Measure of a Man
Amir Taghi, just 22, has designed for high-end fashion houses and launched a successful made-to-measure biz. But, as his new line reveals, his career is only just beginning. By Clifford Pugh, Photos by Fulton Davenport
Amir Taghi is one busy guy. Barely legal — he celebrated his 22nd birthday in January — the Houston native is continuing his studies at the prestigious Parsons School of Design in New York while maintaining his made-to-measure business creating custom gowns and dresses for some of Houston’s most fashionable women.
Having just completed an eight-month internship as an assistant designer at Monse, the hip label created by Oscar de la Renta designers Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, Taghi is now working on a resort collection of his own to debut at the end of the year. Inspired by his Iranian heritage, the new collection offers a hip take on the Persian military jacket, which he has refashioned with unusual plays on proportion and striped fabric. (One jacket is even constructed to be worn upside down.) He also makes strategic use of embroidered badges on some sheer looks. “All of my collections have been a bit tame in some kind of way,” he says. “This is going to be the least tame of all of them. I do want to push the boundaries a little bit.”
Early sketches indeed show a sexier, edgier and more fashion-forward side for Taghi, whose talents have matured greatly since showing his first collection at his parents’ Tanglewood home when he was a high school freshman in 2012. Following his graduation, Taghi spent a year at Central Saint Martins in London before transferring to Parsons. He feels he’s experienced the best of both worlds, since CSM pushes designers to create something totally new, while Parsons emphasizes the business side — “because at the end of the day, you have to make money,” he says. “I was very lucky to have both sensibilities and learn both ways of fashion.”
As a young entrepreneur, he finds juggling his work and studies to be the biggest challenge. He continues to operate his brand in Houston while pursuing his fashion education and resort collection in New York. “You have to be able to manage your time and know what you want to do,” he explains. “You can’t do anything without organization. But for me, it’s a messy organization. Creativity is not always organized. You have to be organized but also be able to go without rules and do things that people have not done before. Or the world won’t change.”