“It’s embarrassing, but my interest in fashion started with Blogspot,” jokes designer Fidan Novruzova. “I also remember being mesmerized by the supermodels of the day – like Natasha Poly, Daria Werbowy and Abbey Lee – and then learning more about clothing as I absorbed the internet.” Today, the Central Saint Martins graduate – who was born to Azerbaijani parents and raised in Moldova – has been a cult favorite of Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner and FKA Twigs since launching her brand in 2020.
“My motto has always been ‘redefine the notion of modern nostalgia’, and that has never changed,” Novruzova says of her aesthetic. “It’s about taking ideas from the past and remixing them – in my own way and with reference to my heritage – to feel contemporary.” In her collections, the designer picks elements from decades as disparate as the 20s and 80s, adding geometric twists that border on science fiction. “Sometimes it’s extreme modernity to the point of being futuristic,” she agrees. “It’s almost like what people would look like in the 50s in 2020 – there’s an undercurrent of familiarity in the weirdness.”
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It was Novruzova’s shoe that first caught the internet’s attention. The hugely popular shoes, first seen in the designer’s BA collection at CSM, are stocked on Ssense and feature instantly recognizable details: square toes, a distinct front pleat and deep ombre tones. But is it frustrating to be called a shoe designer by some? “I have no problem with that, because I want to touch all categories of clothing, but I am very passionate about shoes,” says the designer. “It’s funny, though, because I get more sample requests from stylists for clothes than for shoes.”
When asked who she would choose if she could dress anyone in the world, Novruzova’s thoughts turn to a famous and stylish royal. “With all due respect, Princess Diana would have worn my boots with bike shorts and an oversized t-shirt,” she enthused. “Anyone with an immigrant mother would agree – Princess Di is still the ultimate style icon, and it would have been a dream come true to see her wearing my clothes.”