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Crafting Timeless Elegance: A Designer's Odyssey from Revolution to Runway

Farinaz Taghavi, CEO of Farinaz Shirt Collection

In this podcast, Stephen Bland & Farinaz Taghavi, the founder of a high-end fashion brand, discuss her journey from design director in Hong Kong to navigating the challenges and opportunities of digital marketing and e-commerce. Emphasizing slow fashion and empowering women, Farinaz shares insights into her brand’s unique selling points, strategies for digital expansion, and the importance of showcasing high-quality, timeless pieces online. The conversation concludes with her excitement about growing digitally, building a strategic team, and staying true to her mission of empowering women through confident and strong fashion choices.

Farinaz Shirt Collection is where style meets comfort, each piece is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, blending modern trends with timeless elegance

Farinaz Taghavi
CEO of Farinaz Shirt Collection

Welcome to our latest wytpod. I’m your host, Stephen Bland with wytlabs, a digital marketing agency that specializes in e-commerce brands. I have Farinaz with us today.

Hi everyone, Farinaz here.

Well, feel free to introduce yourself, and let our audience know a little better about you and your background.

Okay, sure. I’d be happy to. Well, I’m originally from Iran, and I have been in the US for a very long time. Finished my high school here, West Virginia, and finished UW, University of Washington in Seattle. And so it’s been a very interesting journey. I left home during the uprising, a revolution in Iran. So I have not just recently been back. So it’s been very interesting in that regard for the brand. The brand started almost like. Two decades, a little bit more than two decades. So the brand has been around for a long time. Before I was a design director for a large company, I lived in Hong Kong and, you know, it was a substantial size. So that was an interesting and good experience. And by the way, you’re talking about full designers. So that’s really what my background is. I’m a painter and I’m a designer. So it might be a little bit different than some of the people you have heard in the past.

 

So, several decades ago, we were all in Nordstrom for 11 years. We were in Neiman Marcus for five years. We were in many specialty stores, all high-end. And then of course, just like everybody else, we had the site for a very long time. And recently I have become very interested in the world of digital marketing and e-commerce. And what I like about it the most is to help the potential of reaching. And of course, it’s not a secret. I mean, everybody is in a digital world now. I mean, there are some negative and there’s quite a bit of positive for a brand. So I have been working on my team and there are things that I have realized that will help the brand to branch, you know, more powerful marketing companies.

 

We entered about eight, or nine months ago with the company called Wolf & Badger. They’re based in London. They’re quite, you know, it matched the brand. We are more high-end. We are part of a slow fashion, by the way, which means the opposite, fast fashion. So that means is a classic shirt, like white shirts, and, that you can never have enough of it. And it’s, quite good and inspiring. And it is a good thing for. you know, for women, it’s classic, the quality is superior, you can have it in your closet for a very long time, you can wear it in different ways. So I’m still quite passionate about the concept of the brand. So we have connected to a couple of other companies as well and we are expanding in that regard.

 

We have several influencers that have been quite passionate about the brand. I think being interested and passionate about the people that they get involved with is quite important. It is a unique mission that I have, connecting and serving women in the world. This has been an opportunity for me to explore and grow.

That’s great. What inspired you to get into e-commerce?

Well, I mean, mainly, I think I mentioned it a little bit, is the extension is the possibility of the audience, is the people that you can reach. And it’s beyond borders. It’s beyond Seattle, beyond the states, beyond, so it’s a global concept. And of course, it’s not easy. Of course, everybody has a website, everybody, groceries, so everybody has a website. How you grow it and what you do with it and be also really wise about how you spend money, where you’re spending money is you know, for me as a principal of the company, it’s been really interesting and has been the experience, learning experience. But it is important, it is very important. And I think it’s good, it is good. And mainly that is because you can’t reach it. But for high end is a little bit more challenge because like, you know, my shirts, they’re like the fabric. I don’t mean to sound arrogant, but it’s the best of the best fabric. So how do you show it? I mean those are all the challenges that we are working on.

 

That’s great. So is your target audience, it’s all women, right? You don’t do any men’s?

Yeah, it’s all women. It started very personal to empower myself. And it was through empowering other women. Because it’s a collaboration. Fashion is a lot like a music business. It’s a commercial art. There’s a bit of fine art involved, but it’s mostly commercial art. And it’s, you know, how you reach that. That is the challenge.

Makes total sense. So what makes you different than your competitors? I know you have a lot, so what makes you different?

