Local designer, Kimberly Shahid of Sha Studio, does things differently than most in the fashion industry. Fueled from her enthusiasm for the art of design and respect for the process of creativity, Kim strictly designs couture pieces. If you aren’t familiar with the term couture, it means original clothing that is curated specifically for you. Hours of work and years of passion go into making every single piece at Sha Studio.
Kim is a true local, born and raised in Charleston. She grew up around clothing her whole life, as her grandfather owned a uniform store on King St. called Shahid’s. As much as her family wished for her to take over the store, Kim knew that it wasn’t truly her passion. After years of loving styling and wishing she could tweak little things on the clothes she purchased, Kim decided to attend school at Savannah College of Art and Design. It was there, that she discovered her voice in fashion design and the types of fabrics, colors and styles that she most enjoys working with. Although Kim designs specifically for each client’s tastes, her favorite fabrics to work with are all natural, silk chiffons in neutral colors. Since she prefers neutrals, she likes to play a lot with textures and patterns with fun, geometric shapes.
After graduating from SCAD, Kim moved back to her hometown of Charleston to pursue her career in fashion design. She gained experience working for several different local designers and stores as a seamstress and tailor. She also worked for a company in Connecticut, making patterns to be sent to their manufacturer. Although Kim was already skilled in design and had many wonderful opportunities and experiences under her belt, she had yet to launch her own brand. It wasn’t until a close friend of hers needed a rehearsal dinner dress made for her wedding (with 3 weeks notice) that Kim was “forced” into creating her own studio. From there, news of her designs spread through word of mouth and Sha Studio was born.
An experience at Sha Studio is like no other shopping trip you’ve ever taken. First, you go in for a consultation at Kim’s beautiful studio at her home in Mt. Pleasant. She will sit down with you to discuss what you’re specifically looking for, what types of fabrics and colors you love or hate and take your measurements. The next appointment she will have a sketch and fabric swatches for you to compare. There is usually about a two-month turnaround for her couture pieces, and during this period you’ll meet with her at least two or three times for fittings so she can perfect the shape to your body. After this process, you will have a totally original piece of art that you cannot find anywhere else.
Kim plans to continue with Sha Studio being strictly couture and as much as she loves her home studio, would like to open up a storefront in the future. Her dream is to merge Sha Studio with other local artists to include paintings, drawings and jewelry design all in one space. Kim’s most recent venture is the launch of her blog, Charleston Fashion Design. She has come together with developer, Josh Garwood, to create a space that she and other local creatives can share their knowledge of the arts. Kim is such a passionate artist with a true love for her craft and it shows through her dedication to original design.
To have Kim design something for you, head to the Sha Studio website for more information.
Pictures of Kim’s past designs: