Farah Sahupala shows her creations at OBJECT Rotterdam

  • 22 January 2024
Fashion designer Farah Sahupala will show her latest works during OBJECT Rotterdam on 2 February. The event is part of Art Rotterdam: the large design fair that is held every winter. The HKU alumnus has. Three new outfits to show, and tells us that she hopes this fair will be a stepping stone towards more opportunities.
Farah Sahupala shows her creations at OBJECT Rotterdam
Last summer, Farah graduated at HKU Fashion Design with Pneuma Soma. During the Exposure graduation showcase, her work was noticed by Anna van der Zwaag, director and owner of OBJECT. ‘I was indeed asked to expose at OBJECT Rotterdam in result of my graduation work,’ Farah says. ‘For the nomination, I first had to answer a few questions about my work, and in two weeks, I will be showing my designs to the public as a ‘young talent’.


Her works are a combination of grand gestures and finesse, making them look both powerful and elegant at the same time. ‘I am very precise in my measures and production. Symmetry plays a large role in this, which is not so strange, given my background as a graphic designer.’

Farah first studied New Design & Attitudes at the St. Joost Academy for two years, before she decided to switch to HKU for the minor What is Fashion?. Here she developed her personal style and discovered her preferred work method. ‘I requested the replacement from St. Joost to HKU, but on the condition that I could start in year four. Eventually, this turned out to be possible.’

Farah's design in Vogue / Photo: Elisa Michelle
Freedom. It’s what she had both at St. Joost and HKU. But at the HKU location IBB, there was ‘something in the air’ that triggered Farah. Here I felt truly stimulated by the students, who worked hard and ambitiously in their ateliers. Along the way, I discovered that I’m first and foremost a textile designer. And my teachers told me that I design very intuitively. That stuck with me, and it's true indeed. I always follow what feels good along the process; where the design is going to. I never plan it from start to finish in advance.’


During her upcoming exhibition at OBJECT Rotterdam, the latest edition of Vogue will probably be on her table. Farah’s designs were used for the shoots by the duo that was elected as Vogue Talent: the Amsterdam duo Elisa Michelle (photographer) and Carli Bureynejad (stylist). Farah’s name is mentioned in the magazine, but she hopes that the role of the designer will get more acknowledgement in the future. ‘It’s uncommon to be present at the set when you’re the designer, but I would like to be. I often talk about it with other designers. We are thinking about setting up a platform so that our voices are heard. And of course, I wonder how we can ensure that designers get paid for this kind of work. Exposure is nice of course, but you also want to make a living with it. Currently I’m putting food on the table by working at a bakery three days a week.’

All other days, Farah is busy working as a designer. And now and then she does get paid for those assignments. She is currently designing – and getting paid for – a costume for a performance artist. ‘I definitely see a future in. such paid assignments. Designing for theatre, movies or performance arts is what I love most. And I’ll keep offering my designs for shoots, although I will be more critical about the type of collaboration. And if I’m ever asked to do my own styling, I would say yes in a second.’
During OBJECT Rotterdam, Farah will show three outfits. On display from 2 to 4 February in the HAKA Building.