Celebrating Studio 525's First Anniversary with Saadia Zahid
Upon the 1st Anniversary of Studio 525, we decided to highlight our team. Meet Saadia Zahid, our Director. We have sat down with her to discuss her visions for the space, her favorite moments from the past year, and her commitment to supporting young creatives.
ANTHONY: It’s been an entire year of events at Studio 525! What are your favorite moments from the past year?
SAADIA: Wow, I haven’t even been here a year and I already have so many.
I would say the comical moments that really test our patience, problem solving skills and definitely require a sense of humor…..dare I say some plumbing moments (that are gladly resolved!)
But the real wowzer moment for me were the alpaca’s entered Studio 525 for our first art show Fifth World Problems. I mean…..Alpaca’s, motion sensor LED floor at an iconic Chelsea gallery space.
AE: You refer to Studio 525 as a “cultural accelerator,” what does this mean to you?
SZ: I have worked with “space” in various iterations over the past 20 years. From retail stores to co-working spaces to real estate developments. I realized that space plays just as important a role in the development and expression of ideas and creative businesses as money does. Consequently, the value of space is also defined by the communities that use it, the audience it attracts, the purpose it serves in a neighborhood, society and development.
We are fortunate to have an incredibly gorgeous and iconic space to work with, an inspiring community and neighborhood that we are a part of in a the cultural Mecca of the world.
It is our duty to share the rewards of our fortunes to continue to keep the creative fabric of New York City flowing with fresh talent.
We are only a year old, and we are very transparent. We need to survive as a business first.
Our focus right now is on refining our product, build a financially sustainable business and deliver on premium service to our clients. Operating a successful business enables us to contribute back to the cultural community by offering creatives the space to accelerate their exposure and growth. We play the role of a “cultural accelerator” in that context. We are not focused on a particular creative discipline – our interests vary from fashion to poetry, technology and wellness to art and music. What matters to us is beyond just the quality of the product or idea we like – it is the ambition and conviction behind it, a collaborative attitude, a purposeful conversation and integrity.
AE: What are some examples of this model in action?
SZ: Our celebration today is a great example of this in action!
Successful examples I have experienced in the recent past were at my time at Dubai Design District. Collaborating and partnering with events such as Dubai Design Week and Sole DXB has contributed to the successful growth of both world class events over the past five years. Supporting them with space allowed them to focus on the actual event content and experience. The events also helped Dubai Design District attain global attention and the brand value it continues to build with such associations. Otherwise it would have been just another real estate project.
AE: What role do you think space plays in this dynamic?
SZ: Space is expensive! Businesses that require physical space to execute their business have to allocate a large part of their resources. With the monetary cost attached to the space removed from the picture, it allows their budgets to free up to really focus on experience and execution. We want to form strategic alliances governed by shared values and attitudes.
AE: What do you see in store for the next year of Studio 525?
SZ: Maintain and grow an incredible roster of clients across industries to choose Studio 525 for their events.
Expect Fun. Fantasy. Friendly encounters.