Naeem Khan loves Houston. "It's one of my favorite cities in the world," he says. And the feeling is mutual. The Indian-born designer is beloved by Houston's social set for his intricately beaded gowns and warm, easygoing manner when he and his wife, jeweler Ranjana Khan, visit the Bayou City.
Given the lavish nature of his designs, it's no surprise that Khan has expanded into the bridal business, offering gowns with floral deco ribbon appliqué, geometric crystal beading and three-dimensional handmade flowers for that special wedding day.
"It was an easy transition since glamour comes naturally to me and I have been making wedding dresses for private clients for years."
Khan is busy working on his bridal collection for spring/summer 2015, which he will debut in New York next week, so he can't make it to Houston for the debut of his inaugural bridal collection at Joan Pillow Bridal Salon through Saturday. But in an email conversation, Khan talked about the differences in designing for a bride, how it has affected his ready-to-wear line and what's next.
CultureMap: Why did you decide to expand into the bridal business?
Naeem Khan: I was being asked for a bridal collection constantly by the stores. It was an easy transition since glamour comes naturally to me and I have been making wedding dresses for private clients for years; I wanted to finally make them available to more women.
CM: What should your fans expect from this inaugural bridal collection?
NK: They should expect elegance and couture. My techniques are very elegant, yet in simple silhouettes for a fashion-conscious bride.
CM: How does designing a bridal gown differ from designing your ready-to-wear collection?
NK: In my case there is not a huge difference since my bridal collection is designed for the same, once-in-a-lifetime, red carpet moment with the best craftsmanship and modern cuts to make a bride relevant to today’s fashion.
CM: What are the similarities?
NK: Both are glamorous, with beautiful hand craftsmanship and modern cuts.
CM: Style.com surmised that launching a bridal collection has given you the freedom to design a sultrier ready-to-wear collection. Do you agree or disagree?
NK: I am learning a lot from designing a bridal collection and I expect that’s reflected in my ready-to-wear line.
CM: Your spring/summer 2015 bridal presentation is next week. Any hints about what will be on the runway?
NK: I am going very glamorous this season. There are certain styles that are over-the-top and handcrafted with new techniques. I want the Naeem Khan bride to have a moment that she will remember for the rest of her life.
CM: How do you plan to expand the collection?
NK: I have all the intentions of expanding my bridal collections in various price categories as well as adding cocktail dresses. It’s all a study and there is much to be developed.
CM: When can we plan to see you in Houston again?
NK: I am dying to go to Houston again soon. Houston is one of my favorite cities in the world.