Louisiana is now known as “Hollywood South,” and thanks to several very talented fashion designers, it’s getting quite the reputation in the fashion world, too. One of those designers is Pedram Pasha Taheri, who recently debuted his Pedram Couture at New York Fashion as well as Fashion Week New Orleans.
Taheri, who moved to Baton Rouge with mom Fahimeh Salimi in 1996, has always had a thing for fashion. His mother and friends were always asking his advice on what to wear and how to wear it.
“As a child in Iran I always saw photos of the old government officials,” says Taheri. “The women would talk about this Dior dress with 6,000 diamonds on the dress itself that the former princess wore … For me, watching the Oscars and Grammys was mainly about the red carpet. I like the pizazz.”
Taheri’s father, Tagi Salimi, was a pilot and had flown for the Shah of Iran.
“When the Shah’s government fell (in 1979), a lot of our family moved, but my parents stayed even though they took our homes and my dad had to retire,” says Taheri, who was born two years after the fall.
He led a sheltered life in Iran, always escorted by his father even to and from school. When his father died from cancer, Taheri and his mother quickly packed their bags and joined family in Baton Rouge.
After graduating from Lee High School, he got an interior design degree from LSU.
“I have a passion for beauty, basically,” he explains. “Interior design and fashion are both passions of mine. I didn’t think I could get anywhere in fashion. I studied interior design, but I took some fashion classes … both disciplines give the same appreciation to fabrics and colors.”
After graduating in 2006, Taheri got a job at Cyrus Persian Rugs, working his way up to district manager. But he had a hankering for something bigger, so in 2011 he moved to Los Angeles and went to work as a men’s stylist. For eight months he flew from coast to coast making sure his clients always looked their best.
Then, as it often seems to do, Louisiana started calling him home.
“I came back to Baton Rouge and back to work with Cyrus, but I wanted to do something on my own,” says Taheri. “And, I wanted to do women’s clothing, so I started Pedram Couture, focusing primarily on evening wear.
“I love elegance and transferring that into fashion,” he continues. “I love seeing women at their best, that whole before and after thing … glamour, sophistication.”
When he first returned, most of Taheri’s clients were in New Orleans. A makeup artist there submitted photos of his designs that got him invited to New York Fashion Week.
“I showed 14 pieces in New York, but I’d completed 25 by the time I showed in New Orleans,” he says.
He made his Baton Rouge debut at this year’s American Cancer Society Best Dressed Ball, where one of his couture gowns was auctioned off. It was a fitting entrance onto the scene considering his mother is now facing her own battle with cancer.
It’s here in his hometown that Taheri hopes to become respected as a fashion designer and fashion house “not just locally but on an international level.” And he seems to be on his way.
Among Taheri’s Los Angeles friends were several cast members of Bravo’s hit show, “Shahs of Sunset.” He’s made three dresses for Lilly Ghalichi and is currently making one for Golnesa “GG” Gharachedaghi. He’s also making contact with some of the “Real Housewives of Miami” and “Real Housewives of Orange Country.”
Meanwhile, he’s setting up his studio in the Bocage area, where he’ll see clients by appointment, pedramcouture.com.
“Baton Rouge is home for me, and I’m happy living here,” says Taheri. “After Katrina, there’s just a whole new vibe in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.”
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