In the beginning
Fashion has been Sepehr’s birthright. His aunts and uncles were all working in fashion and his father had his own clothesline. He spent his childhood mostly within the atelier. As a 12-year-old he moves from Iran to The Netherlands and settles down in Hoorn. His passion for architecture, which is highly appreciated in his motherland, makes him decide to study architecture after he finished high school. Shortly after the interest in fashion, art and painting arises. He takes several courses to broaden his horizon and knowledge. “Architecture was a little bit too boring for me and during my study I found I started to like fashion… a lot.”
After graduating for his architecture degree he decides to continue studying and enrols for the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI). To be admitted to the AMFI every candidate needs to present four self-made garments. “My pieces were very ‘shiny’, filled with glitter and glamour, almost like a work of art. The interview also went very well, they acknowledged my enthusiasm. Before the interview I studied different kinds of fabric and backgrounds of artists. They appreciated my devotion. When I heard I was admitted to the AMFI I was working at an architecture company. I was enormously happy.”
Study at Amsterdam Fashion Institute
In the first year of his study at the AMFI he learned how to sew on the machine. During these classes all basic steps and techniques were discussed. “I used to sew my clothes by hand, so I had to get used to this. There were also some students who had taken a similar training before coming to the AMFI, so, unlike me, they already knew how to sew. But I don’t mind some competition.” Since the first year at the AMFI Sepehr was one of the stars because of his creations. The six best designers of the AMFI, of which Sepehr was one, were selected to show their artful designs at a gallery in Amsterdam. He was also asked to create clothes for 14 Dutch celebrities like Tanja Jess, Marlous Dirks en Christina van der Horst for a big show.
In the second year of his study Sepehr carries out an internship at the Talpa series “Lotte”, as a stylist, and another internship at Alexander van Slobbe as a designer. By working for this Dutch Designer, who is known for his minimalistic designs, he is introduced to the higher segment of fashion, the luxury part of fashion. During this internship he engages in pattern design, styling of the showroom and he is introduced to building up a collection.
Internship at Dutch designer Jeroen van Tuyl
The third internship he carried out at Jeroen van Tuyl. “I decided to live in Rotterdam for 6 months. I did not want to go to work as all the other interns but actually live the life he lived. During the preparation of the show this resulted in working days from 6 in the morning till 2 at night. The week before the show I did not sleep at all. I just fell asleep behind my sewing machine.” At Van Tuyl’s, Sepehr gets the chance to actually work on a collection. “It was the best internship ever. I helped designing samples and I learned so much. I have a lot of respect for Van Tuyl. He designs the entire collection by his own in his studio.”
Sepehr decides to focus on a specific line instead of doing everything. “If people want to do everything it doesn’t make it better. That’s why I chose to focus on coats first, I got quite some compliments about them.
Making costume-like clothes is also one of Sepehr’s qualities. Even his teachers of the AMFI advise him to go into this direction. ‘I like costume, but I like to make it modern. I want to make clothes which are progressive, not something which is based on fashion from early days.”
After his internship at Van Tuyl’s, Sepehr starts working on his own collection and takes courses to specialise in specific sewing techniques. Then he decides to live in Paris for half a year. After multiple invitations to job interviews Sepehr takes his portfolio with him and introduces himself to big fashion brands. “I, for example, went to Dior and Chanel. You show your portfolio and the next step is that they call you if you are eligible for the traineeship. At Dior I spoke to two headstylists of John Galiano, foreman of the world known brand. They liked the locations I chose for my photo-shoots a lot and were very enthusiastic. After two weeks Sepehr gets the phone call he is on top of the list and is allowed to start his traineeship in September 2010 after his graduation. In the end he decides not to accept the offer. “I already started my own collection in the Netherlands and besides living in Paris was very expensive and the traineeship unpaid.” Some of his coats are, unlike him, still in Paris. “I walked past the Louvre and past a boutique of Laurence Boisson and got into a conversation with the owner. I showed her my work and she was very enthusiastic. I sometimes go there to bring her some of my new coats.”
During the study the students work 7 days a week, sometimes day and night, to be one of the 20 graduating students, chosen out of 600! Of the 600 students only the best will stay until the end. “You have to give up a lot for it, but because fashion is oxygen for me, I would give anything for it.” Sepehr finds his inspiration everywhere. “I can be inspired by the way a fabric falls but also by looking around in the streets. I love the autumn because of the colours of the trees and leafs.” A designer who inspires Sepehr is Hussein Chalayan.
