Interview with Kimia Koochakzadeh-Yazdi & Kayla Yazdi Co-founders of Fashion X Electronics (FXE)

Can you share a little bit about your background, the life, work, experiences that led you to who you are today?

Kayla: I’m a visual artist with a focus on fashion design, and textile development. I like to explore ways to create wearable art with minimal waste produced in the process. I studied painting at Azadehgan School of Art in Iran and fashion design & technology at Wilson School of Design in Vancouver. My interest in fashion is rooted in creating functional art. I enjoy the business aspect of fashion however, I want to push boundaries of how fashion can be seen as art rather than solely as production.

Kimia: I’m a composer of acoustic and electronic music, I perform and build instruments, and a lot of times I combine these components together. Working with various disciplines is also an important part of my practice. I studied piano performance at Tehran Music School before moving to Vancouver to study composition at Simon Fraser University. I am currently a doctorate candidate in music composition at Stanford University. I love electronic music, food, and sports! My family, partner, and friends are a huge part of my life!

When and how did the idea to start Fashion X Electronics (FXE) arise?

Kayla & Kimia: We have been wanting to collaborate together for a while now and have been looking for ways to fuse both our industries together. After brainstorming and developing a few ideas we realized that we want to create a space where fashion & music are equals, rather than one supporting the other. We not only wanted to create a space to showcase our work and skills but also learn from each other, and merge other disciplines.

Can you share with readers what Fashion X Electronics (FXE) is and what you hope it will bring to the fashion, music and technology industry in Vancouver?

Kayla & Kimia: We want FXE to become a BC based community that brings people from different disciplines together to create innovative experiences. Our main focus is fashion and music but we hope to collaborate with dancers, sculptors, visual artists, and many other creatives to explore new territories of art. Our goal is to rotate between different mediums and to create a space for exploration and experimentation. We aim to continue hosting annual performances with different artists and to bring together different cultures, industries, genres, and organizations.

You have your premier event called "Interweave" coming up on March 21st at The Kent Gallery in Vancouver. What can guests attending expect this evening?

Kayla & Kimia: Interweave is a multidisciplinary performance that bridges fashion, music, technology, and dance. Our dancers will be performing in garments designed by Kayla, that are embedded with microcontrollers and sensors developed by Kimia. The dancers control various musical parameters through their movements and their interaction with the sensors that are incorporated within the garments. Along with works for movement and dance, there will be a live electronic music performance made for costume-made instruments. So far we have received an amazing amount of support and RSVP’s from the art industry in Vancouver and look forward to welcoming many local creative individuals.


We'd love to know about the team of professionals who are working hard to create this unique experience. 

Kayla & Kimia: We are working with the amazing choreographers/dancers Anya Saugstad and Daria Mikhailiuk. We are thankful for Laleh Zandi’s help for creating a sculpture for one of our instruments which will be performed by Kimia. Celeste Betancur and Richard Lee have been our amazing audio tech assistants. We are very appreciative of everyone involved in FXE’s premiere and can’t wait to showcase our hard work.


You mention in your press release that you received support from the Canada Council for The Arts. How did you connect with the arts council and how have they support your creating this event?

Kayla & Kimia: Interweave has been fully supported by Canada Council For The Arts and we are truly grateful for it. The “Explore and Create, Concept to Realization” program has given us the opportunity to create this event and to kick start FXE Collective.

How can readers who are interested get a ticket? Note - capacity is limited so if you're interested, don't delay!

To learn more about FXE and "Interweave", please visit our website and to secure your spot, please RSVP on Eventbrite.

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