Women today live life on the go. I remember when I lived in New York City last year, I had to carry a backpack with me to change clothes right after my internship. Thankfully, Allison Daroie created Paridaez (Pah•reh•deez) to fix this problem. The Paridaez line transforms into completely different articles of gorgeous minimalist clothing that will satisfy your minimalist taste buds. It was most certainly an honor to interview Daroie and learn more about this brand.
KAY KAY: How would you describe your style?
Daroie: I wear Paridaez pretty much every day. I am very into elegant essentialist pieces and neutrals. I often combine the Paridaez collection with a cute vintage jacket and booties with a small heel. I wear very little jewelry these days. The hats or jackets I wear are usually my loud statement pieces. However, Paridaez is always a conversation piece. I always get compliments when rocking Paridaez, so why not wear it every day. Some describe my style as effortlessly chic.
KAY KAY: How would you describe the style of Paridaez?
Daroie: Paridaez is minimalistic and transformative, meaning I use minimalistic principles in terms of the design and aesthetic, but the pieces are transformative in that they have added functionality. Each piece transforms into completely different articles of clothing. Women can confidently move through any environment wearing Paridaez. For example, the Paridaez Albatross transitions from a pencil skirt, to a dress or tank top.
KAY KAY: What was your background before you opened Paridaez?
Daroie: I am a non-practicing lawyer and I worked in different roles at Karmaloop.com, an online retailer of streetwear. My last role there was Director of Corporate Partnerships. I also had a wearable art jewelry business at one point and I have a background in urban styles of dance. Today, in addition to running Paridaez, I am also a yoga instructor and an adjunct professor in a fashion merchandising program.
KAY KAY: How did you come up with the name Paridaez?
Daroie: I came across the etymological background of the word paradise when I was researching parallel meanings for the setting of a short story I was working on. It stemmed from an ancient Persian word that meant a garden or walled enclosure. It was then adopted by the Greeks to mean Garden of Eden or Heaven and later came into English as paradise. When I decided to use it as a brand name, I removed a few of the vowels from the translation.
KAY KAY: What was the hardest part about opening Paridaez?
Daroie: Learning the entire production process from start to finish was a challenge, especially since I had no experience in cut & sew or a formal design background. Also, figuring out how to design pieces with added functionality was also a challenge.
KAY KAY: Where do you see yourself and Paridaez in the next five years?
Daroie: I see Paridaez expanding into an entire lifestyle brand that encourages women to pursue big dreams while taking care of their bodies, minds, and having lots of fun. In addition, I hope to have some brick and mortars by that time as well.
KAY KAY: What do you love the most about Paridaez?
Daroie: I love that I had an abstract vision that I brought to fruition and that I am improving the lives of many women. I created utilitarian fashion for busy boss ladies. I want women to feel empowered and that they can do anything.
KAY KAY: What made you want to open Paridaez?
Daroie: I realized I was often missing out on opportunities because I felt that I was not dressed appropriately for certain settings and I didn’t have time to run home for a quick outfit change. There was one day in particular where I had a conservative meeting to attend, a yoga class I wanted to check out and I planned to meet friends at a hip bar later that night. I couldn’t attend the meeting looking like a bag lady and didn’t have enough time to run home for an outfit change. I knew other women must have similar experiences.
KAY KAY: How did you get started opening Paridaez?
Daroie: I came up with the concept of transformative apparel and started looking for a designer. After having trouble finding the right designer, I decided to get cracking and figure out how to design on my own. I’m pioneering a whole new category of clothing and it’s challenging for a traditional designer to think outside of the box. It’s almost looking at design from the perspective of an industrial designer/engineer.
KAY KAY: What advice would you give to future designers and entrepreneurs?
Daroie: It is a very hard path and many will fail. You have to be very resilient when you start your own venture. If you have a great vision and have endurance, then you should start your own thing. If you need greater financial stability and predictability, then I would suggest working for someone else. A question to ask yourself is what would the older version of yourself think of your present choices.