Meet Tara Ghazanfar, designer and founder of Tara Zadeh, a new covetable handbag line on our radar. The Parsons' grad is making a name for herself with shapely bags and unique hardware in a vivid range of colors from a cobalt blue to the prettiest violet shade. We caught up with the London-based designer to talk about her first design memories, where she draws inspiration and her summer travel plans.
Meet Tara Ghazanfar
Hometown: New York
Current Residence: London
What is one of your first design memorY?
What is one of you first design memories?It has to be my thesis when I graduated from Parsons in New York, where I majored in Graphic Design. There were about seven Iranian artists living and working in New York City. I interviewed them and made a book about each of them. I silk screened their portraits on the covers and binded the books myself. I still have it at my mother's place in New York, I actually have to bring them back to my house in London.
Your career has included roles as an art director at a various magazines. Was it always your dream to have your own handbag line?
It was always my dream to have my own brand but the idea of starting a handbag line came with time. I have always loved handbags, having amassed a collection of unique and vintage pieces from all over the world, it only seemed natural that I started creating my own.
Walk us through your design process.
I start by sketching my ideas on a notebook, which can be very messy! There are drawings literally everywhere, but that is how I work, I am not particularly organized. I have a big selection of colour cards in different materials that I got from various trade shows such as Première Vision or Linea Pelle. I place each colour and material next to my drawings for me to choose.
Once I have a clear view of my designs I then go to my factory in Ubrique, Spain. There I work with artisans to bring my drawings to life. The first prototypes are made of felt just to get a sense of size and overall shape. It takes another round of prototyping generally before I am happy with the result. Once we finalize the prototypes the sampling can begin.
What was your starting point for your spring collection?
Metallics and PVC. I am obsessing over those materials and cannot wait to have them in my hands!
The color palette you work with is so vibrant and eye-catching. Where do you draw your inspiration from?
My country Iran. It is such a colorful country. I always tell the story of how my vision for the brand became clear after a trip to Isfahan and Shiraz two years ago. Even though I am known to wear a lot of black, I am also known for all my crazy fancy outfits-- I have a whole cupboard full of burning man outfits.
Tell us what’s next for you and the brand!
I have a very exciting collaboration coming up with one of my favorite designers, which I can’t wait to unveil.
Do you have any summer travel plans?
I'm plan on spending a little bit of time in Ibiza, where I may also shoot my new lookbook. I have been travelling a lot recently, so I look forward to being in London at my new flat with my husband, as well as working on my new collection.
SHOP THE COLLECTION
Photography & Styling by Alison Engstrom | Image of Tara Ghazanfar Courtesy of Designer