I WAS LUCKY to meet Bahareh Ardakani. True to form my budget airline was delayed and the GPS navigation system pointed me in the wrong direction. A very kind (and patient) Bahareh waited an extra two hours for my arrival.

Her shared studio space, a red brick warehouse, is located just off the main river flowing through Gothenburg, the Gota Alv.

Bahareh, who has only worked as a stylist – self-taught, I might add – for a few years, is currently making a big impression on the fashion world.

Her current success is the fulfilment of a long-held, creative dream.

“I have always been interested in photography and fashion. As a child I studied pictures and the beauty of this art. Today styling is a tool for me to express feelings, inspire people and work with great artists. My style is about experimenting with different materials, textures and colours. And there is a strong passion for the dark, dramatic, strong and independent woman that always shines through.

“I started from scratch and today, after two-and-a-half years, I have styled campaigns, editorials for different magazines, music videos and fashion shows.”

Bahareh studied economics directly after leaving school. Not the obvious choice for a creative, she switched courses mid-way through her degree to study design engineering. Too much engineering and not enough design saw Bahareh feeling restless once more and rather than try her hand at study a third time, she packed her bag and headed for London.

A waitressing job at Shoreditch in London paid her bills and garnered meetings with patrons who included one of her idols, Alexander McQueen, and other top fashion designers and stylists.

Bahareh was ambitious. “These people all started from nothing, but there they were, hugely successful and passionate about their work. Everyone has to work hard to get where they are. I was no different to them; I knew I could do it too.”

With her motivation at an all time high, Bahareh returned to Sweden with one thing on her mind: become a stylist. Courses were too expensive and not sure they would net her a job anyway, Bahareh decided to invest her money into building a portfolio.

She moved into the collective creative space 'Hey It’s Enrico Pallazzo’ when she was starting her career. This proved a good decision.

Not long after, another creative who also shared the space asked Bahareh to style for a project they were working on. Bahareh then organised her own fashion show, ‘Hey, it’s styling by Ardakani!’ Her skill shone through and work began to flow.

Working from the Hey It’s Enrico Palazzo office gave Bahareh the benefit of both creative collaboration and the freedom to do her own thing. The space lends itself to this style of work. Bahareh’s first show was staged in this building. The space regularly hosts movie shoots, live concerts, dinners, DJs, art exhibitions, theatre, game cook-offs, weddings and funerals. Vula from Basement Jaxx has stolen its champagne and the Artic Monkeys have been refused entry!

Although lately Bahareh hasn’t been working from this space as often, having just returned from a few months abroad, where she funded her own trip in the aim of building contacts and her portfolio.

Next? Paris!

*Since speaking with Slanted Mansion, Bahareh has re-located to Paris where she continues to pursue her career.


FASHION GONE ROUGE. Photography: Benjamin Vnuk, Styling: Bahareh Ardakani