Iranian-American Orchid spent most of her childhood in Dubai, arriving in 2001 – the period of its transitional phase from desert to cosmopolitan city. As such, Orchid feels she has grown with the city, and been influenced by its multi-sensory offerings, which she’s incorporated into her design aesthetic. Academically, Orchid is not a fashion designer, having studied Visual Communication and Interior Design at the American University in Dubai. She believes, however, that having that perspective gave her the edge when it came to designing her couture line, Orkalia, worn by A-list star Michelle Rodriguez and regional celebrity Tamara Al Gabbani.
With the launch of her first luxury ready-to-wear collection hitting independent stores throughout the region, Orchid decided to make 2013 the year of change both personally and professionally. She was accepted to study at NYU to do her Master’s in fashion, focused on her personal health and well-being – shedding 13 kilos in the process – and held the first upscale fashion show witnessed in Tehran in the last three decades. While she admits that it was breaking the rules somewhat, it felt good. “I was once told that if you fear something, you should dive right into it,” she says. “I believe this is the key to becoming the best version of yourself.”