Barjis London is a brand that caters to the individual, while maintaining modernity, modesty and all that is chic! Recently, Barjis Chohan (CEO) have been shortlisted as a finalist for the Entrepreneur of the Year Award for the British Asian Awards. What´s more! Her beautiful fashion line is on exhibit at De Young Museum in San Francisco. Find out more from my following interview with the inspiring, Barjis Chohan:
Rumki Chowdhury: Describe how it was like to be asked to display your line at De Young Museum in San Francisco? And, how long will this exhibit be on?
Barjis London: It feels like an eternity since I was asked! I received an email from the museum in late 2016, I met Jill in early January 2017. I was delighted, humbled and deeply honored that they wanted to display my pieces for this special exhibition. The exhibition will run till 6th of January 2019 and then I believe the exhibition will be brought to Germany in 2019.
RC: What inspires you?
BL: Barjis’s woman is very eclectic in her tastes, she can be bold one day and very chic and simple another day. She represents every girl/woman of the diaspora communities, coming from an immigrant background and who has adapted to two cultures; Barjis London is a celebration of diversity and integration. I have an obsession with architecture, sunglasses, random collectibles, and traveling. The multicultural influences are evident in our work. Women like Jackie Onassis, Audrey Hepburn, my father ( who was a very stylish man in his youth) and the journey of every immigrant who left their country for a better life has influenced me.
RC: Your modest wear is not only chic, but also caters to different individual tastes for example, people who love to wear bright colors or people who like to keep it simple and elegant. What is your staple or what sets you apart from other modest wear designers?
BL: What has kept me going for so long and set me apart from other modest wear brands is:
1. Mixing the old with the new, and this is why my pieces are classics with a quirky twist.
2. My unique logo which beautifully reflects my influences in British aesthetics and Pakistani sensibilities.
3. The hand-painted prints set me apart as they always have a story to tell. I am a story teller and I love the narrative behind my collections. Each print is unique and hand-painted in the studio.
4. The quality of our work; I never compromise in that. Barjis London is a contemporary premium brand in the mainstream market but seen as a high-end brand within the modest market.
5. Barjis London has maintained a level of class on how the woman is presented, how the brand is represented and we have never sold out in terms of compromising with our brand ethos. We have never followed the crowd. This is the reason why I am highly selective on who represents and endorses the brand, where I showcase and how I showcase the collection. The integrity of the brand is very important and this has been appreciated by our loyal customers. Modesty cannot be compromised and our definition of modesty starts from within. I strongly believe that how a woman carries herself is what defines her. This is the Barjis woman; she is in a class of her own.
6. Finally, Barjis London will always be chic and nothing less!
A staple would be a well-made hand painted tunic or shirt. These should be in every woman’s wardrobe. They are modern classics with a twist!
RC: How do we purchase?
BL: I work very closely with my clients so most of my work is custom but you can buy my ready to wear online on my website. Soon we are launching a campaign to raise funds for our not for profit; The Barjis Initiative. TBI offers subsidised tuition grants to disadvantaged kids in South London. We’ll be selling our classic white T-shirt with our logo to our customers (both men and women) and profits of these T-shirts will be invested in our initiative. The campaign is planned to be launched later this month. From now on, a percentage of profit of all our future sales of Barjis London collections will be invested to educate young kids coming from challenging and disadvantaged backgrounds.
Check out barjislondon.com .