Tara Vatanpour is an artist, luxury fashion designer, and founder of Tara Vatanpour. Her company creates recycled haute couture fashion. Persian, Azari, French, American, and influenced by the Brazilian culture, she focuses her artistic research around immigration trauma, loss and separation, the chaos of emotions as a result, and the search for healing. From a solid educational background and studies in the field of fine arts, she uses installation art and performance art to express and deepen her artistic research. Still, she is not limited to these two disciplines. Since 2019, she has been exhibited at the Venice Biennale, in London, in Paris, and has had multiple online residencies, publications, and exhibitions. Her fashion design practice employs artistic research to create a bridge between fine arts and fashion.
How did you get into what you do right now? Please tell us more about your journey.
This journey has been a journey of doubt and bottoms before rising up. For each of my creations, I had to experience doubt, despair, loneliness, and extreme feelings that felt highly uncomfortable in my body. And above all, a willingness to live with disappointment, with a bad result after long hours of hard work. It is the process in which I constantly discover again and again that my art is more valuable to me than my success and the idea that I have of it.
Who are your role models?
Cardi B, because her career path and her voice are amazing. My family, because they have all accomplished so much business-wise. And any amazing business owner who is kind to his employees and does not give in to power structures.
What inspires you?
Being true to oneself inspires me as a human being. My life experience inspires me in my art. And inspirational healers inspire me in my relationship with others.
Please tell us more about what you do.
I actually am an artist, writer, and also have a fashion design company. The art is about trauma, the book about poetry out of it, and the clothes are the results of both combined. I think what I want to highlight is how much I have intended to give with these creations. The Poetry has followed a year and half of torments and emotional ups and downs in my life as a consequence of having PTSD, so in this book, I wanted to create identification through the beauty of words so that others can feel it and maybe bring healing to themselves. You can find the book here:
Fashion Design is luxury-oriented, sustainable, and genderless. It is haute couture and RTW because the level of thought and the time spent designing is sometimes superior to 65 hours hand-sewn for one piece alone. The fashion conveys the same artistic ideas and research found in the arts, although hit the world differently: with having luxury genderless sustainable fashion, I am hoping to be part of those who break gender norms and make the world a better place to live in.
What’s your most memorable experience?
Recently I have started to gain visibility as an artist, and along with encouragement, I have started to receive a lot of hate comments. I was very surprised, for I thought you had to be way more famous before starting to get them. I was very hurt. But I then realized that they gave me hints on how to better my business and spiritual strength on how to respond with compassion to such deep pain, as well as to keep doing what felt right to me regardless.
Which social media channels work best for promoting your work? What exactly do you do on the social media channel that makes it work for you?
Instagram @taravatanpour because it is a very easy platform on which to promote, and I feel at ease with it. I post updates, events, publications, new art, art available for sale, book updates and giveaway, fashion, and some personal life to make it a bit more human.
What’s your greatest fear?
That I will not be able to live financially out of my dreams. This feels like what I am meant to be doing in life. And I want that happiness and freedom. For me, that’s my greatest fear as an entrepreneur, to go back to an employee’s life.
Looking back, what’s one thing you wish you understood better before you ever got started?
It’s hard because it is growth. When I started, everything seems highly impossible. And so everything that I encountered, I would throw a tantrum and abandon my business for a few weeks before getting over it. Today, when something is difficult, I know it is because I am learning. So now I welcome it and dive into it slowly, with gentleness, I make mistakes, I learn from them and ask for help if I need it.
What are the strategies that helped you become successful in your journey?
Perseverance is a big one for me. Along with faith. I have a friend who often refers to career building as a field: I trow seeds in there, but I don’t see which ones will grow yet.” And it was keeping to take actions that I did not know which were going to work for sure that gave me some of my successes. Before I got one collective exhibition, I had to apply to 200 probably.
What keeps you going when things get tough?
When things get tough, I tell myself it is going to path and that I need to rest. So the things that get me going are seeing friends, taking a bath, sleeping a lot, taking a few days off. Because all of these give me perspective and help me reset myself so that I can get through the tough times.
Any message for our readers.
Depends who my reader is. If you are a business owner, I hear you. If you are passionate about the arts and want to be an artist, never stop. If you are interested in buying from me, I hope this helps you to get to know me better and build our trust. If you are a parent concerned for your child, I would say everyone has their own path prepared for them.
How can people connect with you?
People can definitely connect to me through my Instagram and website.