Before designer Leyla Piedayesh set up her label “Lala Berlin” she worked at MTV. In 1979, aged 9, she fled Iran with her parents to travel to Germany. Her fashion allows her to speak out. Sometimes, though, she prefers to be quieter.
Why are you in fashion?
I came to fashion like a woman to a child – I stopped being an editor for MTV and started to knit.
Why did you leave MTV?
I grew up with MTV, I was a teenie and this programme was my dream. And I lived the dream. But at some point this dream of mine, this 80s utopia, became a corporation. We sensed it in the editorial team. Music was no longer important. We had to promote reality TV and the Crazy Frog by Jamba. It seemed hollow and superficial to me, I couldn’t identify with the programme any more. Even doing interviews with the big stars wasn’t any fun any more.
Do you have an all-time favourite fabric?
I want to die in cashmere. You can wear it in summer too, depending on the fineness of the fabric. A light, cashmere blanket for summer evenings is pure bliss.
Does fashion make the world better?
A piece of clothing? No way. What makes the world better then? Less of what we produce. Fashion can change lives though. Because people take on new roles thanks to fashion, they express themselves, reinvent themselves.
Why do you donate part of your income to the "Be an Angel" organisation?
Andreas Tölke has set up an association that looks after migrants’ integration. I emigrated to Germany from Iran in 1979. At some point I realised that I have a voice. Maybe fashion as such can’t change the world, but the people behind it (the designers) and the brand itself as a mouthpiece really can. When Trump imposed a travel ban on Muslim countries Iran was also affected. And that’s how it happened.
How do you feel when you think of Tehran? Is that your home?
Iran is my point of origin, of course, because that’s where I come from. Last year I went back there for the first time in 20 years. The food, the colours, the patterns and the smells. I realised how strongly my roots come out in my work. Germany has become my second homeland, though.
Die ganze Story aus dem BERLIN FASHION WEEK MAGAZINE #26 gibt es hier: www.berlinfashionweek.com
Text von Frédéric Schwilden // Fotos Maxime Ballesteros
Mehr über Leyla Piedayes: lalaberlin.com