It was a treat to interview New Delhi-born designer named Mohammad Shahabuddin Ali Ahmad better known as “Sha Ali Ahmad”.
He calls Kauai, “my home away from home”. His love for the island, its community and advocacy for community service, is the driving force behind Kauai Fashion Weekend, which was recently held on February 9th of 2013 at the Kauai Beach Resort.
Since his first visit to Hawaii years ago, he has designed for local events and pageantry such as Miss Hawaii Filipina, Miss Island Mokihana, and Miss Hawaii (Miss Congeniality) including donating custom designed dresses for local charities & events. Expanding beyond, his work also includes designs for Miss Teen USA, Miss Latina, Miss Brazil, Miss Florida, Miss Miami, all winning the gown competitions. He designs for celebrities such as: Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox, Jane Pratt ( former owner of Jane & Sassy Magazine), Shannon Hori (CBS4 Miami News Anchor), Lynn Martinez (DECO Drive Anchor), Somy Ali (Former Bollywood Actress) and Kavvy Sonhos (IFFB Pro Winner and Celebrity Fitness Trainer). Previous designs have been created for fine women’s clothing at Bloomingdales, Saks 5th Avenue, Lord & Taylor, and Neiman Marcus among others.
I’ll share a little secret with you… “Sha Ali Ahmad” is designing a dress for me! I’ll make sure to post images in January when I spend some time with him during his visit to Miami. I can’t wait to see all his designs.
Please enjoy my interview with “Sha Ali Ahmad“
(1)When did the Sha Ali Ahmad Collection unveil?
For many years, I have been creating designs for women, men and children individually, as well as, for fashion houses in India which supplied my designs to fine clothing stores. My designs have been displayed by various individuals at events and venues all over the world. I have created designs for beauty pageant contestants such as Miss Teen USA Hawaii 2009; Miss Island Mokihana 2010; Miss Hawaii Fillipina 2010 Miss Hawaii 2010, Miss Teen USA, Miss Latina , Miss Brazil, Miss Florida, Miss Miami , Miss Intercontinental, Top Model of the World 2013 representing USA and Cuba, Ms. International World Supermodel, Miami Swim Suit fashion show. I have created for individuals such as Jane Prat (former owner of Jane and Sassy Magazine, Katie B. of Katie B. Cosmetics/Celebrity Makeup and Hairstylist Hollywood Celebrity Catwalk.
Some other notable people who have worn my designs are Jennifer Anniston, Courtney Cox, Lynn Martinez on Deco Drive (Miami), Shannon Hori (CBS4 News Anchor, Miami), Somi Ali (Former Bollywood Actress in India), just to name a few.
I was given the opportunity by invitation to be the featured designer to present my last collection in February 2013 at first fashion show at the Kauai Beach Resort in Kapaa, Hawaii.
As a freelance designer, my next collection, which shall be under my label as Ahmad Couture by Sha Ali, will be unveiled at a fashion show in January of 2014 to be held in Miami, Florida. I will also be showing this collection in Hawaii in March of 2014, as they have invited me to be the featured designer for another fashion show again. (2)What is your design philosophy? The beauty of women and nature create inspiration to fuse my instinct, intuition, art and design into fashion with the use of fine Indian embroidery and diverse materials to share with the world. 3)Tell me about the woman you design for? I love to design for the opulent to the everyday working woman. I aspire to make a woman feel beautiful in my designs regardless of whether she is on the red carpet, at a special occasion or any other life event.
I consider no individual as a muse. A woman, as wonderfully and beautifully created, is where I draw my inspiration from.
(3)What is your number one challenge as a designer?
Maintaining my design / brand recognition on a broad level throughout the world’s fashion community in order to continue a viable business that sustains my family.
(4) Any words of encouragement for emerging young design talent?
Be patient, persistent and work hard to follow your dreams. These are a just a few of the attributes you must have in order to achieve your goals.