What sparked your interest in the fashion industry?
I know it sounds clichéd but I was always into art and sketching/illustrating has always been a passion. The art of designing and the realisation of an outfit just add to the magic.
What is the most important thing to keep in mind before designing?
Nothing really. When something inspires you, be it an image, fabric or a motif, that’s all you can think about and then, you just design.
Most designers prefer to have their individual outlets but you collaborated with your friend Saira for Saira-Shakira, the brand. What inspired you to work with her?
Saira and I have known each other since fashion school and been good friends since the beginning. We can relate to each other’s style sense and design sensibility. Our husbands are childhood buddies as well so even after graduation and marriage, we spent a lot of time together. Starting the brand together just sort of made sense.
You have recently delved into bridal couture with a collection called ‘Seeking Paradise.’ Tell us a little about it.
‘Seeking Paradise’ is our second bridal couture collection actually. We came up with a fusion bridal and formal line by mixing some eastern elements with western ones. We meshed nets with tissue and varied our colour pallet from soft pastels to deeper shades, like emerald and red.
How has the Pakistani fashion industry changed over the past few years?
The Pakistani fashion industry has come a long, long, long way and it’s very exciting to see it grow. The competition is fierce and it gives designers an incentive to go that extra mile.
You have been a regular participant in the local fashion weeks for the last few years. How much do these events really help, in terms of creating awareness about your brand?
The PFDC Fashion Week is a huge platform for any brand. After participating in our first event, the awareness for our brand has grown a considerable amount. We now have clients contacting us from all over the world.
What is the hardest part about working in the industry?
Well, I don’t think there is anything hard. I take everything as a challenge. Those who succeed are here to stay!
Who has inspired you the most throughout your career?
My parents and husband have all been a source of motivation in my career. These are the ones that have kept me inspired throughout.
Any advice to young women aspiring to become fashion designers?
Be consistent, love fashion, work hard to maintain your own style.
Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, October 11th, 2015.