An Interview With Fashion Designer Vena Dehal

Vena Dehal is a Mauritian-born business and finance transplant to the creative field of fashion and design. She moved to New York in 2010 to continue working in Finance but the city had something else in store for her. In 2013, she quit her job and went on to acquire a new and contrasting training in fashion design from Parsons The New School for Design, where she graduated in 2015.

Having worked with some name brands, she ventured into her own in 2016 and launched her label, opening with the collection ‘Antipole’, which is a conceptual take on life experiences. Vena’s aesthetic borders on the dark, minimalist, and whimsical. It is an avenue of expression of the feels into works of sight and tactility.

So how did you become a fashion designer?

It was a long time coming and meant to be. I was contemplating either a career progression in Corporate or a change to a creative field – something I had always known I had a flair for. I was in New York, so in a way I was smack in the middle of the cultural melting pot, waiting to be uncocooned [laughs]


How do you feel about crafting things into a realised clothing collection?

I think it is one of the most spiritual experiences. Most artistic outlets are and that’s what’s rewarding about tapping into our innate senses to bring out our unique perception of those occurrences. Being good with the hands and slightly nitpicky about construction and presentation has helped me too. My brand is a lot about feeling good in your skin. Being beautiful from the inside and outwardly too – same goes for the clothes we wear.


If you had a chance to do a collaboration collection, which designer/brand would you holla at?

That list could take a while now but off the top of my head, how about Beaufille, Nehera, MM6 or closer to home and while daring to be fanciful, why not The Row!

Which of your pieces are you most proud of?

There is a lot that goes into the realization of a garment piece and then turning it into a cohesive collection. The ones that start off with a certain idea and then develop into something very different always marvel me.The white neoprene oversized top was a nice surprise this time around. It was meant to juxtapose raw edging with a beautiful ill-fit look from the original concept, but surprisingly it’s the clean minimalism that has attracted the most interest in that piece.

Do you do much in the way of marketing for your own designs, and if so to what extent do you think this contributes to your sales?

Fashion is a business to start with. Like any other businesses, yes PR and marketing with high social media infleunce are key to survival by default these days. And with those, always staying up to date with where the business and technology world is going. It’s about being in the know and then discerning what route to take for your own business model and market niche.

What’s a goal you’d dream of achieving?

I would love to have a loyal customer base however big or small that trusts the brand so much that they keep coming back for updates. We are trying to build our customer a wardrobe, regretably our brand is not much into seasonal only trends. While we release collecitons every season of course, the way we design and make them are more for sustainable long lasting wardrobes with occasional perks – just the way life is. A Vena Dehal coat could hang in your wardrobe today and look just right in Brigitte Bardot’s 1973 closet.



Do you think there was a crucial turning point in your career as a designer?

 The journey is nothing but a learning curve. And I have so much more to experience.Deciding to walk down this path was already an overwhelming and welcome change. As I grow further into the craft, I am routinely faced with challenges and surprises,mistakes and remedials, and through those, several little milestones of defining moments are created.

Finally, what do you think of designers who try to be trendy?

Fashion is about trends, newness, old mixed with new and so many other definitions we individually give to it. There would be no fashion industry if we didn’t look at waves and trends. The business of making and selling clothes relies heavily on what the market is asking for. The advantage that fashion designers have is that we get to dictate that demand through high fashion trickling down.

How would you define your style?

Exactly as per my brand motto – Edgy minimalism with the occasional rebellious twist! Open and expansive.

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