Architecture student builds clothing line


Sophomore architecture major Kasey Montazeri, wearing a shirt and jacket he designed for his custom clothing line, works on a project in the new College of Architecture and Environmental Design building on Thursday, Sept 29, 2016. 

Dominique Pishotti

There’s a new fashion designer in town and, believe it or not, he’s not frequently walking down the shiny tiles of the Kent State Fashion School’s Rockwell Hall. Keyarash Montazeri, a sophomore architecture major, is the mastermind behind the up-and-coming clothing line Diablo Conglomerate.

Montazeri became interested in fashion after spending a short time as a student at Youngstown State University. It was there he decided to change his personal style and get move involved with fashion trends.

“You have to stand out there; otherwise, you end up not fitting in (and) you pretty much end up being like a nobody … I wasn’t okay with that,” Montazeri said. “Being different is crucial these days.”

Montazeri began creating designs after he transferred to Kent State. He said he was in need of finding a new creative outlet, and building a brand was just something that came out of his exploration.

“I was bored with my school work,” Montazeri said. “Architecture was too black and white for me.”

It was after creating a small batch of graphic design T-shirts that Diablo Conglomerate was born. Montazeri said the first few T-shirts he made were posted on Twitter for fun, and within 20 minutes they sold out. After that he always had a demand, inspiring him to continue to pursue the brand.

Montazeri said all of his designs started off as tattoos he has on his body.

“The designs all mean a lot to me,” Montazeri said. “Having them as tattoos shows that it’s something that’s real to me.”

Montazeri’s first design — perhaps, the most important to his brand — is tattooed on his right forearm. The design is of the evil eye, an image meant to promote good hospitality and wealth, while also warding off evil spirits.

The evil eye design is also what gave Montazeri the brand name.

“’Diablo’ means devil in Spanish, so the eye design is supposed to withhold and contain the devil within the eye, to keep evil off the body,” Montazeri said.

Montazeri said a lot of his ideas stem from what he has learned in the classroom. Architecture and clothing design go hand-in-hand when it comes to lines and symmetry, he said.

“A lot of my classes have actually taught me how to format my designs,” Montazeri said. “They have given me a better idea of what is attractive to the eye.”

All of Montazeri’s designs are brought to life by five different manufacturers, with the main one in Florida. Diablo does not yet have someone in the area sewing its pieces, but Montazeri said he hopes to have someone local to collaborate with in the near future.

All money earned from sales is used to create new pieces for the next release date. According to Project Manager Raymond Housteau, he and Montazeri don’t profit from their sales personally.

“All the money earned is to keep the demand going and to keep our inventory full for our customers,” said Housteau, a student at Youngstown State University.

The Diablo collection contains a variety of pieces such as T-shirts, hoodies, flannels, jackets and shorts. Montazeri said he hopes to be adding pants to his collection this fall. The collection is aimed toward both males and females, and is made for individuals between the ages of 13 and 25 years old.

Montazeri creates new designs every week. Diablo releases new clothes every other Friday.

Montazeri said he doesn’t know what the future of his brand holds, but he plans on continuing to design for a while.

“As long as there’s a demand, I’m going to keep making,” Montazeri said. “It’s working for me right now, so I’m going to keep going with it.”

Dominque Pishotti is the fashion reporter, contact her a [email protected].