Recently I had the incredible opportunity to sit down and interview Ieena Duggal (pronounced eye-na), of Mac Duggal to talk about her new collection, Ieena For Mac Duggal. I was looking very forward to getting to know the creative designer behind what is sure to be the sell out of the spring season. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous, after all, not too many people are granted access to inner walls of the Mac Duggal design house, let alone an interview with their newest designer! I should not have been worried though, not only was Ieena extremely kind and welcoming, she has a great sense of humor, which really set me at ease. From the moment I walked in, Ieena’s impeccable style was evident even in her office. As the daughter of famous designer Mac Duggal who started his own dress design house over 30 years ago, Ieena grew up visiting her father at work, playing dress up as most young girls do, but she had a wide array of amazing dresses designed by her father and his design team to dress up in. When Ieena got a little older, she began sitting in on design meetings, traveling with her father to places like China and started to learn the business. Being around her father’s stunning creativity, Ieena fell in love with the artistry and chose to pursue a career in design. Over the years, Ieena gained experience by working for many different famous companies including Stella McCartney, which is a vegan company and Cole Haan, a company that designs and sells outerwear, daily wear, footwear and more, along with several other famous companies and design houses. Ieena said that by working in these companies and design houses she was able to broaden her skills as a designer. Ieena never repeated a job or internship, which further allowed her to acquire new skills.
GETTING TO KNOW IEENA DUGGAL
Though Ieena attended the famous Parson’s School of Design in New York, she told me she had been training for a career as a designer her whole life. Along those lines, I asked Ieena what her favorite part of being a designer was, although it was a hard question for Ieena to come up with one answer to, as there are many things she loves about her job, Ieena said she loves being able to express herself. She travels a lot and she loves to absorb the cultures she experiences and incorporate them into her designs. Ieena went on to say that one of the most rewarding parts of being a designer is seeing someone wearing one of her designs. Whether that person is wearing it on the red carpet, on the pageant stage, or even at a party she attends, Ieena loves to know that someone loves her designs as much as she does, and knowing that someone picked out her design is a wonderful feeling for her as a designer.
As a designer, although Ieena is skilled and trained in software design, she prefers to sketch by hand. Through sketching by hand, Ieena feels she has more freedom and can express the emotion better in her designs. Not surprisingly, Ieena is a skilled seamstress as well, which is also a very important skill as there are times she might have to move a seam 1/8 or 1/16 of an inch and it is much easier to edit a design when you know how to sew. Also, Ieena says even more important than the ability to sew is the knowledge and understanding of garment and fabric construction. Although the ability to sew and sketch are necessary skills as a designer, Ieena said one of the most important aspects of being a designer is to be open-minded. Ieena went on to say that in her opinion, fashion is one of the fastest changing industries. Month to month, week to week, day to day, the fashion world changes and evolves based on anything from politics to weather. According to Ieena, if you want to be a successful fashion designer you have to be open and willing to accept the changes. When I asked what advice Ieena could give aspiring designers, she said, that is a very challenging field. You have to be aware of the change in the world, and be ready to express how you feel. Fashion is an art; it is not a 9-5 job. A fashion designer’s mind is always running, and they use their surroundings in their art. Ieena says there is so much new talent and having it in the fashion world would be nice, because in Ieena’s words, “Our generation is awesome.”
IEENA’S PERSONAL STYLE
When it comes to her personal style, Ieena said that her style consists of a lot of blacks and neutral and that she always adds something special to her outfit. One of her signature style choices is that she always includes some kind of metal in her outfit, whether it’s in her jewelry or on her shirt. Shoes are important to Ieena as well; she has two closets and A LOT of shoes! (Sounds like a girl after my own heart) Ieena’s jewelry is always minimal, think studs, or a dainty bracelet. She believes in simplicity, and due to the extensive traveling she does, Ieena tries to be as minimal as possible.
IEENA FOR MAC DUGGAL
Ieena for Mac Duggal is a stunning line, which to me has a very glamorous yet classic and sleek vibe. I asked Ieena about the inspiration for the line. As a designer, Ieena’s inspirations depend on what she is creating. She travels all over the world, so when she goes to different places, she absorbs the culture. When creating Ieena for Mac Duggal, Ieena told me that she wanted to create a line for the every day girl, something that would make her feel confident and ahead of her time. Mac Duggal, the brand, is known for their breathtaking embellishments and Ieena really wanted to create a line that was easier to wear, as she so eloquently put it, a “zip and go,” design. However, even though the designs themselves are meant to be easy to wear, the fabrics used in the designs are comprised of custom prints that were created exclusively for Ieena for Mac Duggal. As a designer, Ieena said that the construction of the garments was a very important part of the design process and that played a role in what fabrics she chose for her designs. All designers have different and unique styles and I asked Ieena how Ieena for Mac Duggal fit into the Mac Duggal Brand, for example, was it designed with an age group in mind and Ieena told me that the collection is designed for girls and women of all ages who want to feel young at heart. With the gorgeous sleek lines in her designs, these stunning dresses can easily go from day to night.
If you are like me, you will be dying to get your hands on one of these gorgeous designs, but you are going to have to wait a little while longer. Ieena for Mac Duggal will become available at department stores and boutiques beginning January, 2016. If you had any questions at all about the international appeal of Mac Duggal, let me just say that Ieena for Mac Duggal will make it’s debut on FIVE CONTINENTS! No surprise, as a prestigious design house and a worldwide trendsetter, Mac Duggal shows at the Coterie in New York, London, Paris, Germany and Istanbul.
As I left the interview, I couldn’t help feeling like I had just met the next IT girl of the fashion world….In a few short months, I have a feeling that the Duggal family will have another star in the family. Congratulations Ieena!
Thought for the day……my interview with Ieena and my visit to Mac Duggal reminded of a very important quality in life, being genuine. Everyone I have met from Mac Duggal has been supportive and incredibly generous with their time and knowledge. I am just a regular girl, following my passion and my dreams, and to have one of the most prestigious design houses and their team give me the opportunity to pick their brains was beyond kind. This is just one of the many reasons a Mac Duggal dress is and will continue to be one of the sought after designs in the formal wear industry!
TAKE A LOOK AT IEENA FOR MAC DUGGAL!!!!