Often I find many up and coming designers that are from the area that truly inspire me in more ways then one. I had the pleasure of interviewing a local designer who has been making her mark in the Fashion World. Tala Raassi, an Iranian-American fashion designer, was born in Maryland, USA and raised in Tehran, Iran. She is devoted to celebrating the beauty of a women’s body through her designs and supports women following their dreams. For Raassi, “fashion is freedom.” With each passing year, Raassi’s business continues to grow while she still keeps in mind her roots.
I first learned about Tala when I read an article about her in Marie Claire titled, "Crime of The Mini Skirt". The story discusses an event that she endured when she was sixteen attending her friend's house party in a mini skirt. While in the privacy of her friend’s home, the religious police raided the house, and she ultimately faced the harsh punishment of five days in jail and forty lashes for wearing “indecent clothing,” according to Islamic law. Following this sentence, Raassi moved back to the USA where she currently lives. Her story went global, and Rachel Ray, Elle, and Newsweek, among others, interviewed her, giving her the platform to vocalize her vision of fashion as a symbol of freedom.
"Dar be Dar", which is the name of Raassi's swimline means door to door in Farsi. She found herself traveling all over the world, going door to door, studying the mechanics on how to create a fashion line. “It represents me as a designer, because I had to go door to door to figure out the process of starting a fashion business,” said Raassi.
Raassi found herself making her way to the top of the swimwear industry. Raassi collaborated with the Washington Wizards Dance Team in 2009 to provide swimwear for the dance team’s swimsuit calendar. She was also the official swimwear sponsor of the 2010 Miss Universe Pageant. Raassi truly uses her role in the fashion industry to empower other women and believes in supporting causes to help women grow and be successful.
Q:What made you start designing swim suits?
A:When I was buying for my first boutique in Sao Paolo, Brazil during Fashion Week, I was so blown away and inspired by their swimwear. I channeled my passion for starting a clothing line to start my own swimwear line. My goal was to bring what I was inspired by abroad to the US.
Q:What would you say sets your swimsuits apart from others out there on the market?
A:I think Dar Be Dar swimwear is very unique. My goal when I design swimwear is to flatter a women’s body. I use the highest quality designer fabrics and accessories. All of my swimwear is very detailed and elegant.
Q:Many women struggle finding a swimsuit that flatters them what advice to you give to finding the most suitable swimsuit?
A:Confidence is the most flattering way of wearing a swimwear. A perfect woman is not real, and a real woman is not perfect. Wear what makes you feel confident and flatters your body. Catwalk down the beach like no one is watching.
Q:What has been your defining moment in your fashion career?
A:My journey in the fashion industry has been a super fascinating and unpredictable roller coaster ride. I very much enjoy and cherish every moment of my career whether it will ultimately be a huge success or a failure. One of my most notable accomplishments was being named “one of the most fearless women in the world” by NewsWeek Magazine in 2012.
Q:Which of your swimsuits is your personal favorite?
A:I love them all, for the simple fact that I would wear all of them. I particularly loved the Purple bikini that I designed specially for the Miss Universe Pageant. Because I got to watch some of the most beautiful women in the world, from 83 different countries repressing my country that is banned from attending the pageant by wearing Dar Be Dar swimwear.
Q:Describe your newest collection?
A:My newest collection is the Resort 2013 collection. In this collection I love the intricacy and delicateness of the fabric’s braiding. The color palette of my collection is mainly solid colors. I would say it’s probably one of the most sophisticated and chic collections of Dar Be Dar to date. I am also creating cover-ups and expanding the line with this collection.
Tala Raassi is an inspiration to us all. She is not only an amazing fashion designer, but a role model to many women. Showing courage, strength, and passion to follow her beliefs. "Fashion is Freedom!" I hope this inspires you to follow your dreams and to support a designer who represents more then just swimwear!
Check out more on her swimwear: http://www.darbedar.net