First conceived in 2008 in Portland, Oregon as Red Feather Design – inspired by my African Grey parrot – Shahira Kamal Custom specializes in custom outerwear, technical garments, and motorcycle apparel, as well as performs technical design and patternmaking services for the apparel industry. I love the technical design/patternmaking phase most of all, because it bridges conceptualization and construction, as 2D concepts are translated into 3Drealities.
I started my career in fashion wanting to make fancy dresses for the red carpet. But the more clothes I made, the more I realized clothes are not about clothes at all; they’re about the phenomenal capabilities and expressions of the human body. I became less interested in clothing that just sits there and looks pretty, preferring to create technical garments that help a human do a job, protect him or her from the elements, and even protect them from harm.
During the custom apparel process, three primary intentions are explored as I co-create with clients:
1) to reconnect people to their own creativity and unique qualities as we move through the design/build process together;
2) to raise the perceived value of handcrafted custom clothing; and
3) to contribute to the larger general shift in values that is expanding in Western society, as it continues to move away from expressing itself as consumerism-on-auto-pilot toward more mindful consumption of goods and services.