Zarina Babadzhanova: ''One of my clients is just six months old''

How to make a Muslim brand famous across Russia

Many Russian ''stars'' and even the leading character of Shards of Glass series wear clothes made by Kazan designer Zarina Babadzhanova. Her Muslim wedding dresses made pay attention to this custom and carry out it solemnly. The details are in Zarina's interview with Realnoe Vremya.

''I love Max Mara coats!''

Zarina, what's in vogue this spring and summer? What will the women who prefer your brand be able to wear?

This season women should pay attention to coats from natural brand fabrics. It's classic outdoor clothes… Moreover, it's blouses, airy, tender, wide leg trousers, flowing culottes, beautiful godet skirts. Many women have asked for these patterns in the last years. Perhaps it's nostalgia for those times when such clothes were fashionable. Colours are different – somebody likes bright, vibrant tones, somebody prefers tender, pastel colours. We decided to try to please every woman.

What about a coat? Is it something resembling the iconic Max Mara silhouette?

Probably many people know about my love for this brand's coats, it has the most elegant and laconic cut, nothing in excess. This brand has recently begun making long coats, short coats aren't trendy any more, they kill elegance a bit like ''cut'' a figure, shorten the silhouette. The short coat is an option for sports women, but we shouldn't anyway forget that a woman in a long coat looks more elegant. This is why we made midi and maxi coats – black, beige, camel – the famous Max Mara colour – an oversized coat.

Where do your brand's fabrics come from? Because it's important what fabrics clothes are made of.

Unfortunately, good fabrics stopped being made in our country a long time ago. This is why we have to ask foreign partners to help. Mainly we purchase fabrics in Dubai, they are very good there. There are handmade exclusive fabrics from India.

Do you yourself go and choose the fabrics?

I used to, but now the system is well-oiled, it's enough to talk on phone or Skype.

''Probably many people know about my love for this brand's coats, it has the most elegant and laconic cut.'' Photo:

''The work starts with fabric''

What does your work on a collection start with?

Everything used to start with inspiration, now it's an inevitability. You just understand that, for instance, when spring nears, people will want to wear something specific. They begin calling and asking if we will have this and that. It's good that we have an atelier besides production where clients can come and place an order for clothes. If we analyse what people place an order for more often, it becomes clear what will be trendy in the short run, and you start making up a collection. Of course, there is inspiration, but one should also know what trendy things the collection will have.

There is a task: to make up a new coat or a new dress. What's the first thing you do?

The work starts with fabric. A new fabric arrives, I lay it out, look it over, it can be just a sample, a piece. When you hold the fabric in your hands, you understand what can be made of it, where it can come in handy, what beautiful, comfortable and practical things can be made from it, so that both people and I will like it. I wear my clothes with pleasure. My goal is to make everyone feel practical and comfortable. There is such a creative and commercial process when working on a design.

What do you have at your disposal apart from production and the atelier?

We have our own shop in the atelier. If a woman comes and sees clothes she liked very much in a shop but didn't find her size, she can ask for her size of the same thing in the atelier.

''Our brand poses itself as Muslim, but we make clothes in any style and movement. Photo:

''We made a stylish Hajj outfit''

Who comes to you more often? What's the prevailing age group?

Completely different people come. Our youngest client was six months old, we made her a very beautiful dress from the same fabric we used for her mother. They had photo shooting, and the mother asked very much to dress the baby in the dress she had on. The oldest client is a woman who was 82 years, she was going to perform the Hajj in the Mecca, and we made a very beautiful and comfortable, very stylish outfit for her. We don't have age limits.

There is an opinion that your brand makes clothes for Muslims. But I see on the Internet that many Russian stars wear your clothes…

Our brand poses itself as Muslim, but we make clothes in any style and movement. We even joined a project of my dreams – I had been dreaming to try to work in cinema and make clothes for cinema. And this dream has recently come true. We completely dressed the leading character performed by my favourite Natalia Antonova in the series Shards of Glass, which was aired on Russia channel, it was directed by Vladimir Nakhabtsev. I had to consider plenty of nuances, even the interior where an episode would be shot and create a character that would be in harmony with it. In fact, I had to get into this character.

How did the camera crew find you?

To tell the truth, I have no idea. Many actresses, singers have been our clients for many years, it seems that somebody suggested. Obviously, a proposal was made to several designers, I was sent a synopsis and asked to share my vision, what outfits I saw the leading character in. In the end, I was chosen. The shooting took place in different cities, I was invited there, but I didn't manage to go due to my workload. But I saw the film, our brand is mentioned in the credits, and it was very pleasant.

''We completely dressed the leading character in the series ' Shards of Glass', which was aired on Russia channel. Photo:

How does your business look now?

We have an office in Kazan, we sell our clothes around the world through online shops. But the opening of shops in other cities is additional difficulties and risks. This is why we offered our clothes to our representatives in Moscow and Makhachkala.

How long have you been working in fashion?

For six years, it's not much, but the business develops rapidly, which I am glad about. It's thanks to my clients who prefer our clothes. If not they, the brand wouldn't be developing this way.

How many collections do you have a year?

I used to usually make a collection every season, now there is no need for it. The collection I made in winter is very big, it does for both spring and autumn. Now I make collections only when I have inspiration.

''We also make Christian wedding dresses''

You also have another specialtywedding dresses. How popular is it?

Thanks to this line we got certain recognition in Tatarstan. There is an opinion that our beautiful Muslim wedding dresses encourage holding this event at such a high level. A Muslim wedding used to be at home, in the family circle, with parents and grandparents, and now everything takes place solemnly at mosques with hosts, banqueting halls. Thanks to beautiful outfits, people began to want to carry out a Muslim wedding solemnly. It's an important day in people's life, and it should be held decently. We have outfits for men – it's also clothes for the Muslim wedding. Previously men came, chose wedding clothes for brides and took offence there was nothing for them for this occasion. They didn't want to wear usual jackets on this day. As a result, I made up beautiful frock coats à la The Magnificent Century and national hats.

''Thanks to beautiful outfits, people began to want to carry out a Muslim wedding solemnly. It's an important day in people's life, and it should be held decently.'' Photo:

The dress promoted the custom, this is interesting. What if an Orthodox Christian bride comes and asks to make a wedding dress?

We will make it. We have a big number of brides, and we make wedding dresses with pleasure. The first client of this kind came from Zelenodolsk, and I was at a loss – how to make a Christian wedding dress? I began to study what Orthodox Christian brides needed and could wear and what not. It was interesting and it also helps to develop. In the end, we made a lace dress with a hood-like shawl with small volants, beautiful buttons, chain stitches. The bride was so nice, tender like an angel. After that, all her acquaintances, girlfriends started to come to me. We make a lot of dresses for Orthodox Christian brides.

How do you think the perfect woman looks?

Every woman is perfect in her own way. Somebody is perfect at work, somebody is in the family. In my opinion, being perfect is to be in harmony with yourself.

Whom do you like to make clothes for the most?

I love making clothes in general. Though women's clothes are my priority.

By Tatiana Mamayeva