Portrait by Morgane Lay
Multiculturalism is at the heart of Tara Zadeh’s philosophy. It was in the myriad palaces, gardens and mosques of Tehran, Isfahan and Shiraz in Iran that the concept and direction became clear, as the geometric forms, hypnotic symmetry and vibrant colors of the mosaics that stretch from floor to ceiling heavily influenced designs.
Seeking only the finest handcraft, these designs were taken to Ubrique in Spain, a small white town in the Serrania de Ronda Mountains renowned for its leather industry. In the same way that Iranian architecture has striking individuality, so too each Tara Zadeh handbag features unique character: elegant and refined, yet with a contemporary edge. This ‘edge’ varies through the range, from shape and tones to personal customization.
‘Zadeh’, the founder’s mother’s maiden name, is a Persian suffix meaning ‘born of’ – a fitting label for the realisation of Tara’s long-imagined dream.
Tara’s passion for designer handbags blossomed in her early teens, and she has since amassed a huge collection of all shapes, sizes and colours. Now, however, she finds her most prized pieces in souks and markets around the world – Morocco, Turkey, Mexico, Thailand and Egypt – where local culture has influenced the details of design. She has been sketching her own concepts for years; her creativity shaped by spells in the world’s fashion capitals.
Born in America she moved to London the same year; then to Paris at the age of six – it was here, in the City of Lights, that Tara unearthed her love for style and design. This love grew, and 12 years later she moved to New York City to study graphic design at Parsons the New School. Since graduating she has worked as an art director for esteemed magazines including Whitewall and Gentleman’s Journal.
This background in design, and her passion for handbags, has proved to be the perfect blend: Tara is heavily involved in every step of the process; the bags created are a reflection of her personal style and her French-American-Iranian heritage.
Text by Patrick Tillard