needs no measurement
Someone rightly said,
“Passion is oxygen of the soul”. Passion moves men beyond themselves, beyond
their shortcomings, beyond their failures. Riyaz Pasha, an icon of
International Fashion is a perfect example of the above quote.
Riyaz is a simple and
talented person who always wears a smile on his face, no matter what. He is one in a millions who dared to chase
his dreams and chose an unconventional path, rather than settle for a life of
mediocrity. It was his passion and love for fashion that was burning as a fire
in his heart that lighted his way to success. Today, he is one of the topmost
designers who have inscribed his name in golden words in the history of
fashion. The first designer in India who made the models dance rather than walk
the ramp. To delve into the world of fashion, I had a tete-a-tete with Fashion
Designer, Riyaz Pasha.
Innocent at heart: Born
and raised in Bangalore, Karnataka, Riyaz introduced himself as a good tailor
which he always desired to be. He wanted his work to be presented to the world
in a classic, stylish, colourful and in a better way. When it comes to work he
reflects a model of diligence and a painstaking care.
Inspiration: Riyaz’s yen for textiles and fashion is
genetic. He derived the trait of a fashionista from his grandfather who owned a
textile mill in the heart of the city, Bangalore. His grandfather was a great
man in clothing business. The very thought of visiting the mill used to get
Riyaz excited as it was the only place he could create something of his own. He
used to get delighted by the vibrant colours, patterns and styles. He was in
his teens when fashion got seeded in his heart.
Early Influences: Once he completed his studies, Riyaz was sent
to Ludhiana to learn the techniques of fixing the machines that manufactures
fabrics. This led him to learn the intricacies of fabric. After a long stay in
Ludhiana, he returned to
Bangalore. However, he didn’t want to stay in Bangalore and preferred to travel abroad to learn
fashion in a true sense.
Riyaz’s family was
supportive in every aspect but said no to fashion. Since he loved his mom a lot,
he enrolled for a course in Software and Communication on her insistence. He
did the course but didn’t practice it. As his heart was pounding for fashion,
he started revolting. His elder brother, Fazal Sheriff motivated and supported
him and believed in his dreams. His brother acts as a boost in his life till
today. Friends like Kantilal Jain and Javed Ahmed also encouraged him in every
Riyaz took up jobs
like that of a marketing professional and a cab driver to support himself. When
he had all the required resources, he flew to Bedford, London. He got in touch
with few designers like Tony and started to work with them. In Parallel, he
also kept on doing research on designs, designers and fabrics and kept himself
He came back to India,
made some money and travelled to Paris to polish his skills and expertise. He
joined one of the finest fashion schools, ESMOD, Paris. Riyaz got inspired from
Elie Saab, a Paris based fashion designer and started working hard and has never
looked back since then.
The Birth of R-studio: Riyaz
always wanted to have his own signature and it happened about fourteen years
back from now but officially inaugurated six years ago. His work was loved by
many and people started to
hire him for shows. He opened stores one in Bedford, U.K. and another in
Bangalore, India. He is planning to setting up his third store in Sydney, Australia.
There are various retail stores that sell his collections. One can also find his collection
in Baga, Goa.
Once back in India,
Riyaz was approached to do a fashion show for one of an event management company.
He was a bit hesitant displaying his collections in India as his collections
were way ahead of their time and presumed that it will be difficult for Indian
audience to understand the vogue. Fortunately, the show was a big hit and
people started recognizing him and his collections- “Riyaz Collections”.
The Work Philosophy: Riyaz loves to get recognized for his work
which is very unique to him. Riyaz is popularly known for his customizations. His work starts
from fabric sourcing to dying, handwork, colouring and finally fitting. The
unique fact about him is that he does not take measurements. “I do not take
measurements, I make costumes on the basis of my experiences”, he smiled.
Relationship with the client: Working with different types of clients
challenges him. Before he concludes with the wear, he first understand the
parameters such as type of occasion, whether it is an in-house or an outsourced
one, the type of wear, the kind of lightning to be used, the kind of invitees.
He starts his work accordingly and also gives a brief picture to the client
before he goes ahead. In the past, he has also worked with corporate giants as
well. One of them is Samsung.
Sushmita Sen, Sahil Khan and famous Cricketer Jonty Rhodes also have tasted his
designs. He worked in Bombay for production houses for a couple of years.
Clients are always
happy with his work. They utter “WOW”
once they receive their costume and the same gesture in turn make Riyaz happy
about himself. In South India, he is the
highest user of
Swarovski. He had made the bridal outfit for the IBM’s global director’s
daughter’s wedding with Swarovski (glittering stones that resemble diamonds).
He also uses pearls and embroidery in his designs.
Riyaz is very
particular about his fabric, he knows it intensely. “The fall of the different
fabrics is different and it needs different cuts to fit one properly. Every
fabric has a different fall and it has its own density. Every fabric needs a
different cutting to fit to one’s body accordingly”, he mentioned.
Thought for Indian Fabric: Riyaz get his fabrics from different parts of
the world mostly from Milan however he has a secret love for Indian Fabric. He
wants to promote Indian Fabric internationally. “There is a huge demand for
Indian fabric- the handloom and the Khadi which is unique to our country”, he
informed and he added that there is lot of demand of the same in international
Social Responsibilities: Even after earning acclaim for being an
international fashion designer, he didn’t forget his responsibilities towards
his society. He shares his knowledge and educates the upcoming designers
regarding fashion. He was invited to RBANM’S School and he delivered the message
about the importance of presenting oneself. He taught them style, design,
importance of dressing up and proper presentation. Not but the least he also walked for a cause.
He did a Fashion show happened in Jaipur in 2015 whose main objective was to
raise funds for the cancer victims.
He has been honored by various prestigious national and international awards also. His personal
glam and honed eye identify and promote local talent as well. He has promoted
and still promotes various models, make-up artists, and photographers. Few of
them have got a big name in the industry today.
Word of advice to the young: “Be
yourself, you have to be smart, quick and love your work”, he signs off.