From Accountant to Designer:
Accountant in the past, designer in the present, Faiz Lalani founded Encima Clothing in 2015, and this season has shown his third collection at Vancouver Fashion Week (VFWFW17). Lalani, a young designer based in Vancouver, was brought up in a family of entrepreneurs while harbouring a love for fashion from a young age: “I liked dressing up and wanted to wear something that other people didn’t have. I think that’s where the designing aspect came in,” Lalani said.
He began designing for himself after he started working in an accounting firm downtown Vancouver. His very first piece was a cowl neck sweater, which marked the start of his own brand.“I had one sample and I was wearing it during the fall and winter months and people actually started really liking it,” Lalani said. The process of making the designs is challenging and time-consuming, but Lalani said the most difficult part is getting the right samples that adhere to his vision.“You can design something that looks great, but then if you aren’t using the correct fabric, so it doesn’t drape properly or if it doesn’t sit well, you have to change up,” Lalani said.
Last season, he opened the first day of the shows at VFW with his third collection, named ‘Maddox’. A fashion blogger from Seattle, Sarah Maberry said she loved the simplicity of the collection. “It had such great tailoring and the cuts on everything were just so clean and they were really great staple pieces that really spoke for themselves,” Maberry said.
Lalani works to create styles that will be wearable for seasons to come, which means not only mixing classical and contemporary together, but picking quality materials for his pieces. “Whenever I piece together a look, I’m almost thinking not necessarily what will look good now, but what can actually hold season after season,” Lalani said.
Recognizing the clients:
The very first collection Lalani designed and showed at VFW consisted of only six styles, only tops: shirts, sweaters and jackets. He said they were edgy pieces for a young street crowd, but if he wanted to have an actual business, the concept had to change. “I recognized who my clients may be, what price point they can afford and things like that. So I shifted the designs in the second collection to make it fit more mature. I think that has carried into the third collection,” Lalani said.
As he is using local distributors and fabrics, the price of the clothes is high and he has to fit his designs to what his potential clients might want to wear, as well as hold up to the brand’s principles.“I can’t design something that maybe looks a bit less sophisticated, but I also have to stay true to what the brand is about, which is creating clothes that are a bit different and unique.”
Writing & Photography by: VIOLETTA KRYAK