Sima Rahman-Huang

The owner of fashion label Moon Doll shows us inside her Hampstead emporium

Posted: 13.07.12

Wow! Your store is a treasure trove, where do we start?
In one corner I have my own designs; hand-made clothes that incorporate South Asian and Oriental influences made from silks and luxe fabrics, there’s also a range of authentic vintage and designer vintage clothes, some that I’ve customised, where I’ve jazzed up simple pieces, a discounted designer range for those looking for a bargain and an accessories collection.
There’s so much diversity within your vintage section – how do you source it?
I’m always on the look out  I’m attracted to a bargain so I’ll scour charity shops, car boot sales, independent boutiques and shop 'til I'm maxed out when I go travelling. Shopping is the biggest perk of my job and I love that I have a valid excuse now for my obsession!

Sounds like fun, can we join in?
Only buy vintage clothes that are in good condition, no holes and no damages. Designer vintage gets more valuable over time so is worth investing in if it's in good condition. Also keep an eye out for old labels or ones that no longer exist. I loved Yessica which used to be be stocked in C&A before the chain closed down and Talbots vintage can be quite sought after too.

Isn’t it easier to stick to the high street?
I much prefer vintage as you won't see others wearing it when you walk down the high street. I also like the timeless appeal of vintage and the fact that a simple accessory like a belt can completely transform a design. The high street places too much emphasis on following trends. I always advise people to find their own style and dress how they feel comfortable. Thanks to Kate Middleton there's now more appreciation for dressing with class. She wears midi-lengths which are fitted. These are flattering, feminine and pretty. She has created her own style and inspired many others.

Tell us about your own ethnic inspired designs.
I love quirky kawaii style, which is very cute and girlie. Japan is a definite inspiration. South Asian accents are also an integral feature of my designs so I may make clothes from saris, silks or add Indian trims to garments. This style of clothing mainly appeals to the local Hampstead community, the fabric is uniquely sourced and cannot be replicated.

You’re still a newbie to the scene, having just opened in April, what were you doing before?
I was a make-up artist for eight years and then I moved into events. If you’re a creative person you can turn your hand to anything creative so I bought a sewing machine and taught myself how to make clothes. I officially launched during London Fashion Week in February 2011 with a catwalk show. I've since organised catwalk shows for Philippine and Tokyo Fashion Weeks, and a charity show for the Tsunami appeal.

Finally, the name; ‘Moon Doll’ – explain!
When I was younger I used to love Moon Boots and I wanted to call my company Moon Boots but I couldn’t as it sounded like a footwear company! So I dropped the Boots and swapped it for more of a kitsch type word, which is just my kind of style.

Visit Moon Doll at: Open 10.30-5.30 Tuesday-Sunday. Unit 21, Heath Street, London, Hampstead, NW6 6TE.
Moon Doll designs and creations are stocked in The Fashion & Textile Museum in London Bridge and TFNC stores around London. Garments and accessories can also be purchased online.
Store image by Andy Wong of Beaut Pictures


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