Dear Reader,

My name is Shayan and I am an Iranian-American fashion designer based in Los Angeles. I’ve worked for fashion designer Michael Schmidt helping construct pieces for celebrities such as Kylie Jenner and Oprah Winfrey as well as studying Fashion Design at Santa Monica College. After my studies, I felt that there was a gap in the market for ethically made, high-quality apparel that challenged gender norms and authentically represented people of color. This motivated me to create my brand Carnal Flora; a contemporary apparel brand inspired by botany and romance.

Pic of designer in polaroid.

Carnal Flora’s aesthetic is inspired by botany from a day and night perspective. Even the name Carnal Flora has two parts to it. Carnal represents the way you feel at night: serene and intimate. Whereas Flora is the day: more whimsical and carefree. Some lean more towards one over the other, but I feel that a lot of people embody both. Each style is designed to be worn interchangeably to adapt to the wearer’s mood. We’re all about challenging gender norms and encouraging people to wear what excites them about fashion. 

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Colette dress on the runway during LA Fashion week 2019

Carnal Flora Colette dress on the runway during LA Fashion week 2019

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Los Angeles has become a big part of my brand as I am always finding inspiration through the abundance of people and places to discover here. For many, Los Angeles provokes an image of Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, luxury cars, and overall superficiality. However, when I think of Los Angeles I think of Griffith Park, Angeles National Forest, Descanso Gardens, and so many other ecologic sanctuaries in and near Los Angeles. I want to show people the true qualities of Los Angeles that make it the magical place that it is.

As a designer, the greatest advice I have to every wearer is to embrace the qualities that make you rare. The world doesn’t need another ego-driven person striving to fit in. The world needs more individuals who dare to be their authentic selves, overcome their fears, and connect with people who are also trying to make a change. Fashion doesn't start with validation. It starts by loving yourself, staying focused, and giving yourself that time and space to grow.

 

Sincerely,

Shayan

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