Sepehr is proud of…
Sepehr has designed clothes for queen Maxima and DJ Armin van Buuren. Next to that he also has had some shows on the Amsterdam International Fashion Week (AIFW). One of the highlights was the show on the AIFW where he showed his Spring/Summer collection in 2010. Top models like Kim Feenstra, Rosalinde Kikstra, Sylvia Geersen, Manuela Loth and many, many others at the pond of the ‘Gashouder’ stroll around in his creations accompanied by a live opera singer. This collection called “Adolescere’ was described as fairylike and a pleasant surprise at the AIFW. The show was closed by Berber Esha Janssen en Lotte Prijs with their newest single, they were also models in the show.
In 2010 Sepehr was also to be seen in ‘Project Catwalk’ on Dutch television. By this show he raised more awareness in the Netherlands. He was mainly seen as the entertainer of the show: the ‘dandy with the big smile.’ At the moment Sepehr is not only known in the Netherlands, but also worldwide. The year 2011 was Sepehr’s ‘year to shine’, as he likes to call it. He won the Edgar Vos Couture Price two times in a short period of time and as a stylist he worked on articles, which were published in magazines like ELLE and Esquire.
Amsterdam Fashion Week
In 2011 he opened the Amsterdam Fashion Week with his own show “Intense Existence’ in castle ‘De Hooge Vuursche.’ This was a huge spectacle with a lot of media attention. The rest of the world was introduced to Sepehr in April 2011 when he participated in the show ‘My Super Sweet Sixteen Worldclass’. In this show he designed the party dresses for Medy and her friends. This show was broadcasted in 49 countries with more than 150 million viewers.
A year full of surprises
2012 had been a busy year for Sepehr. The year started off very well with the show during the Amsterdam Fashion week. Sepehr showed his collection called “Running Through Walls.’ “I was going through a rough time and wanted to get to the end of it as soon as possible. I assimilated this into my collection. The meaning of this collection is that even though everything goes wrong you have to go on and not even walls can stop you reaching your goals. You are a warrior!” That is what the collection radiates. His fairylike collection was received with enthusiasm.
In the same year Sepehr designed and styled for several music videos for artists like Sting, Ferry Corsten, Betsie Larking and Sharon Doorson. He also styled Eva Simons for the cover of her new CD. “It is amazing to style so many artists in a year. The highlight was the CD cover of Eva Simons.” It has been a year with many publications in magazines like, Vogue Italy, Uptemo Magazine, NYC Magazine, Style Vision, Blü Magazine and Press The Fashion Magazine. “Amazing, my first cover on the French Luxurious.” Sepehr proudly presented his new collection on Dutch television programs like ‘Koffietijd’ and ‘De Halve Maan’. He also participated in the ART Fair at the Westergasfabriek where his artwork was exhibited alongside art from all over the world. There was a huge exposition in the Rabobank at the Dam in Amsterdam. “The show was a big success and was featured in newspapers like Sp!ts, the Noordhollands Dagblad and on various websites and blogs.”
In January 2013 he presented his Autumn/Winter collection at the Damrak, prior to the Amsterdam Fashion Week. This show was named ‘Embrace your Darkness’ – a thoughtless advice from the unknowing who absolutely don’t understand what they are dealing with. A fashion designer who understands his audience but also shows them his thoughts about it. Furthermore Sepehr was interviewed for City News, a Dutch television program, and will participate in the event ‘Hoorn Fashion City’ that takes place on March 23 and 24 in, of course, Hoorn. Sepehr is far from being bored with the glamorous world of fashion. “The legendary period starts now!”
The eyes of the world are on Sepehr Maghsoudi
Sepehr was nominated for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week New York, shortly after presenting his 11th collection “Talking with Silence” in July 2014 to the Dutch fashion press, fashionistas and contacts from film, TV and other art angles.
The comments of the jury were full of praise:
”Sepehr Maghsoudi is an impressive designer and this Brand fits perfectly with our theme of Artistically inspired fashion designers from around the world. We checked his work on his website as you recommended http://sepehrmaghsoudi.com/ and are very impressed by his creative, innovative craftsmanship. We also investigated his work on his latest fashion shows, reviews in the press and on social media and are pleased. We are therefore delighted to be able to allow this brand to Mercedes Benz New York”.
And what’s more: some weeks later there was breaking news from the International Designer Coordinator VANCOUVER FASHION WEEK
” I am writing to you because our team, after having carefully studied your fabulous collections and great talent, decided to select you as a designer candidate for our next fall/winter season, which will be organized from March 16th to the 22nd 2015.
We really want to compliment you for your talent and creativity, that you express through the beautiful art of fashion design. Especially, I really like the way you are able to combine simplicity, elegance and research of fabric.”
Whereas recently, the management of Style Fashion Week invited him to come to Los Angeles:
“Love your style and design aesthetic. It has originality which sets you apart.”
For recent updates see Sepehr’s cv: Curriculum Vitae Sepehr Maghsoudi