A few weeks ago, I met Golshid Mola, the founder of ALANGOO, for some coffee in Boston. Her energy, passion, and story was one I had to write about. What her company does, why she does it and how she got started is one to share and aspire to be like. (My Disclaimer: This post is a bit longer than usual but SO worth the read!)
I am excited to share with you our next “Iranian-Preneur” story on ALANGOO. Thank you most importantly to Golshid for this opportunity to be featured here and for this interview. Also, congratulations for being a part of London Fashion Week tomorrow! More on that below!
Straight from ALANGOO’s founder…the story around ALANGOO. Enjoy reading!
So, what is ALANGOO?
ALANGOO.com connects independent-minded shoppers who appreciate individuality and innovative designs, with artisans who create alternative clothing and accessories.
ALANGOO supports underground and alternative artisans and designers who hand-make or design jewelry, accessories and clothing by giving them online and offline platforms to showcase and sell their work on a global scale, reaching even larger audiences who may not be able to ordinarily discover their work. In meeting this mission, we put emphasis on showcasing and introducing avant-garde pieces that are also presenting a culture as well as those underground designers who have limited exposure to Western audiences to give them a voice.
Some of the pieces:
How did you start the company?
When I was studying at the University of Art and Architecture in Tehran some 15 years ago, along with some other artsy friends and schoolmates, we started this handmade fashion movement in Tehran by setting up shows and exhibitions showcasing hand painted t-shirts and handmade clothing, jewelry, home décor, etc. These events became so popular that they became hot-spot hang-outs of our generation. We set up about almost 15 exhibitions in two years and we never really knew if they were even legal in the eyes of the government, but luckily we were never caught!
After I graduated, I moved to the US and fell in love with New York. But it was overwhelming with too much competition. On the verge of losing confidence in my crafts, I decided to start a new career path. After graduating from NYU in Graphic Communications Management and Technology, I started in online media. Every year when I’d go back to visit my friends in Tehran, I’d realize, the underground fashion movement was going stronger then ever. Now there are a lot of showrooms that are showcasing amazing works of creative Iranian youth not only in Tehran but in other cities as well. As my heart was broken to see all these unknown talents, I decided to mix my two backgrounds and come up with ALANGOO.
How do you help and promote underground designers?
ALANGOO.com is platform designed for these designers/artisans to showcase and sell their work globally. They have full control over the content they upload, images, and prices. We connect them to shoppers, handle the payments for them and take care of the digital and online promotion. We also set up trunk shows and exhibitions for them when there is an opportunity. So far they have been showcased in NY and Los Angeles and London is next. We also offer services such as basic photo-shoots and some studio work. A lot of these designers don’t have a website, budget or connections so we try to help them out. The challenge we face especially promoting Iranian designers is the sanctions that are becoming more severe everyday. It really breaks my heart that we cannot provide services to a lot of our applicants due to the sanctions. They deserve better.
Who are the designers that submit their work to you?
We respect and support all creative minded independent designers especially the ones who are proud of their cultures and keep the essence in their work. For now our focus is on exotic corners of the globe starting with designers with backgrounds in Central Asian and Middle East emphasizing on underground Persian designers. However, we won’t deny an application from a designer who is not from the region if they style fits what we present.
In order to promote the designers internationally, we need to showcase internationally. For instance, right now we have shoppers from Hong Kong and France and Arab countries that buy pieces that are completely Persian inspired. This is what we are after. Making an interest in a rich culture.
Thank you for this interview!
ALANGOO is collaborating with Magic of Persia this week in London for Fashion Week! There is a link below with some more information.
Wishing them the best at the show!! I look forward to hearing more regarding the event and how it supported all the amazing underground designers and artists!