1. Who is Farah Azmi?
I’m an entrepreneur passionate about building & growing businesses. I started out in the finance industry working on Wall Street then found my way at Tommy Hilfiger. After that, I attended Harvard Business School, where I launched my fashion brand IXORA Apparel. Now, I’m currently working at a skincare startup while working on my brand. Working in more professional & corporate environments has made me incredibly passionate about feeling confident in your skin and your clothes all day no matter the setting.
2. How do you define fashion and or style?
My personal style is fairly casual, classic, comfy with a bit of an edge. I love a good pair of jeans dressed up with a nice blouse and edgy shoes, but also love a good pair of wide-legged slacks with a tee and gold jewelry.3. What influences your style? ie travel, work, movies, magazines, social media trends, celebrities, color, etc.
The city (NYC) inspires me a lot. There’s so many incredibly stylish women walking down the streets every day. I love observing other women and what they wear day-to-day because it’s REAL. As much as I loved Sex and the City & Gossip Girl, wearing heels down the street isn’t practical or realistic. I love to see the real women of New York wearing styles that are fabulous AND functional.4. How has your style evolved?
When I worked in finance, it was definitely more straight-laced and typical business formal. Then when I worked in Tommy Hilfiger, I wore a lot of denim. Now that I’m out of more structured workplaces with defined dress-codes, I’m honestly trying to figure out a bit more – what is my style? I’ve loved that wide-legged pleated pants are in-style so it adds a bit of a business touch that I’m used to. However, I love pairing it with tees and tanks to give it the casual vibe and edge that makes me feel comfortable.
5. What does your dream wardrobe consist of?
If I could have a wardrobe from The Row, IRO, and Celine (circa Phoebe Philo), I think I would die happy. I love classic, elevated pieces with this street edge that these brands provide.6. If you were to give fashion advice to your younger self what would it be?
Experiment with whatever you want to wear! I grew up having body dysmorphia thinking I was too fat to wear crop tops or two-piece bathing suits or even that my shoulders were too broad to be exposed, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve grown into my skin. I now wear whatever I want to and feel confident in doing so.7. How important is it to be body positive and to appreciate the skin that you're in?
When I grew up, I hated when I moved up a size. I had an absolute refusal to acknowledge that I was no longer a 0; then no longer a 2. I would squeeze myself into these arbitrary numbers because I didn’t want the number to change. However, now, I’ve realized just that. These numbers are arbitrary and don’t mean a thing. A size 2 in one brand means something completely different than a size 2 in another. This is a huge part in why I created IXORA, where clothes are made by your measurements and not by a random number.8. What do you love about jewelry? What is your absolute favorite is it earrings, necklaces, etc.
Jewelry completes an outfit and elevates it. I could be wearing a tee and jeans, but gold necklaces and earrings would make me feel like I could go out to a nice dinner still. My go-to is grabbing and layering gold necklaces.
9. How do you incorporate accessories and jewelry into your daily looks?
Jewelry is a daily staple. At the bare minimum, I always have a simple gold necklace with my boyfriend’s initials and my Cartier bracelet. When I want to elevate my look even further, I add more layers. In addition to jewelry, I love purses – I believe purses are art. So I love to pair a great purse with an outfit to complete the whole look.10. What are your non-negotiables... What must you have / wear / do? and what are your, “I’m never ever doing or wearing that”?
I don’t believe I have anything I would never do. Fashion is a cycle – so while I may not like the first iteration of it; someone may reinvent it and make it look so much better. However, in my closet, I must have a great coat, fabulous shoes, and an amazing purse. Those are always the 3 pieces I suggest for everyone to invest in as it’s the most visible pieces and most high utility pieces that you’ll have.11. Tell us why you choose fashion and style. So what we mean by that is, we don’t have to dress up, we don’t have to adorn ourselves with jewels and embellish with accessories, but we do, we choose to… why do you?
Fashion means so much more than just clothes to me. I grew up as a poor immigrant that lived in various places across the U.S. So fashion was aspirational when I could only buy at thrift stores. Fashion was a means to fit in with different cultures as I moved around. Fashion was a means to bring a focal point to my clothes rather than my ethnicity as I got targeted for racism and harassment. Now today, I continue to love and express myself through fashion.12. What’s your favorite fashion/style quote or mantra?
“Style is not about the clothes; it’s about the individual” – Alexander McQueen
13. How and where can people connect with you?
Thank you so much for allowing us to learn more about your experiences, Farah. We love that you're still discovering what your style is now; we are too since it can change so much over time!