Mahtab Jamali – The Powerful Woman Behind Katayoon

1- What does Katayoon stand for? What does it mean?

Katayoon for me personally has many meanings. Not only is it my mother’s first name who is my biggest inspiration in life, but the name itself is very powerful. It means “Queen of the world” or “a woman worthy of ruling the world”. Katayoon as a brand somehow carries all of these sentiments too. It is about personal empowerment and the representation of this freedom through fashion and clothing.

2- Your designs are both strong and feminine. How do you succeed in combining the two characteristics in one garment?

Femininity is strong, it is powerful. Being a woman must be celebrated, and we shouldn’t be afraid of expression. I like being able to create clothes that make the women who wear them feel like they have it all. Now with this in mind it is impossible for me to create garments that do not capture the feminine features.

3- Who is the Katayoon woman? What does she look like? How does she think?

The Katayoon woman is one who loves to look great, pretty much at all times and makes the effort to do so naturally. She is independent, happy, and inspirational in whatever she chooses to do. Since the start of Katayoon I have had the privilege to dress many powerful ladies around the world, and I hope to continue to do so for as long as I can.

4- Tell us the story about your first encounter with fashion? How did you start?

I am truly lucky to have been born into fashion as my mother was a designer. So fashion’s been with me since day one.

5- What you do love the most about this industry?

The limitless possibilities of art and expression never fails to enchant me, and the fact that I get to meet so many amazing creative people both in art and business has been phenomenal.

6- You launched from London, why did you choose that platform to start from?

London is my home town and a great city for lots of things, especially fashion.

7- What did you feel when you see your garments in events and magazines?

Seeing your work enjoyed and appreciated is always nice, it makes me feel blessed and grateful to see my garments received this way.

8- What is the number one goal for the brand of Katayoon?

When I started Katayoon I had this vision of building a fashion empire with the purpose of creating not only beautiful dresses, but also opportunities for creative people all around the world; not unlike all of the other mega brands in the industry.

9- Does Katayoon resemble Mahtab? Do we see you in every design?

Most definitely.

10- Is that why you love to model your designs?

Well, my designs are different representations of myself, almost portrait-like, in regards to characterization and giving life to objects. If you think about it, clothes are only objects after all. But once I join forces with my clothes they are no longer just objects, they are extensions of me and this is why I love modeling my own lines so often.

11- Your couture line is exquisite and very detail-oriented. How is it different from others?

Like I said earlier, clothes are just clothes until they are turned into objects of desire. When I design my couture line that’s what I aim for. I wish to stir up emotions when someone is looking at my designs and with couture I find a lot more room to create chaos. I want the person who is wearing my art to truly feel “WOW!”

12- Is there a piece from your RTW collection that every woman should have in her closet?

Audrey Hepburn said, “A lady can’t go wrong with a simple black dress.” I’m paraphrasing a bit, but I strongly identify with that statement and always have a fitted black piece in my RTW lines.

13- Is Katayoon coming to Kuwait? Tell us about your collaboration with Al Ostoura?
Oh where do I even begin? I love Al Ostoura and being able to have my dresses in such an extraordinary place, alongside so many designers whom I have admired for so long, is truly an honor.

14- What do you know about the Kuwaiti woman in regards of taste and fashion?

Oh that’s an easy one. They are all ladies of luxury and great taste. It’s always refreshing to see how much pride these gorgeous woman put into their appearance, in all gentleness they are oozing with power. I love it. I feel blessed to have received such a wonderful welcome from Kuwaiti women over the years. Thank you for your support ladies.

15- Where do you see your label 10 years from now?

I see a very bright and promising future for Katayoon. Every day is a great progress and I intend to keep it like that. I guess only time will tell where we’ll be 10 years from now.

16- What are the three most important elements we will always see in your designs?
Grace. Elegance. Power.

17- Where do you find most of your inspiration?

I think love is the root of all inspiration; whether it’s love for another human or love for life and all that comes with it. I believe when we approach anything with love our experience is so much more pleasant and therefore we are far more likely to create a more beautiful world for ourselves and those around us. Especially with so much hate going on in the world right now, my biggest focus is towards bringing in light and joy into our life, even if it’s done by just dressing up.

18- Any last thoughts?

I am thankful for all the support and love that I have received from Al Ostoura, and I am looking forward to our high fashion adventures ahead.


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