Studio FIG is one of 5 aspiring entrepreneurs vying to open a downtown storefront and win a start-up incentive package valued at approximately $110,000. Studio FIG showed at SACFW 2016 for our ten year anniversary show. We sat down with owner Amal Iqbal to really get to know Studio FIG and how valuable they would be in our Sacramento community. We can vouch for FIG. If you feel the way we do, please take the time to help a brick and mortar Studio FIG become a reality not just for Amal, but for our community.
You can vote here.
“We are pitching the idea of a retail-studio in Downtown Sacramento. It is pretty much what is sounds like, part retail where you can buy off-the-shelf goods in the fields of fashion, interior and graphic design. The really cool thing about it, is some of the products will be ours, designed in house (that’s the “studio” part), and others will be from local and US based designers and makers. We really want to make Sacramento be a design destination, and want our designers to stay here and make our city great!”
With the changing fashion climate, why do you personally feel that sustainability is important for the fashion industry?
I believe that every company that decides to embrace sustainability needs to first define what that means to them, since sustainability can be such a vague term. For Studio FIG, being sustainable means that we should eliminate negative environmental impacts through skillful and thoughtful design. I personally feel that we are at a point in the fashion industry where we know the negative environmental impacts of certain types of material fabrication and printing processes, and our consumers are learning it too. We as creators and consumers need to start deciding at what point creating and buying something is worth the negative impacts of making or having it. Fashion is so beautiful, from the materials to the silhouettes, and I think it is time that the integrity of how it was made should stand up to how beautiful the garment or ite.
We think you Studio FIG will flourish especially if it were awarded the Calling All Dreamers prize. In one or two sentences, what does FIG have to offer the local community?
Well thank you! Having the support from my community, especially that of our design community is so important to us! When we finally open up our brick and mortar location, whether that is through winning Calling All Dreamers or not, we will offer the Sacramento community a special and unique retail shopping experience. Our brick and mortar location will be part retail and part studio workspace. The community of Sacramento will be able to purchase off-the-shelf goods and work with our design team to design and develop bespoke items in all three areas. We have a vision of supporting and employing local designers all while providing our community a great place to shop and be engaged with design through monthly workshops, pop-up shops, events and so much more.
At SACFW, we strive to show the community that fashion can thrive and that it is a lucrative industry that we haven’t fully delved into yet here. However, there is opportunity. What do you think makes Sacramento a great place to start a fashion related business?
It’s not always immediately noticeable, but Sacramento is a great place to live and work in the field of fashion. The Sacramento region has some great fabric and leather shops and there are a lot of smaller, independent vendors and suppliers for all kinds of accessories. Speaking of potential, Sacramento has a long history of manufacturing; it took a hit during the recession but is slowly starting to come back. Much of the infrastructure for textile and garment manufacturing already exists in areas such as Del Paso and Oak Park. There is a great fashion design program at Sac State and we have three Meissner Sewing Centers in region. Last but not least, SACFW plays a critical role in bringing suppliers, educators, designers, manufacturers, retailers, and clients together to share in the spotlight. The growth of the fashion industry in Sacramento is directly attributed to success of the shows and events SACFW puts together.
What is an outfit that FIG would tailor for a quintessential Sacramento girl and what are the meaning behind each piece that bolsters the identity of the wearer?
The Sacramento girl is a very smart and savvy girl, and I have learned she loves her layers so she can be ready for any occasion. The outfit that I have designed for the Sacramento girl is an A-line dress, that I have named the Ayla dress. The dress can be belted or not, worn with tights, leggings, boots, flats you name it! The Ayla dress is customizable as well, and will come in array of prints and colors soon!
What is one part of Sacramento that you are inspired by and why? (Could be a restaurant, an architectural building, a person etc.)
“Inspiration” is an important word for Studio FIG. I love it because it’s a catalyst for growth & change. While Sacramento boasts great architecture, beautiful gardens, and really good food, on a continual basis, I am most inspired by the people of Sacramento. I love people watching, and there is a lot of truth in Sacramento being one of the most diverse cities in the nation. From the hipsters to the executives, there are so many different sub-cultures to borrow inspiration from, I try not to limit myself to one particular group. I am also inspired by other designers and makers in Sacramento. I have been lucky enough to have a diverse group of design-oriented friends, and I try to soak up as much knowledge and inspiration from them as possible.
What defines success to you?
For me, the true meaning of success is giving your best in whatever you set out to do. We can’t always control the outcome, but we can control how much we put in. So for me personally, it’s knowing that everyday I pursuing my dream, and not giving up on its success.