Tuesday, 20 December 2011

iMMACULATE Style - An interview with Miad Najafi

I haven't reviewed a brand in a while however I was so impressed with new brand iMMACULATE that I thought I would share it with you.

iMMACULATE is one of the growing number of clothing brands inspired by mixed martial arts to hit the scene.
However to look at some of the designs you perhaps wouldn't pick it out as being your typical MMA inspired apparel.
There are currently 4 t-shirt designs available featuring stylish and artistic prints that are comparable in terms of quality to brands like All Saints and Diesel.
Here to tell us more about the idea process and thoughts behind the brand is iMMACULATE's founder Miad Najafi.

You have a diverse background in martial arts, what inspiration did you draw from this to create the iMMACULATE brand?
I have been really fortunate to have trained with some phenomenal instructors and fighters.
What is nearly always the case with high level guys, is that they are often intelligent, articulate, technical, athletic and humble individuals.
I didn’t really feel that most of the present MMA and combat sports inspired brands really captured that.
In fact I always felt that many of the market leaders relayed the more negative stereotypes of what a fighter really is. That really was the spark that has led me to create iMMACULATE.

What would you say separates your brand from some of the others currently available of the market?
The main difference is the overall brand message and identity with a strong focus on creating high quality and beautiful garments.
I wanted to portray the fighting athlete in a positive light; that fighters are in constant pursuit of perfection on their journey to excellence.
But that isn’t just because I say so, that message needs to run deep into the designs, branding, artwork, fabrics and colours choices for each and every garment.
I wanted everyone who buys an iMMACULATE piece to immediately be able to tell that this is something truly unique.

What is your favourite design out of the current t-shirts and why?

That’s a really difficult one for me to answer, as I love them all for very different reasons. Mastery (Graceful Mastery) was the first piece I commissioned by an amazing fine artist Dale Grimshaw, its based on what I felt was the DNA of iMMACULATE, so I have a personal connection with that particular piece of art but as I said, I love them all.

You have already got great reviews in popular magazines Men's Fitness and Jiujitsu Style, how would you like to see the brand develop and grow?
Obviously I want iMMACULATE to have a strong presence on the worldwide MMA and combat sports scene, but at present I am really focusing on creating garments that the athlete and fan will want to wear and to allow the iMMACULATE brand to grow organically. I am really pleased to say that the initial response has been amazing, but the feedback is even better when people see the pieces in hand as only then can the true quality and attention to detail be appreciated.

Have you got any plans to tap into the growing market of female martial artist and MMA enthusiasts?
At present we are looking at men's hoodies, sweatshirts, rashguards and fight shorts for 2012. We will however be looking at doing some women’s wear. In fact I already have some really lovely women’s vest designs in the pipeline, so watch this space!

Who out of the MMA or BJJ community would you most like to see wearing iMMACULATE?
For me it's vital that anyone who represents the brand should be someone who really holds the same general values as iMMACULATE. There are too many fighters out there who are sponsored by brands that don’t really fit the fighters character, for example Demian Maia is a really technical fighter, not to mention a really polite and humble guy, so for me it doesn’t make sense that he is representing a brand called Bad Boy, the same goes for a lot of the top level fighters!

Within MMA, I would love to see fighters like Jose Aldo, Machida, Frank Edgar, GSP, Jon Jones, Demian Maia, JDS, and Anderson Silva wearing iMMACULATE. Within BJJ I would shortlist Cobrinha, Marcelo Garcia, Braulio Estima, Lucas Lepri, Roger Gracie, Bruno Malfacine and Michael Langhi as my ideal brand ambassadors. They are all are really humble and articulate while still being phenomenal athletes, for me that’s what it's all about. Being a boxing fan, there are some fighters who I would love to represent iMMACULATE, but at present I am focused on the sports of MMA and BJJ.

Thanks to Miad for taking the time to chat with me, and I am looking forward to seeing the collection grow as I think Miad had created something really interesting.
Miad is an Alliance BJJ coach and his designs have already got the nod from the General, Fabio Gurgel
"I had the pleasure to see how the Immaculate was created; the brain storm behind the brand says why it is so cool!
Jiu jitsu and martial arts in general have from now on something that really represents what the real fighters feel"

Make sure you check out the designs on the iMMACULATE website you can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter: @immaculate88

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