Designer Shan Anthony Seecharan, who designs under the label SAS has recently seen his star ascending having created winning gowns worn by Delicia Wright, Miss Emancipation Guyana 2016 and Miss India Guyana 2016, Brittany Singh for the Talent Segment of that pageant.
Shan was born in Region One in a small village called Mabaruma-Hosororo. He attended North West Secondary. While there he was hoping to someday become a renowned artist, and his journey in designing started while he was yet a student.
With a grandmother as a seamstress, a grandfather as a tailor and a father who can sew including other relatives it came as no surprise to his family when he chose designing for his career. He feels right at home in his field; Shan is a natural at what he does.
“I’ve always loved fashion and never thought this would have chosen me. At the time I started it was my darkest moment, but it turned out to be one of my brightest moments and one of the best decisions I’ve made,” Shan told The Scene in an interview. “When I moved from the North West to Georgetown, I started working at a company as a customer care representative. Due to some problems I walked off the job. That was like my third job and it made me realize that I don’t like working under people. I was staying at my sister at that time and she sometimes got angry because I wasn’t supporting her financially. I had sent out applications for a new job but wasn’t getting through.
“My sister was the one who said, ‘You like fashion and you can sew. You always dress up your niece.’ So not long after, I learnt from a woman, Jane Maraj, how to cut some patterns and well I had already known how to sew so with that I started sewing. It was a year after I walked off the job that I got into designing. Jane was the one who boosted my career… It’s the best thing that happened to me.”
When Shan started designing he was just 16 years old and still in high school. His first designs were work suits for a niece. This was how he mastered the art of designing, since he was self-taught.
Since then he’s created evening gowns, men’s clothing and wedding dresses. Shan, who is always sharply dressed, wears his own designs and dresses Channel 2 hostess, Tasmin Latoya Coats.
SAS has so far launched two collections, the first one being Fresh Blooms which successfully kick started Shan’s designing career. Earlier this year, he launched his second collection, SAS Bridal.
Shan is partial to black and enjoys working with spandex, satin and taffeta. He did not say how long it takes him to get his pieces done, but assures future clients that what he produces is nothing short of quality work.
“I’m inspired by local designers Michelle Cole and Roger Gary because they have done exceptional work for Guyana. I’m inspired by international designer Zuhair Murad also,” he said.
Currently, Shan works from his home in Better Hope on the East Coast Demerara, but he hopes to move to Georgetown soon once he finds a place. And unlike any other designer, Shan offers a free one-hour, outdoor photoshoot of unlimited pictures with every purchase of one of his designs and a discount on any wedding gown he designs, if you use his photographer—an affordable package.
Shan gets the support from family and friends but notes, “We as designers need much more support from our locals. We get the support yes, but not enough. And I think we need much more support from the [Department] of Culture… Fashion designing has become so big in Guyana and I think the government should look into it and push us…” In his free time he enjoys listening to music. He considers himself to be a very down-to-earth, outgoing person who’s kind and friendly. One of his biggest pet-peeves is lying.
Someday very soon Shan hopes to have his own boutique through which his designs can reach the ends of Guyana. But it doesn’t end there as he believes that once he continues to pursue his dreams, one day he will reach the international market.
At present, he’s working on a new collection that he will be launching come December in his hometown. In addition, two of the contestants vying for the Miss Guyana Universe crown will wear SAS designs.
So far, Shan has participated in Style Runway (hosted at Theatre Guild) and Fashion Forward among other shows.