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Oday Shakar is a Southern California native of Iraqi descent whose childhood sketches of women and horses unmistakably showed the early emergence of an exceptional creative talent. His father, an Iraqi immigrant who received his Masters in architecture from Harvard University and his mother, a woman of impeccable style, helped instill a love for fashion and design in Oday from an early age. While living in Baghdad, Oday sought solace and guidance from an aunt, who instinctively recognized his artistic inclination and chose to mentor him in draping, pattern making, and sewing. This training proved valuable and indeed prophetic when Oday attended a runway show and realized in a moment of sheer clarity that he wanted to be a designer.
Oday dedicated himself toward this goal with purposeful diligence; he enrolled at the Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising, landed assistant designer duties with a sportswear label, and eventually acquired the position of lead designer for a women’s wear line. In 2008, he launched his self-titled label.
Each Oday Shakar collection may allude to a specific conceptual inspiration or seasonal influence but it also remains resolutely defiant of the limitations of time and trends. Against the framework of custom-crafted garments, Oday spins together a precise blend of sophistication in the graceful silhouettes and modernity of the designs. He grabs inspiration from his heritage and upbringing as an Arab American, fusing Western and Middle-Eastern influences.
Oday is interested in further weaving the label into the real lives of women— to promote confidence, self-expression, charity, and celebration. He relaunched his brand at New York Fashion Week in September 2016 with his SS2017 collection, “Unveiling,” representing Shakar’s evolution and epitomizing the designer’s timeless, fresh perspective on women’s design.