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Iran has always held a special part in my heart. Even though I was born and raised in the United States, my parents made sure that we knew we came from a culture with thousands of years of history. Collaborating with the Center for Human Rights is an extension of what my parents instilled in me: to give back to the culture that inspired me. @centerforhumanrights #amirtaghimasks4change
Like the rest of the world, luxury fashion designer Amir Taghi had to slow things down after the coronavirus upended the world as we knew it. Covid-19 has created a reckoning within the fashion industry, but for the 24-year-old Houston native it was a blessing in disguise.
“The industry was going at a pace that no one could keep up with,” Taghi says. “It was a reset for the industry, and it was a reset for our brand.”
Taghi has kept busy, though. He created a line of face masks called The Mask Bar and mastered the virtual appointment (which can be made here). Before meeting with a client he sends them fabric swatches and a look book. From there it’s a chance for people to cultivate a relationship with a designer, Taghi says, and it gives clients insight into how the process works.
Taghi got his start in fashion shows at his house and trunk shows at Tootsies during the early 2010s, under the mentorship of former owner Mickey Rosmarin. He even showed a collection at New York Fashion Week and graced the pages of Vogue—all before he graduated high school. He has since graduated from Episcopal High School in Houston and Parsons School of Design in New York City, and his designs and business acumen have grown up with him.
He launched his namesake label in 2018, steadily putting out cohesive collections, while constructing made-to-order pieces for his most devoted customers and handcrafting wedding gowns. He has made a name for himself with sleek designs, a tight-knit connection to his clients, and a fresh point of view inspired by his background.
“Because I’m Iranian, I like to pull a lot of inspiration from there, and that’s been something I focused on when I decided to bring back my brand,” he says. He also draws inspiration from the women around him and, of course, Houston.
Despite living and operating out of New York City full time, Taghi says he’s constantly coming back to Houston (he only recently returned to New York after spending the past several months of the pandemic here). He has his PPE covered thanks to the Mask Bar; like many fashion brands, Taghi saw a need for this season’s most in-demand accessory, but he also saw an opportunity to give back.
Every month proceeds from the sales of some of his masks, which range $15–25, have gone to different charities. In June Taghi’s masks supported foundations fighting for Black equality, and the proceeds of July’s masks went to the Center for Human Rights in Iran. “We wanted to bring attention to the organization as well as raise money for them because a lot of their fundraising events have been cancelled,” Taghi says. “And because I’m Iranian American, it was such an obvious choice to work with them.”
As for what’s next? Items in his fall collection are available for pre-order here, and he’s planning a small capsule collection in lieu of a spring collection. Just because he’s had to slow down doesn’t mean he’ll be hitting pause any time soon. “I don’t think I could ever fully stop,” he says. “I’m still a creative, and I love what I do.”