It’s not very often that we get the opportunity to discover a fashion label which not only exudes sartorial elegance, but also imbibes a deeper understanding of what’s happening around them, politically & socially. In a fashion season which is all about slogan tees & making a political statement (think Dior’s famous ‘Feminist’ version), we were more than delighted to discover Dubai-based label, House of Hashé.

Combining her connoisseurship of style & talent for designing, creative director & design maven, Ava Hashemi, introduced House of Hashé in 2013. In a few years, the label has gained recognition as a major style player (as well as earned a special place in our wish lists).

Intrigued by the Ava’s innovative thinking & design journey, we decided to sit down with the designer herself to discuss all things style, her struggles and the future of House of Hashé.

 

House of Hashe
Photo: Courtesy of House of Hashé

 

“I am very inspired by the juxtaposition of clashing things … how ironically harmonious they are placed together.” – Ava Hashemi

 

 The House of Hashé Concept & Brand Inspiration 

 

Ava: Hashé is a conceptual brand. I am very inspired by the juxtaposition of clashing things; how ironically harmonious they are placed together, resulting in a powerful message. Through this message, the wearer is then able to express his/herself.

The AW17 collection is themed ‘happy ending’, emphasising the idea that there is no happy ending, something we particularly feel in a war situation, especially with the atrocities taking place in our region. This juxtaposition of the title then becomes powerful. Expressing and bringing together these opposing concepts through clothes is the aim. For example, the collection involves a lot of half pleated and half ‘not happy’ appliqués translating the message into a collection, mirroring wearable art.

The pieces then become wearable, practical and aesthetically pleasing all at once. To make this aspect of inspiration more prominent to the wearer, each piece has a story printed into its lining.

This idea of an abstract or concept inspiration has always been an integral part of House of Hashé, however it’s something we recently started shining the light on. Our campaign also motivate buyers & wearers to attain a full understanding of the clothes.

 

House of Hashe
Photo: Courtesy of House of Hashé

 

The Biggest Challenges of the Journey 

 

Ava: I feel like the journey itself was filled with obstacles, and one isn’t more dominant than the other.

However, the most difficult aspect of any design journey is the start. When I started as a novice designer, I was focusing on trying to abide by industry rules. With experience and time, I deviated from this mentality, and this was the best thing to happen to both the brand and me as a creative director. Being creative in the way we run our businesses is essential. The key to success is to just do your thing & be yourself.

 

Ava’s Favourite House of Hashé Pieces 

 

Ava: This question is like asking a mom, ‘Who’s your favourite kid?’. In our Recent collection, a simple cape detailed dress comes to mind first. It’s navy blue (which is my favourite colour) & in a maxi dress silhouette. The French cuffs towards the elbow are a House of Hashé signature. It’s very simple to wear, but looks elegant.

I’d definitely pair it with a huge straw hat, and wear it to a summer brunch.

 

House of Hashe
Photo: Courtesy of House of Hashé

 

The Changing Retail Landscape 

 

Ava: The emergence of tecommerce platforms is pushing away the physical presence of the brand, which makes me have mixed feelings towards the entire phenomena. Social media has become crucial to a brand’s existence, as it helps create exposure and awareness, empowering younger and small players in the industry.

However, although monopolisation is no longer an issue, with social media everything has become too cluttered. This results in a lot of room for copying. That being said, the upsides weigh heavier.

One can’t oppose digital commerce, as it’s a gateway movement and facilitates everything. Especially as a start up, it helps you retail directly to the end consumer. As you communicate directly with them, you know what they prefer, as well as their direct feedback. The marketing side is also beneficial, making the entire process very powerful.

 

House of Hashe’s Future 

 

Ava: We newly opened our North American showroom, and our aim is to expand into this market. It’s a big market and plays in well with our wholesale strategy. We want to expand into multiple product lines; venturing into ready-to-wear & accessories, as well as footwear & kidswear.

The aim is to make House of Hashé a full-fledged brand, offering an array of products to the consumer, whilst maintaining the brand ethos.

 

House of Hashe
Photo: Courtesy of House of Hashé

Author Manal Waqi

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