Well, I mean, I wish everybody well. More power to business people, businesswomen particularly. Well, my brand for what is a stand, is, as I mentioned, this is low fashion, which means is a better quality for sure. It’s something you don’t dispose of easily, something that you will have in your closet for a long time and it can be passed on. So it is a good way to go because the fashion industry is one of the industries that is very harsh in the environment and has greatly to do with fast fashion which means the product you can’t, you know, you use, you dispose of it, you use it, you dispose it. And I follow trends closely because I love it, it’s part of fashion. And I have been sticking to the concept of the brand because I have seen a transformation in women. I’m honored to know that, to experience that, to be part of it, to be their designer. I’m honored for the work that I have and the woman allowing me to be part of their life. And the clothing does matter so because we need to wear something every day. So to, you know, having that the experience of, you know, fashion and being a design director for a large company. It was a great company to work with, but something I learned, it was part of fast fashion, and streetwear, I have done all sorts. I have done like ski wear, I done surf wear, I’ve done, you know, men’s, kids, teenage, but it was mostly targeted to fast fashion realize the beauty and integrity of something that is quality. And I truly feel quality matters.

That’s great.

Yeah, so, you know, I guess I was one of the pioneers of a slow fashion and I didn’t even know what it was because I stuck to something that I felt like is needed. Great shirt for a woman that is close to her body, so super feminine, super sexy, super confident. And then also I feel like I want to do something with integrity, with something that I feel proud of. So that’s why my name is on every single shirt.

I see that. So speaking of your products, what are your best-selling products?

It’s the shirt that I’m wearing. Believe it or not, it was my first design. Unbelievable. It’s called desire. It’s a, it’s a white shirt called Desire.

I almost wore a white shirt today, I could have matched.

Oh, well, it’s a good thing. And the colors are expressive, it’s great. Prints are whimsical and fun. It’s like a movie, it’s like a movie that you’re the star. So fashion is supposed to be fun. It’s not supposed to dictate to you, it’s supposed to inspire you.

That’s a great answer. So what’s your plan for the brand?

I’m super excited to expand in digital and I’m working on my team. I just hired a social media specialist and I have gone through a lot of freelances. It’s not easy.

Of course, no, I know it’s not.

I’m working on talking to a great person in New York. She is finishing, you know, photography school and she’s entering for Oscar de Rolente, which is a great brand, it’s commercial, but I have a lot of respect for the brand. And so I’m creating a team and I’m being wise about budget because that’s a reality.

Yeah, of course. Yeah. Besides you said you’re doing some social what are you doing to promote the business at this point?

Right now, we, you know, like the influencers been helpful. There is nothing, just like every business, even though I’m not tech-savvy at all, which is okay. I’m a designer, I’m a fashion designer and that’s my passion, that’s my interest and that’s what I’m good at. So, bringing people, just like any other business, it’s like a tapestry. You just bring things together. Traffic, okay, is that the right traffic? If it’s not the right traffic, becoming, not necessarily will turn into an order. Is that the right traffic? Are you communicating? So that’s SEO and SEO is becoming interesting. Also, it’s nothing that is, you know, straightforward, because I’m penetrating through the market. I’m understanding as I’m going. So should but some things are very obvious, you need to have traffic, and you need to have the right traffic.

 

you know, who’s your target audience, is your content communicating to who you are, and are you resolving the issue of the fit we go up to size 14 and we want to do plus sizes going forward for sure. And are we communicating that we’re not only size zero and two and you know, four? So there’s a lot of content things and they are traffic-related. How do we capture the right traffic? So as I’m, you know, talking to you right now, as we’re going, I’m learning a lot and, you know, and I’m cultivating to work with the proper people to bring different elements to this hopefully a great picture.

That’s great. That’s a great answer and that’s a great way to look at everything. So do you have anything else you want to, they would like our audience to know about you, your brand, or anything in general that I’ve missed.

Thank you!

 

Oh, well, I mean, it, as I said, I’m here. It’s woman-driven. I mean, I’m a woman and, you know, I love male species. I have two boys. They’re great people. I’m so honored to be their mom. My brand is focusing on women, to empower them. you know, help their strength, help their beauty, help their confidence. That’s what the brand stands for. And I have seen the transformation. I’m so honored to be part of that. And I continue to do what I do because I think it’s a great mission and it’s fun, it’s social, you know, and it comes from heart and passion and interest.

Okay. That’s great. Well, Farinaz, I appreciate you coming on the podcast. Appreciate your time and thank you so much.

My pleasure. Thank you for having me. Bye.

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