Since she was a teenager growing up in Iran, Nazia Zamani has wanted nothing more than to design clothes. "I told my aunt once, 'If I don't sew a dress every day, I'll die,'" She's long been a well-kept secret among a clientele that relies on her to create one-of-a-kind pieces for charity events or restore a treasured vintage garment. She's been featured as a "tailor we trust" in Michigan Avenue magazine. Though Nazia has produced a small selection of off-the-rack designs available for purchase, her passion is "to make individual designs for individual people." Her selling point is control and fit, with custom clothing, the client has input at every phase, from the initial concept to the choice of fabric to the color to the style. Standard sizes are also thrown out the window, with the garment sewn to the client's precise measurements.
Nazia moved to Chicago in 2003 and earned a degree in fashion design from Columbia College before heading to New York. There she honed her skills under the tutelage of Carolina Herrera — a favorite of celebrities like Renee Zellweger — and Dennis Basso, one of the premier couture fur designers.
Davis took Nazia under her wing when Nazia approached her for a job prior to her foray into the New York fashion world. Davis is also the one who persuaded Nazia to return to Chicago, helping her former employee set up her original studio and referring customers her way. Davis' mentoring has extended to assisting Nazia with the more practical side of running a design house. Her personal vision is more apparent in a gown she created for a recent fashion show, with its full skirt and bold floral pattern. "I don't want to be a follower," Zamani said, citing Lady Gaga as her current style icon. "She's very brave. She's not conservative. She wants to be herself."
"My life, my love is fashion, If my customers are happy, I'm happy."