In three words, Hussein Dhalla is an entrepreneur, a visionary and an idealist. Designing pieces for runways and red carpets alike his work has graced Toronto Men's Fashion Week, World Mastercard Fashion Week, and AMA afterparties. We sat down with the brilliant designer to talk business, life, and ideas.
SKYN: Alright Mister Hussein, who are you?
HD: I like to think of myself as a businessman with a lot of great ideas. Also, I am a passionate person and work relentlessly to make my dreams a reality.
SKYN: And when we're talking realities, what is it that you're talking about? What is it that you do exactly?
HD: I create confidence, poise and attraction. I do this by designing tailor-fitted clothing that speaks to the gentlemen inside all of us men. When I’m suiting a client, I can physically see their shoulders broadening, their back standing tall and chin up. My clothing is not just about the look, it’s about the feel. In short, I design clothing for men that exudes an air of wealth and power.
SKYN: That's incredible. It's amazing how a person's whole demeanor can change with just the right added touch. You're a master at being a confidence creator and it's definitely been getting noticed in a big way. We'd love to know, how did you become that master? How did you become all that you are today?
HD: I wouldn’t be what I am today if it wasn’t for my team. The people who believe in me, support me and encourage me are truly the reason I’ve become all that I am today.
SKYN: What got you into fashion?
HD: Fashion has been ingrained in me from a very young age. Like most people, I was a product of the environment in which I was raised. My parents placed great priority in looking good and dressing the part. This attitude about clothing stuck with me through my adolescence and adulthood. I’ve always had a keen eye for putting striking outfits together but I buried this gift to pursue a degree in business and to obtain a job at the bank. Finally I told myself that I wasn’t going to let another day go by without trying to realize my dreams in fashion. I quit my day job, opened up a boutique studio and started designing and I haven’t looked back a day since.
SKYN: That's incredible. Well we're certainly glad that you did decide to listen to that inner voice, because it's so clear that you've not only found your state of flow, but also your calling. Now that we know all about what you do and how you got into it, could you tell us something random about yourself? Perhaps something that others might not know about you.
HD: Twice in my life, I’ve taken Karate and achieved just one level away from earning my black belt. I dropped out each time after achieving my brown belt. It has been a huge regret of mine. This year, I’ll be taking my third stab at it and I’m going to go all the way.
SKYN: Ha, that's great - a brown belt is a huge accomplishment, but a black belt will definitely be well earned. We can't wait to see you achieve that dream! In terms of other dreams that you have, were there any that you were able to live out over this past year?
HD: I distinctly recall pinching myself the night of my after party from the Toronto Men’s Fashion Week show in February of 2015. The after party was held inside America on the top floor of the Toronto Trump Hotel. I was in awe of what we had achieved and so thankful that I was be able to throw such a lavish event and celebrate the success of the show and the brand with my closest friends and family.
SKYN: Wow - that absolutely is a huge achievement, and definitely one worth remembering. Were there any other things that you thought were noteworthy over the past year? Maybe less in terms of actual achievements and more in terms of revelations.
HD: For me, the year 2015 was a time of exponential personal growth. I was faced with tough decisions at the beginning of the year. I decided to do a complete overhaul of my business, brand and team. I realized it was a time for change. Change can be scary especially with so many unknown factors in the equation but I’m glad I walked through my fears and made the decisions I did instead of just sitting back and wondering, what if. Once I broke free from the chains of my fears, I hit an enormous revelation; the sky is the limit and that’s where I’m setting the bar!
SKYN: And we have absolutely no doubt that you will not only achieve that, but exceed it. You really do seem to be unstoppable both in strides as well as in drive. You've got so much going for you and so many possibilities ahead, what would you say are some of your goals for 2016?
HD: To me, the word goal is another word for growth. Having said that, I want to grow my network into the hundreds of thousands. I want to grow my brand. I want to grow spiritually and intellectually by reading more. I want DALLA to grow into a widely known and established label across the globe. I want to keep growing so I can get to a place where I can start giving back.
SKYN: Sounds like you've got an incredible year ahead. And with that big legacy about to be created it's time for us to ask, what would you like to be remembered as?
HD: I want to be remembered as the guy with an insatiable hunger to win. Not just in the fashion world but in life.
HUSSEIN | @thekingofthejungles
DALLA | @houseofdalla
IMAGES | @project.hdx
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