Atifa Rasooli is a Denmark based designer. When she was young she loved wearing her dad’s clothes and claims that her collections carry the message of stillness. Inside this stillness and minimalism, Atifa sees the underlying strength and confidence of each person, all colored with a black & white palette.
Atifa’s design is all about being comfortable with your clothes and, hence, confident. Her humble – as she likes to call them – lines have a hidden nobility, a lyricism and class. Her cuts might make her clothes look a little “rough at the edges” and give the impression of an armor, but can also make anyone who wears them, look fierce and classy at the same time.
When did you realize you wanted to be a designer?
It was probably when I graduated from high school and took a brake to figure out what I wanted to do, that’s when I decided to take some courses in design and gradually ended as a designer.
Do you remember the first piece of clothing you ever made?
Yes, I actually still have it. It’s a grey dress in wool and I was so proud of myself, I wore it almost every day.
You use a lot of black and white. Why is that?
These are my favorite colors and it shows the mood, the feeling of what I wanted to tell with my previous collections.
Your clothes have a distinguished androgynous style. Tell us a few things about that. Where did that come from?
I used to love dressing like my dad as a child and was very inspired by his style, so I guess I have naturally developed this love for menswear into my own wardrobe. And it probably shows in my collections.
Your models also kind of look like warriors. Is there any social message you want to pass on with your designs?
I started my first collection in 2012 with the title “messenger of stillness”, and the message was to underline that one can be very calm and quiet, yet have a depth and beauty- “still waters run deep”. As there is so much going on around us and everyone is screaming for attention, too much noise I think! And I didn't feel the need of being loud with my collections, wanted to keep them humble. But yet, with that stillness there was still a lot of strength and confidence hidden, and that’s what I have tried to show with my models.
How do you like to dress? For example, tell me what would you wear to go at a night out with your girlfriends and what would you wear on a regular day at work?
I am dressed very simply, I have hardly any colors in my wardrobe, am actually struggling to bring some colors into my daily wear. For a night out, I would wear a pair of trousers or skirt with a shirt and a long coat or long vest, no high heels. As for a regular day, I wear mostly jeans and a t-shirt. Ironically, I am not a very big fashionista.
You have probably already answered to what inspires you in other interviews. I want you to tell me what wouldn’t inspire you at all. What turns you off and would block your creativity?
I don`t feel inspired when people advise me to think of the commercial and business aspects when designing. We have a lot of commercial brands here in Denmark and it is very hard for a brand like mine to enter the market, so even if I really try, I can't make a collection having sales and business in mind, it just kills my creativity.
Your clothes seem to promote comfort. Is that correct?
Yes I love wearing comfortable clothes myself, but yet elegant and classy. I think when you are comfortable with your clothes, it signals elegance and confidence.
Do you think a woman can be sexy without showing off too much skin?
Oh, of course, that’s what I have always believed. For me, showing too much skin is not sexy at all, there is nothing left for the imagination. And besides it’s the personality that makes one sexy, not the clothes. But you can always add clothes to complement your personality.
In your opinion, what is the best item of your S/S ’14 collection?
It is the off - white vest, it is so simple but yet has a beautiful cut and it looks amazing on with a pair of black jeans and black t shirt.
Do you have any favorite designers with whom would you like to collaborate?
I would like to collaborate with Some/things Magazine, I love their concept and they are always involved in beautiful and interesting projects.
Have you started preparing your next collection? Is there any surprise to wait for?
Yes I am currently working on my next collection. I am still in the process of building it up and I am curious myself to see where my mind will take me for the next collection, if it will be more experimental or simple as my previous collections.
How do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
I see myself doing what I love to do- designing, and want to use my ideas in many other things than just clothing.