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Fashion Forward: Saadi Sheikh

Lauren Kuhr and Randhika Aturaliya

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Saadi Sheikh works behind-the-scenes, designing for brands worldwide. Deputy editor Randhika Aturaliya and staff writer Lauren Kuhr interviewed Sheikh for more information on his designer double life. Recent designs for women include a loose, asymmetrical taupe zip up jacket and a dark fur-trimmed cardigan.

Q: What businesses have you worked with?
A: I designed about five streetwear pieces for a small place in Poland and some dresses for a place in Baltimore. Recently, I designed 12 pieces for Boohoo, a UK-based fashion company. I’ve started noticing how clothes can make you feel powerful or confident, and I want to evoke that in others. With the clothes I wear, I’m not afraid to look strange. It’s good to be remembered.

Q: Will you continue designing clothes?
A: Yeah, it’s not like a normal job where there’s a set salary. It’s more like one big job you do and then you just wait until the next offer comes along. You could go a week or a year without having any sort of work, but it pays pretty well, like five digits. I still have most of the money I got from [Boohoo].

Q: What do you want to do in the future?
A: Honestly, designing was not my main goal. My main thing was always music, and design was a hobby. Funny enough, it’s been more successful than my music, so I’ve been focusing on fashion. I see myself less a designer or a musician or any of that, but more as a visionary. I’m interested in all aspects of culture: the music, the style, the aesthetics.

Q: How does music play into this?
A: I’ve been making music since I was 12, and it’s gotten me in some unbelievable situations. I’m on a billboard in downtown Baltimore and I’ve met with some big names in the industry. I’ve met with some indie bands like Future Islands and Beach House. I’ve got a SoundCloud. I make music under the name CASSIUS. A three minute song can take three months to make. In general, music is my backbone. Everything starts and ends with the music in my opinion.

Q: What’s your advice to aspiring fashionistas?
A: Don’t copy everything you see famous people wearing. I see so many people copying Kanye or Harry Styles. Take inspiration from certain pieces, but you should always make your own unique style, so that when people see you wearing something they know that it’s all you.

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