I love styles that are lost in time

noorin-herself

 

So…I was fortunate enough to grab an interview with the Noorin Khamisani, the driving force behind Outsider Fashion. She was born and raised in London in the UK. She graduated with a first class honours degree in Fashion Design and runs Outsider Fashion, a boutique with an emphasis on ‘ethical fashion should just look like fashion’. This must be where fashion, tech and everything else that touches our daily life heads towards for a safe future for our planet and kids. I was super excited to meet her and ask her about her business and hope we can inspire. Anyone who’s ever wondered how it works, or plans on a life of running a fashion empire, listen up!

 

 

Noorin – How did you get into fashion?

I was always interested in design and became focused on fashion as a specialism I wanted to pursue early on. I studied Fashion Design at UCA Rochester and jumped straight into internships with independent designers after that. I had a great time learning from industry both in London and New York. After a few years I moved on to working as part of the buying team on the John Rocha Designers at Debenhams range. Some more time working with other brands like Hobbs and Ted Baker gave me a really good grounding in understanding the fashion industry.

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So what made you decide on your own label?

I started to question the ethics and sustainability of the industry as a whole. The more research I did the more dire the situation looked.

At that time, 7/8 years ago, there was little interest in switching to organic cotton or working towards a fair trade model for example. So I decided if I wanted to prove fashion could be made in a better way I would have to start my own label. Hence developing my first collection for Outsider and launching it in 2009. The whole I idea was that fashion can be produced using sustainable fabrics, in good working conditions and could still be luxurious and beautiful. My tag line was ‘Ethical fashion should just look like fashion’ which reflected the bad press ethical fashion had had at the time.

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How do you balance your role at Outsider with your lecturing work at London College of Fashion?

I am very fortunate to job share, so my lecturing work is manageable and complimentary to my own work. In fact I would say the two roles benefit each other. By running my own ethical fashion business I have up to date real life information and contacts to share with the students. When I teach them about sustainability, it’s not just theoretical but enhanced by the reality of trying to actually develop product in this way. Seeing which topics the students respond to helps me to ensure my own work is current with what my potential customers of the future will be looking for.

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Finally, what are your top tips for success in the fashion industry?

I say this all the time to my students and it is so important to remember. The fashion industry is changing and evolving all the time. The industry I was trained for when I was at University does not exist now. So to ensure your success you need to be constantly keeping yourself informed, updating your skills. You need to be adaptable to future proof yourself. Understand that everything and anything can have an influence on fashion so you need to ensure you know what is going on in the world. Finally persistence is key, in such a competitive industry.

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Check out Outsider Fashion’s website, Facebook and Instagram.

Personal note, thanks Noorin! Ben.