that Hijabis face more questions about the hijab especially in the western society rather the actual work or message they intend to put across. She strongly believes that your work should speak for itself and you shouldn’t sell your soul for money.
Growing up with a rich heritage of Rajasthan and Pakistan, Barjis had many members in the family to look upto inspire her to hard work and how to start from scratch to get to the top. She studied fashion designing in London’s prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. She has worked for a French fashion house designing haute couture eveningwear, and also at Vivienne Westwood. BARJIS showcased their collections in both Paris and London Fashion Weeks and Dubai.
“She is a successful intelligent woman who is extremely confident. She does not use clothing to seek attention but there is an inner confidence that shines through. She is well travelled and likes to explore the world, reads literature and enjoys creativity and new aesthetics.” explains Barjis when I asked the label’s ideal target demographic.
In conversation about how we see the future of modest fashion, she added, “Modesty will not be about the religion but about how women value themselves. This will translate into the mainstream market to such an extent that it will become not a lifestyle choice for women but part of their identity”.
In spite of being very ambitious about her work and she always puts family before work. Her daily activity involves taking her kids to school and managing her work in between while her kids are still at school. I find it quite remarkable how moms manage both kids and work at the same time but I guess it comes naturally with motherhood when you’re passionate about work. Her typical working hours ranges from setting goals for her creative team to meeting clients and visiting trade shows. Her favorite dish is dal (OMG! I love Dal too! ) And her favorite color is plum. I wonder would it play an inspiration in her upcoming collection! It must!
In conversation about how we see the future of modest fashion, she added, “Modesty will not be about the religion but about how women value themselves. This will translate into the mainstream market to such an extent that it will become not a lifestyle choice for women but a part of their identity”.
For Autumn/Winter 2015 collection releasing to the public this late August the BARJIS women sets on a journey to the British Canals, so we can look forward to a lot of modest silhouettes and signature prints inspired by that. Consisting of a lot of prints and textures comprising of long midi skirts, maxi skirts, beautifully made shirts along with the bestsellers. She is also launching a diffusion line called “Choochki” very soon and intends to create a modest line for Men next year.
“It’s really important to hard work and achieve success the proper way instead of cutting corners. By that you can create a signature identity for your work. Educating yourself the proper way by internships, studying hard and believing in yourself “. A piece of priceless advice from Barjis I would always hold onto. <3