Her latest venture aims to help creatives from the Middle East and North Africa by providing them with consultation, communications and event planning services.
“One thing that I would say is very important for me is that I really wanted people to recognize me as an Iranian designer,” said Zadeh on a Zoom call about her past life as a handbag designer and why she wants to help those rising up in the creative industries.
“I never lived in Iran, but I feel very, very strongly about my culture and tradition. I used to go back to Iran twice a year, but I haven’t been back, unfortunately, for the past three years now,” she added.
Her client list includes the likes of Bocan Couture, Nur Karaata and Direct Message from Turkey; Rena, Zyne, Bovisaj and Dihyan jewelry from Morocco; Urfuur from Dubai; as well as brands outside of the diaspora, such as Orpheus Skin from Bulgaria and Welsh NYC and Nessy Khem, a New York-based brand with Tunisian heritage.
Zadeh revealed that she’s growing her roster by working with brands from Greece, Spain, Egypt, Lebanon, Iran and Colombia in the coming few months leading up to the New Year.
“It’s a great moment now for Middle Eastern brands, especially with Fashion Trust Arabia, they’re doing a lot to really support emerging designers. There’s so much out there, I want to be the go-to person for brands from the MENA region,” she reiterated.
Zadeh studied graphic design at Parsons School of Design in New York, which led to a job at Interview magazine as a senior designer before moving to London to become art director of men’s luxury lifestyle magazine Gentleman’s Journal.
After leaving the publishing world, Zadeh started making handbags that would later be stocked on Browns, Net-a-porter and Moda Operandi.
“I will always say, take your time. Things with me went way too fast, but there’s no need to go fast,” she said, pointing out that her brand grew so big that she was getting orders of 300 units from stockists that hadn’t even seen the product yet because of the influencers and celebrities carrying her handbags.
The idea to set up her own agency came out of a coincidence, where Zadeh was helping a friend of hers launch a face-fitness course by setting up the launch event in London.
She said it was a huge success which then snowballed into a job without her actively looking.
Zadeh said she only wants to work with smaller brands and help them grow, which comes as a result of having lived lives in publishing and the creative field.