It all started when I stumbled upon a photo of Farah Pahlavi, The Last Empress of Iran.

“I would love that,” smiled the genius behind the eponymous clothing brand label Syomirizwa Gupta, when I asked him if he would base his future creations on the many beautiful things Brunei has to offer. A curator of exclusive clothing pieces, Syomir Izwa Gupta is obviously an aesthete with a passion for telling stories through the pieces that he designs, all while maintaining applause-worthy humbleness, seen when he himself greeted us at the door with smiles and firm handshakes for the premiere of his 2017 Eid Luxe line. In an interview with him over the weekend and in between the occasional melody of his hearty resonating laughs, he opened up about his surroundings growing up and how he came to be the man he is now, the creative mastermind of Syomirizwa Gupta.

At ease while crafting his collections. (PHOTO: Syomir Izwa Gupta)

Art is a reflection of character, of sense of being. How do you find yourself while creating these pieces? Why are you inspired by the Persian culture?

I like things that are not from the present time; I like things that are a part of history. Things that are from a bygone era especially intrigue me—I am all about historical references in every collection that I push out; historical architecture, personalities, kings and queens—Even of a country or a place.

In my past pieces I have explored the historical worlds of Europe, Asia and last year in my Cruise line I used the basis of Mexico and Frida Kahlo. This time in my Eid Luxe line I am exploring the bygone world of Persia; something to remind everyone of how Persia used to be a magical and fantastic civilization way back when, up to par with European standards even. Persia, back then, was an arts and culture hub before the revolution happened. This is my way of reminding everyone of how important arts and culture is.

Working his magic backstage, Syomir’s presence provides a state of serene calmness. (PHOTO: Muslyfe)

It all started when I stumbled upon a photo of Farah Pahlavi, The Last Empress of Iran. I was inspired by her impeccable style, by the fact that she is a patron of the arts and how she has put in effort into placing the art scene of the region onto the same standards as those in America and Europe. I knew all these things, because I was born during the revolution but it was just that I didn’t understand them since I was young back then. Now that I have matured, my understanding for these things have matured with me and now after extensive research on my part about the bygone world of Persia, I aim to remind the world through the Eid Luxe line of how extremities, in any kind of form, things can destroy a nation.

I think it’s important to remind everyone, especially in this time and age, that everyone should be proud of their own identities, arts and heritage.

From the things you’ve said, it’s obvious that you are passionate about telling stories. Why did you choose fashion and clothes as a medium to tell your stories to everyone?

I’ve always wanted to be a designer. I come from a family of mixed cultures and as a result, I like to get to know people which is something that I can do in the fashion industry. I also think that fashion is the perfect tool to remind people of certain eras of civilization. Fashion is not just something that ends on its surface, there is substance behind it.

A candid photo of Syomir deep in thought. (PHOTO: Muslyfe)

Why the interest in history and culture? Did you study history when you were younger?

I have always been that person– The kind that listens to the same kind of music over and over again, the same kind of movies, Hollywood 1940s and 1950s classics while everyone else’s tastes evolved with the trends. That’s why I think that history has always been a part of who I am.

Growing up with my parents, with a father who came in from India during the First World War and with an Indonesian mother, there were so many stories based on the cross-cultural relationship.

Would you consider other mediums of telling stories other than fashion, e.g. Writing?

My other passion is entertaining; I really think entertaining is an art form. I would love entertain people in the form of opening up an Airbnb sort of thing, but not where a person pays to stay over. It would be like a place of escapism, for people to not be reminded of their hectic lives in the city.