Negin Izad Clothing Designer of Noctex

Negin Izad is an independent Canadian fashion designer hailing from Vancouver, B.C. Whilst studying fashion in university, Negin decidedto create her own brand entitled ‘Noctex’ in early 2011.

Specializing in ornate garters, leggings, draping tunics and dresses, Noctex effortlessly channels both the old and new, edges on the avant garde and strives to find a balance between rigid structure and the free-flowing organic essence of nature.

As a third year fashion student and only twenty years old, Negin has successfully created a brand that embodies every day functionality while incorporating an incredibly fashion forward aesthetic. Negin seeks to promote a multi-purpose line that boasts individuality and practicality that effortlessly enhances the diversity of her customers wardrobes. If you’d like to learn more about this incredibly talented and ambitious designer, read on! 

 

Noctex Black Axis DressTell us a little about yourself. Who is the mysterious seamstress behind Noctex?

As the basics go: my name is Negin (Nay-geen) Izad. I am 20 years old and I design and sample all products and designs for my brand, NOCTEX. I am a full time Fashion Design and Technology student in my 3rd out of 4 years in University. Basically, I have been creating my brand as I have been directly learning from my schooling

What is the origin story of Noctex and the meaning behind the name?

I started using the name when I was 16 or 17 when I had an interest in reading about Latin root names for animals. It was because one of my teachers gave me a book on how so many different words are derived from the Latin root names for different farm animals. For examples, porcelain can be traced back to ‘porca’ meaning pig. NOCTEX is a spin-off of ‘noctem’ or ‘noctis’, revolving around the idea of night. I think I was drawn to it at the time because during the day my work was based around mathematics and sciences in high school, which my family was hoping I would pursue, and I only ever had time to work on my creative endeavours after hours at night. The name just stuck after a while.

What are some of your primary influences and inspirations that have helped define the look and feel of your brand?

When I first started NOCTEX, it was mostly about using the resources I had. I made print apparel because I didn’t know how to make patterns yet, and was just starting my University program. I have only started making clothing closer to my style influences as of Fall 2013. My influences when designing centre on the idea of making clothing that is easy to wear but has a sharp statement. The concept of finding the space between something organic and something architectural and modern is what has always interested me. Creating shapes and forms without sacrificing comfort and the ability to live your life in the clothes. I am mostly inspired when finding little problems in my own wardrobe or clothing and trying to create a solution from that.

 

Noctex Monaxia Transform Tunic
What are some of your favourite silhouettes to experiment with in your work?

I love silhouettes that just skim the body. I think that’s something that doesn’t go in and out of fashion too fast, and can be worn in many ways.

What does your conceptual process look like? Take us through the steps of concocting your vision and weaving it into reality.

The conceptual process is best described from my recent experience with designing collections versus just individual pieces. I start with looking through my notebooks or sketchbooks from recent months and find a main idea I know I want to have in a collection. From there, its half creative work and half research on what problems I want to address in the season. For example, I have always hated how I can’t layer up in the spring/summer time. So I try to choose fabrics and shapes that allow you to have that feeling of fall layering without the discomfort. From there, I sketch the individual pieces to have a better feel of the shape, make notes on the pattern making logistics, then make a chronological list of what needs to be done to make this design a reality. When I am making the sample, I try to find fabrics that I can imagine the garment in, and start going back and forth from technical 2D pattern making to draping to garment on a mannequin. When the pattern and samples are all tested and ready, I then I need to decide whether the design is better served to be hand sewn, or if I should hand it over to a local sewing team to help me make multiple pieces. Right now and until I graduate, my overall process relies on me being very flexible, since I am still in school.

What made you decide to begin designing multi-wear pieces in your 2013 Fall/Winter collection?

I knew that I did not have the time or finances to invest in a standard 10+ piece collection for my first release, and in a lot of ways, I did not find that I needed to make that many pieces. I gathered my resources and decided that I wanted to play with the idea of a woman on the go, packing last minute for a week long trip, and all she could grab was a dress, a tunic, a sweater with a pair of pants in her luggage, and transforming them every day to look presentable yet comfortable to move in. I think the most valuable pieces I own are those that are either simple, or ones that can work for me in different ways. Even now, when designing a new garment, I always consider if the piece can be worn in different looks and styles outside of its collection concept, because really, that’s what makes something memorable.

 

Noctex Black Skeleton Garters
What types of materials and tools do you like to utilize in your work?

Materials are the most important part of my design process. If the fabric doesn’t feel right, the design won’t matter. I try to use as much natural fibres as possible in my work, with hopefully more organic fibres to come in the future. Recently, I have been looking into ways to recycle or purchase excess fabrics that would otherwise be thrown out in order to create limited run pieces, or even just pieces for myself and friends. As far as tools go, I like to use anything I can. My collection of standard and non-standard sewing tools is constantly growing. That’s the most beautiful part of garment making, in my opinion, because after a certain point of learning the standard ways of making clothing, you can start to create your own.

What advice would you give to future fashion designers that wish to turn their love of art into a professional business venture?

Fashion is a huge industry with so many different jobs to offer, especially if you get the right education, it can lead to so many different doors. I know that most of my classmates may have started their journey wanting to have their own brand and business, but quickly found that there are many other jobs and roles to explore that are more creative in certain ways. In the grand scheme of it all, designing clothing is a small percent of my job as a small business owner compared to all of the book keeping, marketing, research, communication, shipping, and other little jobs I do. It really has to be something you are willing to put an undefined amount of time into. I definitely recommend it to those that are very self-directed in their working habits. My main advice is to keep an open mind when you are in the fashion industry, and always set goals for yourself based on your own needs and wants in any career. Most importantly, do not listen to people that tell you it is ‘too difficult’ to take the road you want to take. If you are willing to work for it, no one can tell you otherwise. I think if I had listened to even half of the friends, teachers or even family that told me my dream of running my own fashion line was ‘unrealistic’, and that I should go into a ‘secure’ career first, I would have been in some other field, unhappy and unsure. If you want a career bad enough, no one should stop you but you.

 

Noctex Clothing Line 2014Who are your most influential style icons?

I do not pin-point people as inspiration for my work. I think once you use a still image of someone during a certain time as a reference, it is already an old idea by the time it is created into something physical. I try to always experiment with different aesthetics and ideas on myself in order to understand them first hand. In a way, I try to develop and progress at the same rate as my work in order to keep myself the muse, so that I always have a personal connection with my work.

What projects can we expect to see from Noctex in 2014?

2014 will be the first year with two collections. First is Spring / Summer 2014, that involves a lot of my personal hand sewing. I have taken all I have learned so far from school and put it into my designs and work. It’s the year where I can finally showcase my aesthetics as a designer without worrying about time or skill restraints, so there is a lot more to show.

I’d like to extend a big thank you to Negin for agreeing to take part in the interview and sharing such insightful answers with us. If you’d like to purchase any of Negin’s pieces, check out her official site and follow her on her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages to keep up with the latest news and seasonal releases! 

 

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