Isabell Yalda Hellysaz, designer
You’re of Persian descent, grew up in Sweden, and studied (at Central Saint Martins) in London. What made you decide to come back to Sweden and show here for the first time in 2013?
My plan was always to come back to Sweden and establish my brand over here. There is something about Sweden that makes the world excited, and I have always been aware of this.
What would you say your brand is about; what inspires you?
I remember when I was younger and would save my money to buy something that meant a lot to me. Some of those things I still have in my closet. Fashion has become so fast-moving and, in my opinion, so boring. It feels like people just buy new things every day and throw them out the next. I want my brand to bring that excitement back. It is not about mass production and fast consumption, it’s about slowing down everything. What inspires me is the amount of positive feedback people send me. When it comes to inspiration for my designs, it could be anything. I am inspired by my surroundings, and that could really be anything between heaven and earth.
You received a lot of recognition when Lady Gaga wore your Antidote visor. How important, would you say, are these kind of celebrity endorsements for young designers?
They are very important. I was thankfully getting a lot of recognition before [Gaga] came into the picture. But once she did, the snowball definitely started to roll faster. As an independent designer, it is difficult to get your foot in the industry. Unless you have a lot of money or a great investor pumping money into your brand, it is hard to make it in the fashion business. To have such a huge, worldwide icon be your first actual client is a privilege. It also gives you an advantage that many designers would pay to get.
How do you think that Stockholm could evolve as a fashion capital?
I think there is a mentality of “Swedish simplicity” that excites people around the world. Sweden has been on the radar for some time now. However, I think it is important that the industry dares to take risks and lets new designers in. MBFW in Stockholm has changed so much for the past couple of years. Every year there is a new talent showing. I also think it is important for the industry to support these new designers. In my opinion, taking those risks and [believing] in new talents will help Stockholm evolve.
Photo: Courtesy of Christian Remröd