Photo by Angeliki Stamataki

Shafi’s Dream: A discussion with Shafigheh Qias

Fashion is always defined by the designers of clothing, footwear and accessories. Shafigheh Qias is an upcoming Afghan fashion designer with her own delicate Afghan style. By supporting Afghan people’s tradition, immense creativity, handwork as well as their ideas, her first fashion line seeks to prevent not only Eastern but Western textile traditions dying out. However, some of these beautiful garments can take months to complete and this goes against today’s fast-paced fashion world. 

To be able to work and grow her own fashion brand, she decided to put on her own fashion show. This line is manufactured using high quality materials. Shafigheh Qias draws inspiration from traditional eastern and western garments, inspired by Afghan colourful patterns. Following this DNA of tailoring, Shafigheh Qais’s designs have a distinct geometric style.

Her first collection called “Flame” was presented last December at the “Action for Women” organisation, in Athens. This is where we met the designer that recently entered the fashion industry, with a passion for radical design, to tell us more about her work.

Shafi, what sparked your interest in fashion?

I love the power of clothing and the transformative quality of dressing up! I started making clothes from a very young age and I have been doing this for a very long time.

What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?

My mother was a dressmaker. I decided to follow her footsteps and started trying to make clothes when I was 12 years old. I also noticed the incredible clothing that the indigenous people of Afghanistan, Tajikistan and Iran wore and was in awe of how amazingly well dressed they were, but when I listened to people talking about fashion from my county, they weren’t aware of these amazing colors and garments. So I had the idea to try and create something I thought could be classed as eastern and western fashion. I wanted to challenge these views.

Are you self taught or did you study fashion design?

I began by sketching and creating patterns, but then I started making clothes for my sister because I was practicing dressmaking. I soon realised that my clothes were quite original and I decided to study fashion, and so I did, back in Iran where I studied basic Fashion Design.

What is the biggest lesson that you have learned from your first fashion show?

I have learnt one thing, whoever you are, from where ever you come from, it doesn’t matter. You can be whatever you want to be. It’s up to you to achieve it!

What advice would you give to young people or those who think nothing is possible?

The only thing I want from young people is to trust themselves, never be disappointed in themselves. I have faced a lot of difficulties in my life too. There is no famous female Afghan designer and I want to be the first. If I can do it, you all can, too.

Photos by Angeliki Stamataki

Morteza Rahimi