Graduated from Australia’s TAFE College, Niki Miri returns to Iran to follow her passion in designing and making Iranian-tailored dresses. She is now an entrepreneur trying to expand her work.
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SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “I'm Niki Miri, a graduate in Engineering Physics. After graduating from university, I was looking for a job wherein there'd be a measure of art and I’d be able to make money from. I was raised in an art-loving family, and since I was a kid, I was interested in arts, so I opted to major in fashion designing”.
Conversation [Persian] Niki Miri & one of her clients: “-I like this design a lot…and I'm in a real hurry!
-You are…!? Well, this is an elaborate piece.
-Alright, then see how you can make time for me and speed it up as far as possible
- I suggest we go together to look around for some fabrics, and you can choose a few colors…”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “After spending some time with one of Australia's TAFE colleges, I started working. Of course, it's been about 4 years since I finished the program; but I felt I really want to maintain my independence and start something on my own.”
Conversation [Persian] Niki Miri & one of her clients: “-I want the sleeves to stretch to my watch.
-77 is the desirable sleeve length.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “We design and sew manteaux (mantos) over hear, along with our good team. Each of us has a duty here and we still sound each other out; I can really say we're a well-organized team.”
Conversation [Persian] Niki Miri & one of her clients: “-Hi there, how are you? Good seeing you. Is my work ready?
-Yes, it is, dear. Please come in. Here you are! Your manteaux just the way you wanted.
-Thank you so much, it's perfect!
-The pleated patterns, the lamp shade style and accessories...
-It's perfect; really cute. Thanks.
-And this is our patterned design, just the way we talked about.
-Thanks a lot, really!
Yes, I love it. I wish it had pockets. Can you add them?
-Great! Yeah, no problem. Just tell me where you want them.
-Here, I'd like it here.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “The designers must really try to put their work out there in the market, in a way to be used.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Zahra Ahmadi, Dressmaker: “Sewing, is one of my old interests, moreover, when a piece of work is done, it's as if you've breathed life into something; it just lifts you up. You get really happy to have been able to give shape to a piece of lifeless fabric.”
Conversation [Persian] Niki Miri & Her colleagues: “-You have Zereshk-Polo for lunch today?
-Yeah, I'm not a vegetarian like you, you know; so I can have meat too!
-Well, most of those who've worked with me have turned vegetarian; but I don't want anyone to change their eating habits because of me.
-This dark blue one, the pockets are ready…
-Is it ready?
-It's just not sewed on yet.
-The black one, we still haven't cut it yet, right…?”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “I really wanted to have a big production plant, where we can teach single moms, and where they can make a living too; but, there's still some way to get there.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer (talking on the phone): “We're running a bit late; we're going for a modeling photo shoot, and we're stuck in the traffic.”
TIME CODE: 05:00_10:00
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “Modeling is the exciting part of our work. That's when we can get to see the results of our work.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer (talking on the phone): “- Will you get there in time? Yes, sure, thanks a lot. Bye!”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “Ms. Akbari, I'm going to be there at 5 o'clock sharp; just wanted you to be ready. I'll do everything I can, to get there on time;
-We're still stuck in the traffic. Please, go ahead. We too are taking lanes and alleys to get there. It is Ms. Soleimani, from the Artmode.ir website, who’s done something innovative, and she's decided to have an interview with us. So that we introduce ourselves, and prepare the grounds for the business, we intend to start.”
Conversation [Persian] Niki Miri & Ms. Soleimani: “Artmode.ir has simplified this for them, so that the designers get the chance, to have the market defined for them.
-Would you tell us a little about your designing style? How you essentially go about doing it?
-My design style is a mixture of the Parisian style and the Eastern & Persian styles; In fact, my own taste is indeed the Parisian style, but since I live here in Iran, I wanted to combine the two, which is how I got here.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “A public call has been put out there, for a historical drama TV series, to choose a designer to design costumes for the period; and I sent my designs over and after being picked out, they gave me details on that period, and I did some research and sent over some more designs; and we agreed to work together as a team; at the moment, our short-term goal is to have our works sold in stores. I'd like my works to show a real sense of chicness and uniqueness, along with good quality material and craftsmanship.”
Conversation [Persian] Niki Miri & a Salesman: “-Hello, Mr. Salami!
-Hi, how are you?
-You feeling good?
-Thanks a lot!
-How have our works been received?
- Well your works… it's clear… we can tell which designs have been really good and more welcomed, more generally, and have attracted more attention; and which ones are more taste-based. There are some that haven't been received well. For instance on this design, we've had a lot of success. It's been a special design. unlike anything we've had; after all, women like to wear unique clothes.
-This can be mixed with other fabrics as well.
- Well, I think, mixing it up with other fabrics…I mean, the present mix is good enough; but, this pinkish color one, which I personally like a lot and has been greatly received so far this year, and the applied parts too, are really good.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Niki Miri, Fashion Designer: “I like to see our designs and brand, sold at such stores, and marketed extensively in a mass way, in addition to other places, like chain stores.
The decision I have for the future of my career is to be able to offer a design, that would enable Iranian women to wear what they really deserve.”