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Name: Azin Valy

Business: Cityzen by Azin 

Location: New York City, New York, U.S.

Industry: Apparel & Accessories 

Reason for starting? Cityzen by Azin is a fashion and accessories brand that incorporates aerial views of the world to create beautifully crafted garments and scarves, highlighting the stunning beauty of the world without borders from above and raising awareness and funds towards various challenges we face on earth as global citizens. My 
award-winning architecture firm was nominated for an urban planning research exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art regarding new housing solutions in response to the foreclosure crises the U.S. was facing. Looking at cities with high foreclosure rates in the U.S., led to the spark behind the creation of a fashion brand that brings to light the beauty of these places, while highlighting the challenges they face. Also the idea of deriving the design of a garment or scarf from the topography of a place was very exciting to me. As an Iranian-American, I have always straddled the two cultures, dispelling misconceptions and treasuring my love of both. My passion for travel, design, cultural curiosity and empathy towards global issues and peace has led me to the creation of Cityzen by Azin and has reignited my childhood love of fashion.

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How do you define success?
 To be able to inspire others and transform lives for the better, while gaining financial success in creating a utopia!

Biggest success: To date, Cityzen by Azin has been published nationally and internationally, with a celebrity following. Dignitaries such as President Barack Obama and Michelle Obama having accepted the Cityzen DC and Chicago garment and scarves as gifts, Cityzen was invited as the only American designer to represent the U.S. at the invitation of the U.S. Embassy in Qatar for “The Bridge That Unites” fashion event. Having one of our scarves grace the Oscar’s stage this past year on Anoushe Ansari, “the space traveler” and technology entrepreneur, wearing a Cityzen scarf while accepting an award for best foreign film and delivering a message for peace.

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What is your top challenge
 and how you have addressed it? The top challenge has been sales and distribution as well as lack of finances to hire additional staff.

Who is your most important role model? 
The brands Cityzen aspires to are: Tory Burch and her foundation, Tom’s, United Colors of Benetton.

Twitter   @cityzenbyazin
Instagram   @cityzenbyazin

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Edited by The Story Exchange