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Alireza Massoumnia

While derived from historical Italian theater and harlequins, Alireza Massoumnia’s latest collection is anything but laughable or lighthearted. Transforming comedic costuming and masked reverie into sharply cut, sculptural apparitions that are at once darkly grounded and delicately elevated in detail, Massoumnia’s technical expertise shines through each thoughtful seam and wisp of a chiffon dream. With stints at Thierry Mugler, Calvin Klein, Cartier and designing his own eponymous line for seven years, Massoumnia has since collaborated with industry notables such as Zac Posen, Marchesa, Monique Lhuillier and Isaac Mizrahi. As this collection revives his Alireza label—a testament that true talent lives on—Massoumnia divulges what makes his refined aesthetic and creative vision so hauntingly memorable.

What is your creative philosophy? How is it exemplified in your work?

My design philosophy is to create fashion that is timeless and does not follow trends, fashion that looks to the future with respect to the past. My work follows the traditions of tailoring and construction but brings it to a new place by stripping off the excess “weight,” thus playing with proportions and silhouettes.

Are there any major design tenets that you stick to?

I don’t believe in limits and strict design rules but I always try to keep a balance between creativity and wearability. By staying true to the fabrics and materials, I use them for the characteristics they have rather than forcing them to do something they were not created to do.

How does your background and personal life play into your work?

I grew up watching my mother and grandmother make their own clothes, taking measurements by using their hands instead of with a tape measure and making patterns by piecing newspapers together. Watching that simple method of making clothes is an influence on how I approach design as a simple collaboration of mind and hands. I make my own patterns and samples which allows my creative thoughts to flow through my hands and onto the paper then fabric.

What is the inspiration for the latest collection?

For this collection, I was inspired by Maurice Sand’s Commedia dell’Arte drawings and harlequin design. However, I decided to marry it with traditional menswear and images of old Hollywood stars like Marlene Dietrich and Clark Gable in their formal attire.

If your latest collection could make a statement, what would it say?

Dark romance. To portray strength but remain fragile.

All clothes: alirezanyc.com

Shoes: Cesare Paciotti


Photographer: Michael Williams
Fashion Editor: 
Wendy McNett
Writer: Jessica Young 
Clothes by: Alireza Massoumnia
Model: Alexandra Madar
Hair: Jillian Halouska

Makeup: Jordy Poon
Photo Assistant: Jesse Dreyfus
Studio: Dune Studios, NYC
Retouching: Becky Siegel
Manicurist: Mayumi Bakuku