Fabiha Sultana achieved a First Class degree in Fashion and Textiles design from University of Wolverhampton. Her degree show collection 'Terminus' stood out for its very considered use of colour, design, pattern and original styling inspired by the London Underground. The judges where impressed not only by her work but by her drive, passion and ambition. They thought Fabiha was the real deal and think you might agree.
What inspires you?
"Artists such as Robert Rauschenberg inspire my design work style as he portrays a story behind his artwork. The idea of using photographical elements with hand rendered techniques inspire me as a fashion and textile designer. His work instigates me to see paintings from a different viewpoint and to see fashion and textiles in the form of Art".
What influences you?
"My main influences are my parents and the support and motivation that they have provided for me as I grew up. Coming from an Asian – Bangladeshi background where many people are not encouraged in the Art and design sector, my parents have always supported me to fulfill my dreams. Not only is this inspiring but it has made me very determined to why I would like to pursue a career in Fashion and Textiles design.
Many women in the Bangladeshi society are afraid to follow their dreams even today. This career path gives me the chance of changing the perspective of a Bangladeshi originated woman’s life, changing the way women are stereotyped in the society as well as giving me the chance of becoming an independent and successful young woman.
I have always had a great passion for the Art and design sector since I was a young child, I would always enter competitions and compete to win them. My work would always be displayed in school exhibitions and I would be recognised by many design companies. This heartens me to go ahead and help the individuals out there to see the beauty of Art and Design with a wide eye and to inspire them to encourage the younger generation to achieve their aspirations whether it’s in the Art and design sector or any other areas of study.
Being a British Bangladeshi woman myself there are not many designers out there in the UK. There are only a very few in the UK working as Bangladeshi designers so I want to be a role model for Bangladesh by working in the creative industry myself and bring together the Bangladeshi designers and work with the British community. I feel as though majority of designs are from Bangladesh, places like China and Bangladesh are one of the leading textile industry countries, yet still a lot of Bangladeshi people underestimate the whole Art and design sector. So my aim would be to create a platform for those individuals who perhaps haven’t had the opportunity before or have not been encouraged to work in the creative industry and see the benefits in this industry for their future".
How important is colour in your work ?
Colour is possibly one of the most important processes in my design journey. If the colour palette does not echo my conceptual ideas perfectly then my entire design process is ruined. I love designing prints primarily for fashion fabrics that expose a concept that I want to portray to my viewers.
My colour exploration initiates from primary data analysis at all times. I firstly research into the certain concept ideas I want my print designs based on through books and secondary research.
After gathering concept information I travel and explore to find the best primary inspiration towards my ideas. I collect primary photographs to then observe a colour story. I combine colours to create a unique colour palette for my design work.
I work with different shades of colours to see how each colour sits with the fashion and textiles print range. After establishing what works I narrow the colours to a maximum of 15 colours for my collections.
Where do you want to be in 3 years’ time?
In Three years’ time I aspire to be working as a Fashion print designer in a high end market level segment creating a portfolio for my own fashion and textile brand.
Moreover, my aim would be to create a platform for those Bangladeshi individuals who aspire to work within the creative industries and encourage people to work within this industry sector. My aim is to promote creative subjects and become a role model for the younger generations. I aim to travel to Bangladesh and work with new concept ideas and traditional machinery to discover the new world of fashion and textiles.
Is there one person during your studies who has really made a difference to your design direction?
During my studies there were two individuals who really invigorated me to have confidence in my skills. One specific individual would always reassure me and praise me that I was a very strong designer and that I should never give up. This Individual always had faith in me, believing I had the potential to graduate with a First class honours and I am extremely happy today that I have achieved this goal and have proven their beliefs to be correct. This person would listen to my problems and let me moan about my stress levels, I believe this person made a big change towards my success story.
The other individual is my university lecturer who would always challenge me to do better and she would continuously be excited to see my work which certainly boosted my self-assurance as I would be very excited to showcase my designs without hesitation.
What is your favourite colour?
I do not have a favourite colour as I believe every colour has its own personality.
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