Full Name: Muzakir Andrabi
Current Title/Company: Andraab
Educational Background: I graduated with honors in English Literature from Jamia University, New Delhi.
Muzakir, it’s such a pleasure to meet you. Please tell us, what was your first job and how did you land that position?
I worked at an event management company in India, organizing events and concerts for music channels.
How have your designs evolved since your first sketch?
They started as being very traditional, and eventually evolving to a more contemporary style, while still maintaining a traditional element.
What have been the biggest challenges or obstacles you’ve faced in your career and how were you able to overcome them?
Since fashion design was not in our background, It took many years to put a production team together. We had to really comprehend the multiple levels of production, learn how to communicate with the weavers, research how to properly source the raw materials and how to put everything together.
We want to hear about your inspiration as a creative! Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspirations come from endless sources. Childhood memories, our travels, traditional themes, contemporary designs…
How did you learn the ins and outs of owning and operating your brand?
Initially, it was mostly trial and error, but being very fast learners and passionate about our brand, we were able to make it a success.
As a business owner, how do you achieve a work/life balance?
I make sure to play squash and golf as much as possible, and I spend quality time with my daughters.
What do you see in the future for your brand? How do you hope to grow the business?
This year, we plan to launch our e-commerce site, and hopefully open a retail store in NYC at some point.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Seeing our clients’ eyes light up after they find their perfect scarf.
What is a typical workday like for you?
Constantly coordinating with my team in India, corresponding with clients, conducting design meetings, and being yelled at by my consultant.
Best moment of your career so far?
Getting one of our products featured in The NY Times.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Be more organized, and develop more business savvy.
Go-to coffee order?
I don’t drink coffee, but my go-to beverage is English breakfast tea with milk and sugar.
If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be and what would you order?.
My mom, because she’s been the source of strength for my family throughout our lives. She possesses a sense of ease, her presence is comforting even without any words. I’d take her to my favorite Indian restaurant in NYC called Tamarind, because she will only eat Indian food. We’d order our favorite vegetarian dishes.
Best advice you’ve received?
Never be late for your appointments.
Who would play you in the movie of your life?
Either Orlando Bloom or Hugh Hackman. For some reason, people say I look like both of them.
The Nolcha Shows are a leading award winning event, held during New York Fashion Week, for independent fashion designers to showcase their collections to a global audience of press, retailers, stylists and industry influencers. Over the past seven years the Nolcha Shows have become established as a platform for discovery; promoting cutting edge innovative fashion designers through runway shows and exhibitions.
The team at Chic Galleria is thrilled to again be collaborating with the designers who will be featured at the Nolcha Shows on February 15, 2017. We are looking forward to showcasing these talented designers and attending their shows this fall. – Beth Anderson, Founder and Senior Editor, Chic Galleria