Continuing on after my phone interview with Nicole Musselman from Koch, I decided to scope out more talent in the Dallas area and finally caught up with Shirin Askari from Project Runway Season 6 from 2009.Fact: She also uses the same factories as Koch, who produces 90% of her line in Texas.
Actual design professionals can unanimously vote that Project Runway is as unrealistic as reality television can get in relation to the fashion industry. Shirin remembered her days of asking for permission to talk while she was on the show and always having to obediently, but strictly, time something so simple as a coffee or bathroom break. “The transition was difficult,” said Shirin. “..we had to ask to speak …had to eat when they told us to eat, ask to go to the bathroom, etc.”
However, despite the rough weather of show business, Shirin believes Project runway had made her a stronger designer and a stronger person. Shirin made sure to “take everything with a grain of salt and learn from constructive criticism.” After Project Runway, she knew she wanted to start a line eventually and knew that it was all about persistence and determination.
As graduate from the University of North Texas, Shirin had previously moved to New York for nine months to start her line but came back and debuted her first fashion show in Dallas through the Fashionistas organization. “Dallas (Richardson) is home- it’s where my heart is.” While she was in New York, Shirin had learned a variety of things she did not learn in school such as production and salability.
“I view fashion as a way for women to express themselves and attain a style and confidence when they put on a great dress,” said Shirin. It is no mystery how Shirin does well in Texas- women in the south simply love dressing up. Her love for math and transitioned well into her pattern making skills, and one of her goals with her company is to strengthen the salability of her pieces.