Equipped with a fashion degree from the prestigious Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design, Faiza Saqlain emerged into visibility when she showcased at the PFDC L’Oreal Bridal Week in 2015 as she was a part of the rising talent showcase.
“I came to Lahore to study fashion at the PIFD and I immediately started working when I graduated,” she remembered. Unlike other young fashion students, Faiza opted not to work with a boutique or a designer in the beginning. She explained that she, along with her husband, decided to launch her own business. While it was a risky move, Faiza wisely described both the advantage and disadvantage of such a step.
“The good thing was that I wasn’t influenced by anyone else,” she said, quoting a common problem. “When one works under another designer, it’s possible to adopt their style and aesthetic but I was lucky to work with a fresh mind and develop my own.”
While Faiza had the chance to openly express her creativity, doing so wasn’t easy.
“Since I didn’t have much professional experience, it took me time to understand the local market and to deal with it. That’s not something you learn while studying fashion.” Also, Faiza had the strenuous task of establishing her own team. “I didn’t have anyone financing me. I remember that I started with a team of three tailors and workers and we set up our ‘ factory’ in a small room.”
That was four and a half years ago and today Faiza’s team has grown to more than a hundred people.
“I’m constantly investing in my business. Whatever I earn, I invest it back into my brand.”
However, Faiza feels that her growth hasn’t only been financial or technical. She feels that her design sensibilities have grown as well. “Sometimes I compare my old work to the current and I can see how much I have grown. I have developed a signature style and discovered my strengths.”
The young designer explained that she is constantly being inspired from different cultures, and since she has the opportunity to travel a lot, her inspirations aren’t only limited to Pakistani culture. Her latest collection, Soz Kesimi (which means celebration in Turkish) pays homage to the rich artistic traditions of Turkey, taking inspiration from the grand Turkish palaces. One particularly favourite aspect of Turkish art and architecture, for Faiza, are mosaic lamps.
“I absolutely love mosaic lamps and I’ve tried to incorporate that art into the detailing of my gowns,” she explained. Another one of Faiza’s strengths is her ability to use bold colours gracefully; we see her dive into a rich and bold palette yet again, this time and it was nothing less than a feast to our eyes.
To our surprise, the designer revealed that in her team of more than a hundred people, she hasn’t yet hired any assistant designers to help her. “At this point, I want to keep the task of designing to myself. I understand that when brands start expanding, they need to hire other designers, but I’m not ready to do that just yet. Designing is the one thing that brings my mind to peace and completes me.”
Not only is Faiza hard working, she is extremely hopeful and strives for originality in her work. Making a mark in today’s competitive fashion jungle is not easy but Faiza is confident and adamant to blaze ahead. Which, after her recent BCW’16 collection, we are positive, she will!
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