1 on 1 with Aleem Kassam
Aleem Kassam views the fashion world as a microcosm of intelligent design. Coming from an Interior Designer background, Aleem brings a unique perspective with his personal brand of decorative fashion. Being an elite member of the Vancouver fashion-sphere, it was dope to pick his brain about a few things.
I took one look at your IG and seen how embedded you are in the fashion and event scene throughout Vancouver. Can you tell us how you first aligned yourself with these creative industries?
Due to my background in business and design, I have been involved in the Vancouver art scene for many years. Being a naturally extroverted person in such a close knit community has allowed me to make friends in a variety of fields. From designers, photographers, stylists, to curators, I’ve met A LOT of creative people! Since I was a kid, Fashion has always pulled on my heart strings. I've made a conscious effort to not only attend events but also collaborate with the most pioneering talents Vancouver has to offer!
That’s dope. Because if I’m correct, professionally, you are a Partner and Interior Designer with a company called Kalu Interiors correct? So how has Fashion ultimately contributed to this profession or vice-versa?
That's correct! Interior Design has been an integral part of not just who I am but what I’ve done since I was a teenager. However, I look at design in a much broader sense. Rather than categorizing architecture, landscape, interior design, fashion etc. I look at all of these as being under the same umbrella. I constantly draw inspiration for the spaces I design from fashion-based colours, patterns, and textures, but also look at architecture and interiors as a source of inspiration for my personal style.
So how do you find balance between your personal life, professional career, and fashion presence all at the same time?
Well… I sometimes wonder how I do it too, ha! Most people would joke I'm the ultimate YES-man. Personally, I probably have a major diagnosis of FOMO. But really, it's because I love people and are inspired by their ideas. My bigger goal is finding a way to not only live in all of these worlds but also merge them with the right balance. So just as I do in my day to day career, I get creative! Whether collaborating with other friends in different fields for projects, inviting different disciplines to a single event, or actively partaking in a variety of charitable functions- I find a way. In my personal life it's all about ensuring my closest people are always communicating with one another, and keeping everyone in the loop.
So a little more on your creative perspective. If you had to define it, what’s the difference between Style and Fashion, and how do you incorporate both into your personal aesthetic?
This is actually something I think about a lot. Not necessarily on a conscious level, but I do feel confronted by it regularly. I see Fashion as something you purchase, and Style as something you curate. But don't be mistaken by my appearance, Style always supersedes Fashion in my world. No matter the cost or name on the label, it's all about the individual elements as a collective. Of course I seek out specific designers and styles based on what I prefer, but that doesn't mean I don't keep an open mind for where I might be inspired next! Rocking glam to rock and chic to street, I look at my personal aesthetic as constantly evolving.