My dear fashion client, Alexandra Mann, wrote this and it still applies to the work that I do--whether it's fashion or interiors:
"Usually one thinks of anthropology in terms of someone going ‘into the field’ in a traditional sense," said Ms. Syed. "I tend to look at people’s identities as an insight into how they might want to present themselves to the outside world through what they wear."
Ms. Syed’s unusual approach has yielded some unusual results. She is, in many ways, representative of a certain "downtown couture" style that many people find not only beautiful and unusual, but also accessible. "I have taken what is traditionally a luxury of haute couture and demystified it for women who have their own style," she said.
Time-consuming, yes, but for Ms. Syed, absolutely essential. She believes that to truly do something well, she cannot just observe, take measurements and make something that will cover the outside of someone. She must also participate in understanding the person as a whole instead of only their physical manifestation. Clients say it is not just the end result that is beautiful; it is the process.
With her ability to see people from the inside out, Ms. Syed has gained a faithful following of diverse clients and is greeting new ones every day. From a woman celebrating her 30th birthday to a woman welcoming her 50th year, from brides who wore her dresses as far away as Tunisia and as nearby as the Wonder Wheel at Coney Island, to women who simply cannot find clothing in the department stores that quite expresses who they are, Ms. Syed has created exquisite one-of-a-kind pieces that transform a woman from the person she sees in the mirror every day to someone she may never have seen before: the goddess living within."