“I was 23 years old and got a phone call from my PR company. They had asked me to check my email. It was very early in the morning… As soon as I saw the picture I dropped to my knees and couldn’t believe that I had accomplished that at such a young age! It was very cool!”
Shortly after launching her first ready-to-wear collection, Donna Mizani found her designs sprawled over the pages of fashion magazines and her dresses worn by celebrities like Carmen Electra, Lindsay Lohan and Kristin Cavallari. Though her polished designs, attention to detail and understanding of the female silhouette set her apart, it was her championing of the cut-out dress that brought her designs into the limelight and her name on the lips of the fashion industry as one to watch. Over the next four years, she built her brand stitch by stitch with inspiration from her travels and the help of her sister. Her family ties and designs are closely connected. When we caught up with Donna, she reflected on her original muse.
“My Mom inspired me to start designing. She played a big role in what I would wear each day. She was a professional shopper that also knew how to sew.
Growing up, on the weekends all we would do is visit clothing stores and fabric stores. She is a major fashionista and has impeccable taste. When I look at old pictures of my mom now from when her and my dad first met I could totally see myself wearing whatever she has on in those photos. Her outfits look current. She was always ahead of the trends.”
Donna describes herself as easily inspired. “I can see concepts and inspiration through so many different things, even during a conversation I’m having with one of my friends. My inspiration comes through in so many different outlets. However, my favourite place to find inspiration is through textiles.”
Her most recent collection features a masterful combination of textures – incorporating leather-look fabric, quilting, mesh and classic lace in monochrome shades. Coupling sleek contours with feminine peplums and flares provides her ensembles with an air of sophistication while evoking an involuntary response somewhere along the lines of I-need-every-piece-in-my-wardrobe-right-now.
When we asked Donna about her favourites from the new collection, she admitted “It’s impossible to favourite any of my pieces. They are like my children, I love them all equally. I am however, extremely excited for some new concepts that I have developed for the new season. I’ve been working on different fabric mixing, textures and colours.”
Her advice for young designers? “My best advice for aspiring designers would be to never forget why you started in the first place, don’t get thrown off track by other people’s opinions, stay true to yourself and of course consistency will result in great success. Don’t lose hope or give up before the miracle happens.”
To shop/gawk over the new collection and find out more,