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BEHIND THE BRAND WITH CREATIVE DIRECTOR, AYAZ RAJA 

When did you discover your interest in fashion? 

I’ve always had a strong interest in fashion, be it menswear or womenswear. Fashion is such an inspirational way to express yourself. It’s an artistic realm with no judgment,  just beauty, and expression. 

What was your profession before joining the Adesso team?

We’re looking at the opposite end the spectrum here. My academic background is in accounting, and I worked as a bank manager for four years. I know, I pretty much lived a double life. 

How did you make the leap between that and co-founding a men’s lifestyle shop? Was owning your own business something you always wanted to do?

Abdul approached me with the idea of wanting to start a menswear line. He acknowledged a niche in the market that we could tackle together. As a fashion and style enthusiast, I knew exactly what he meant and who would want to pass up the opportunity to start your own brand? I honestly thought I would be working a corporate job, and never imagined myself owning a business. Life just has a way to work itself out. 

You are the creative director for Adesso , what is your focus and method when you create a new product? 

My focus method revolves around designing trendsetting products that are timeless and sophisticated. It's really important for me to be aware of the latest trends and what's happening on the runways, so I can cater to what people want right now. Adesso will always continue to experiment with different patterns and colors to show our vibrancy and uniqueness. We stand with our founding belief for starting this company, and that is to make you feel good wearing our products. Simply put, we strive to create products that empower you and give your confidence a boost. 

Who are some of your biggest fashion inspirations? 

Fashion bloggers from around the world are my main fashion inspiration. I can closely relate to their vision and sense of passion for style. They take trends off the runway and add their own personal touch to it. The more creative an individual is, the more attention they’ll attract from me. 

Who are your favourite designers - Canadian and international?
I get asked this question all the time, and I simply can not give you an answer. Every designer has something to offer, and something I can obsess over. I can start with Balmain, Oliver Rousteing is a visionary mastermind. His creativity knows no limits. His pieces come alive. Tom Ford is an exceptional designer with an eye for detail and fit. Tom Ford is the definition of class. Etro is a playful and vibrant brand that sets themselves apart from the rest. I aspire to create designs and pieces like Etro. 

What are three of your favourite current trends and what is one trend that you absolutely hate? 

My personal style has always been more on the dressy side of the spectrum so I’m all about a nice set of plaid printed pants,  Italian hem of course, with a classy set of loafers. I’ve lived my life pretending I’m in Europe as I walk down the streets of Alberta. 

This spring, Denim has really got a hold of me. I love incorporating a denim shirt or jacket into my look. It’s casual yet really fitting to the season. I'm all about the vertical stripes. Nothing stands out to me more this season than a nice vertical stripe suit with a clean white crisp shirt. For me, it is the definition of class and sophistication. 

The one trend that I can respect because it’s different, but you won’t see me wearing are dress pants with side stripes. It’s stylish, but I can’t wear any pants remotely resembling sweatpants. I need to buy a gym membership first before living that life. 

Adesso recently rebranded, dropping the title of accessories and taking more of a lifestyle approach, how do you want to see Adesso grow in the next 5 years? 

I want to see Adesso grow nationally and internationally, and to build a presence within all communities as the go-to brand for men’s fashion and lifestyle. We want our trendsetting designs to help define our customers' self-expression and confidence. We want everyone wearing our brand to not only look good but feel good. Nothing makes us happier than our customers telling us that they feel confident wearing our products. We really want to make a difference with our brand!

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