Ali Namdar, has recently been appointed the Creative Head at Splash. Since joining the company in Retail, back in the good old days, his career path has taken a creative path to success. Over the years Ali has honed his skills and has been involved in creative calls taken by the brand including campaigns, fashion shows, photo-shoots, product designs and more. He lets us into his world and shares the secrets of a life in design.
1. How did you get into fashion?
I joined Splash Retail team after studying microbiology at college. After learning the nuances, I chose to move into the Buying department and was increasingly drawn by the creative element of things like visual merchandising. From there, I decided to follow my creative instincts and joined the Design team.
2. Who or what influences you as a designer?
I don’t focus on a specific designer; I tend to draw influence from those around me, different places I visit, people I meet, art, culture, creative talk, etc. Whatever I experience influences me.
3. What’s hot at the moment?
The whole Foulard trend is big and it’s taken the fashion world by storm. Scarf prints, print on print, baroque prints, top and bottom contrasts or mono: the trend just oozes freshness into the summer wardrobe.
4. How do you stay ahead of the game, so your designs look fresh?
We have 50 designers so we bounce ideas off each other and we watch all the trends and influence. We find inspiration everywhere and work on designs and concepts that are within the bounds of the season’s trends and suit the brand’s varied customers.
5. Has your work as a buyer helped you as a designer?
Yes; it’s taught me to understand the wider commercial aspects of the business. That’s been invaluable in knowing where to channel my design work.
6. Are there any constraints or limits on your designs?
Some of the fashion ideas we encounter can be quite outrageous, the trends pretty radical, and they don’t always translate from the catwalk to the street. We try to keep things geared to our customers and respect the tastes of our audience as much as possible, to keep things commercially focused.
7. Compare your own personal style with that of your Splash designs
My style is quite slick-casual and my designs are more street-casual, but there is an essence of me in the designs I produce. As a brand that produces a plethora of designs, we always keep the focus on the customer, their style preferences and the season’s trends.
8. What’s the best part of your job?
I love the creative aspect of the work. Splash is a home outside home and I love the buzz in the office; there’s never a dull moment.
9. What part of your job is your least favourite?
I’m part of a team that looks after the entire design and buying aspect and together we sign off every design and collection. Sometimes, because of commercial considerations, some good designs don’t make it through the team review. Saying “no” can be hard.
Do you have an interesting or unusual look that works for you? Why not tell us about it?