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Jan 16, 2012

Interview with Maryam Gueramian of Confiance

When I met Maryam at the 2nd Annual Two Point Oh! LA Snowball I had no idea that her talents extended beyond having great fashion sense. It was only after she e-mailed me to tell me about her line, Confiance, that I realized how gifted she was. Not only that, but she’s quite ambitious too. With all that talent and determination there’s no doubt that the 25 year old will accomplish many goals in her lifetime. Read on and be inspired.


BM: What motivated you to start Confiance?

MG: Growing up, I always had a passion for fashion. I remember digging into my mom’s closet and finding pieces of fabrics and asking her to sew Barbie clothes for me. I also got accepted to fashion school after graduating from UCSD, but I decided to get my MBA instead. After I completed one of my first paintings, Evil Eye, I thought about how cool it would be to put it on t-shirts because I had never seen clothing with the evil eye on them. The thought lingered for almost 2 years and one day I finally decided to look up manufacturers and get the shirts printed. Then, the opportunity to participate in the 4th Annual UCLA Fashion Show benefiting the Persian American Cancer Institute (PACI) came along and gave me the perfect excuse to delve into creating new designs for the show.
*Confiance was launched in April, 2010, and in January 2011 it was one of the sponsors for the HBO Luxury Lounge in honor of the 68th Golden Globe Awards.


BM: How did the name for your line come about?

MG: French was my first language so I wanted to add a touch of French to my line. Confiance is French for confidence and trust and I believe that if you trust in yourself and think confidence - you project it; hence, why I used a thinking blurb as my logo J

BM: What has being a designer taught you?

MG: It has taught me not be afraid of expressing my feelings and creativity and to take risks from time to time. I used to be a bit conservative when I first started.

BM: What is currently on your inspiration board?

MG: My ultimate goal is to create an art charity for under privileged children and also to advocate world peace through cultural and art exchange, which I have already been working on as Chair of the Young Professionals Committee at the USC Institute for Genetic Medicine Art Gallery for the past 3 years and now as International Ambassador of the committee. Therefore, I want to become internationally known so that I can achieve these goals though my line and art work because I believe that once people know you and you gain a level of respect in the community you have a stronger voice and can achieve more.

BM: Fashion design is just one of your many talents. You are also an artist and jewelry maker. What influences your art work?

MG: Feelings, symbols, colors, inspirations. I’m not like many other artists who have specific themes for their work. I just go with how I feel and what inspires me. I’ve gotten up in the middle of the night before and worked on a piece of jewelry or completed a painting because, at that very moment, something came to me and I knew if I didn’t go with that at that instant then the outcome would not be the same later on.


BM: What types of materials do you use when painting?

MG: I mainly use oil paint but sometimes I get creative and use papier-mâché, acrylic colors, glass, etc.

BM: What influences your jewelry creations?

MG: Meaningful charms, colorful crystals, and semiprecious stones. I just think they’re very eye catching and expressive.


BM: I noticed that symbols play a role in all your artistic creations. Why is that?

MG: Yeah, I’m kind of superstitious - ha ha. But, joking aside, I mainly use universal symbols that everyone can relate to, no matter what their religion or ethnic background is, as a way to bring people closer to each other through art.

BM: Would you ever consider competing in Project Runway, Project Accessory, or Work of Art?

MG: I hadn’t really thought about it but now that you mention it, I think it’s a great idea!

BM: If you do let us know so we can root for you. Speaking of competitions, how did you do in the Miss CA USA pageant?

MG: I did not place in the top 20 but pageant weekend and the entire journey leading up to it was an amazing experience. I made great connections and good friends. Some of us girls are already planning a trip to Jamaica this summer! I was actually surprised that no Middle Eastern girls were chosen in the top 20, especially since they make up a large demographic of CA.
*Maryam is Iranian. She was born in Switzerland and lived in Iran before moving to Los Angeles at the age of 14.

BM: I’m surprised too. How did you prepare for the competition?

MG: I attended photo shoots, a pageant boot camp, got coaching and interview advice from one of my sorority sisters (Krystal Saucedo), who’s been in the pageant scene ever since she was a teenager and, of course, got a trainer and dieted.

BM: I loved your outfit at the Two Point Oh! LA Snowball. How do you plan your look for a night out? (See intro photo)

MG: Sometimes I plan in advance, or while I’m driving from one place to another I suddenly think of an outfit (since I barely ever have time to plan ahead). Other times, I just dig in to my closet and mix and match stuff depending on my mood. I’m not afraid of trying new looks and I would say mixing old and new stuff together is one of my fortes.

BM: Can you share some of your secret spots to shop?

MG: I go to random stores in the Downtown Los Angeles fashion district from time to time because I always find unique stuff. Sometimes, you don’t have to pay a fortune for a cute shirt.

BM: Your clothing and jewelry are carried in several boutiques and can be purchased at www.confianceshop.com. Where can people purchase your art?

MG: They can view some of my art on my website www.maryamgueramian.com

BM: Do you have anything big lined up for 2012?

MG: YES! Besides the Miss CA USA pageant that I just got back from I’ll be exhibiting at the WWDMAGIC Show in Vegas this February, and I’m planning an art exhibit of my paintings for some time in March. *She had a solo exhibition in Tehran, Iran.

BM: What would you like to be remembered for?

MG: My passion for wanting to help others in any way I can.

 Interview by Nikki Neil, Photos courtesy of Maryam Gueramian

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