Fashion shows are plenty during New York’s busiest fashion week, but designer and media mogul, Kevin Shahroozi has curated a staple event blending style and networking.
As a young kid, Shahroozi remembers how much he enjoyed dressing up, even if it was for running errands. “I remember offering my parents, as a 9-year-old, to go buy milk for the house. I was so excited to put on one of my nice shirts, jeans, and do my hair to go out and show the world my style,” he shares. Shahroozi would carry this enthusiasm with him and after obtaining his business degree, he began doing internships in fashion. It was these experiences that would lead him to start his own self-named brand, Kevin Shahroozi, and begin curating seasonal entrepreneurial events.
While his journey was far from perfect, “it was not easy negotiating on my own for a brand-new company no one had ever heard about,” as Shahroozi shares, he kept true to his belief that, “when there’s a will there’s a way.” Now he is providing experiences for others to connect, network, and enjoy a fashion show. In the latest Kevin Shahroozi NYFW event, hosted at the Room Mate Grace Hotel in partnership with Consummate Technologies, the panel consisted of international model and global tech leader Karolina Gujska, men’s style and travel influencer and model Leo Chan, award-winning brand strategist Virgilia Virjoghe, CEO and Co-Founder of WindowsWear Jon Harari, and Editor-in-Chief, radio host, and actress Tania Rubis.
After his latest fashion week event, we caught up with Shahroozi to discuss the importance of these industry panels, his favorite part of putting together these events, and his latest collection.
Q: When did you first start your NYFW events? And what was the inspiration behind blending a panel with showing your latest collection?
A: I started NYFW events about a few years ago. The inspiration behind blending a panel talk with showing our latest collection was that we wanted to offer something different to the public. I say the public, because we saw that some of fashion week and runway shows was starting to become something that the public can access. There are certain types of CFDA award shows and events that can be purchased by the public from the internet. There’s also Macy’s presenting Fashion Front Row runway shows that anyone can purchase as well. Several other companies also host fashion shows during NYFW that people can obtain tickets for. So we saw this as an opportunity to promote our brand to people that can be “clients” not just to the press. As we did more and more of these, the numbers have grown and it shows that people love to attend fashion week. It provides entertainment and a fun time with their friends at the very least. With the speaker panel, the way that came about was by us wanting to provide value to people. An idea sparked that if we bring in successful people in the creative space (and other industries) to speak on their journey on how they created their success along with sharing insight to growing in their respective industries, it would be something people would love to hear. It’s a chance for them to be inspired, to learn and grow their careers as well. The people speaking would be doing a good thing, and it would automatically promote their names or brands by speaking on a stage in NYFW. We realized it would be a win-win for everybody.
Q: Having such insightful speakers, is there a takeaway from what was shared that night or the event itself?
A: A couple of huge takeaways from the panel that night was working on a business or building your brand during the nights and weekends, so you don’t have to quit your job. Leo Chan of Levitate Style, talked about how he was building his influencer brand while he worked in finance. Eventually it became so big that he quit his job for years now. He travels around the world and has been featured in GQ and Forbes magazine. You just have to focus your time outside of it to build the life you want, instead of using it for watching Netflix, going to the bar, or doing things that are not productive. And the other huge takeaway for me was having mentors or coaches. It hit me because most of my success throughout my life is thanks to a mentor or combination of mentors. And specifically, with that, it was having mentors and coaches that already achieved the life or goals that you want. That is different from most teachers, because usually they teach from a textbook instead of real-life experience. I’ve been doing some mentoring occasionally. And from time to time, I connect others who are ambitious, humble, and appreciative for mentorship to my coaches and mentors. They do this because they enjoy impacting people. And I am so grateful to the couple of people that have opened doors for me to the mentors I have in my life, so I want to pay it forward and do that for others.
Q: What is your favorite part of putting this event together each season?
A: That is such a tough question! I love putting together a premier panel that consists of successful people that can share their advice/insights. Because I know what it can do for the people that listen. I learn so much myself! I also love making a new collection and styling the models to put on a wonderful runway show. If I have to pick one, then that would be putting together a new collection, mainly of jackets. This all started with my love of designing clothing.
Q: What is the inspiration behind your latest collection?
A: The inspiration for this latest collection was the modern cosmopolitan that works hard and plays hard. The image that comes to mind is a business professional, entrepreneur, or creative professional living in the city. From skyscrapers and tall office buildings, they may work in; to the lounges, rooftops, and restaurants they play at. This is where a silk bomber jacket comes from, a lambskin leather jacket with shearling fur collar, or a cashmere/wool topcoat. This is what I see this upscale professional or artist wearing while going from work to play.
As to what is next, Shahroozi is already looking forward to the September NYFW event, but until then, he is creating custom jackets, coats, and suits for clients. If you’d like to learn more or request a custom piece, please email info@KevinShahroozi.com and stay tuned to what he has coming up next by checking out www.KevinShahroozi.com.
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