Kuwaiti designer Bazza Alzouman (Instagram) was born in South Carolina and realised her interest in design early on. After completing her studies and graduating from Parsons School of Design, she returned to Kuwait to launch her eponymous label.
What’s your earliest memory of fashion?
My earliest memory has to be helping my mum shop for clothing when I was maybe in 4th grade. I feel like that was when I discovered the idea of styling and having creative input into clothing.
Can you tell us about your journey from pursuing a degree in Business Administration to discovering your passion for fashion design?
I always say that fashion, in the end, is a business and so it’s not as big of a departure as it may seem. I loved my college education, but fashion allows me the space to be creative and adds newness to business. I was absorbed with fashion during college and took a sewing class for fun outside of school, when I went shopping for our project was when I realized that this is what I wanted to do. My mother actually wore the first dress I sewed during that class, which was a navy blue mermaid gown with an ivory lace caplet.
Could you walk us through your creative process, from conceptualising a collection to bringing it to life? How do you find inspiration, and how do you translate your ideas into tangible garments?
It’s always challenging to start a collection, just to pinpoint a direction, I usually base it initially a lot on intuition and what I’m drawn to, and once the first sample is complete, I’m able to build off of that and make others, towards the end of developing a collection I’m so full of ideas that I often have to stop. The ideas I have naturally come in the form of a garment or at least part of it, then I fill in the gaps in design.
As a designer based in Kuwait, how does the cultural landscape of the region influence your work?
By nature of being Kuwaiti I represent who I am both intentionally and also unintentionally through my designs. When I think of dressing for an occasion, I think of it through the lens of how we celebrate occasions and what our needs are.
Exquisite craftsmanship is a hallmark of the Bazza AlZouman label. How do you ensure that each piece reflects the highest level of craftsmanship and attention to detail?
We invest a lot in quality control, I’m also very aware of any limitations we may have both from a manpower or production perspective, so I keep that in mind when designing.
Your collections often feature ethereal and pared-down silhouettes. How do you ensure that these designs still have a strong impact and create a memorable presence both on the runway and in real-life settings?
I am by nature empathetic and I believe that this helps me create things that people can feel and experience, it can often be a small detail that can make all the difference. Basically I’m balancing a lot of thoughts in my head all the time.
How do you strike a balance between creating designs that exude modern elegance while also maintaining a sense of timelessness?
I think it has to do with my style philosophy, basically you wear the clothes, the clothes shouldn’t wear you, so I’m always making sure to simplify and I think that ensures elegance and timelessness.
What do you hope your clientele experiences or feels when wearing your designs?
I hope they feel sexy, confident, beautiful and happy, like their best selves.
If you could dress any fictional character in one of your designs, who would it be and why?
Carrie Bradshaw, she represents the most fashion forward, trend setting and experimental character. I’d love to see how she’d style a piece and what twist she’d put on it.
What is the most unusual or unexpected source of inspiration you’ve had for a collection or garment?
My innermost experiences.
For more regional fashion stories, like that of Bazza AlZouman, browse our fashion pages.