Ace fashion designer Hassan Sheheryar Yaseen — commonly known as HSY — has made his mark in many fields. From performing in theatre plays and walking on ramps, to choreographing fashion/ award shows and ruling the haute couture industry, the designer has a penchant for all things artistic. HSY has proved his métier in each one of them, but not many of us know the hardships he has faced in life to reach this stature.
Talking to veteran actress and host on her show Speak Your Heart with Samina Peerzada, HSY spoke about his struggles and thanked his mother who single-handedly raised him.
“People ask me why I have this distinct accent, but I have lived all my life abroad. Our family first shifted to Dubai and then to New York. I came back to Pakistan when I was 17 and didn’t even know how to speak Urdu. However, it felt as if I have reached where I am supposed to be,” he said.
The designer accepted that he has done all sorts of jobs from tutoring kids to painting houses. What came as a shocking revelation was the account of an unfortunate accident during which he lost his eyesight.
“I lost my eyesight for over a year after an accident when I was 17. I went through the windshield of a car and regrettably the medical staff compressed the shards in my eyes. I had to go through 16 surgeries to retain my sight,” he said adding, “I was always a popular kid and my life became dark. I used to walk with a stick and throw my voice against a wall. It was crippling when your senses are so heightened that you can hear your mother crying from a distance or your doctor telling that he won’t recuperate.”
The accident changed his life as he — after regaining his sight — decided to do something that makes other people feel beautiful. “It wasn’t about designing clothes; design is communication for me – colorful, creative patterns – I don’t make plain clothes as I want to see elaborate details with my eyes that I have missed at a point in my life,” he explained.
Walking down the memory lane, HSY also revealed the reason he loves red. “I could only see red in the beginning when I gained my sight back, so red is the colour of life for me.”
On a lighter note, when Samina asked if he ever thought of making a film, the designer’s enthusiastic reply is one to watch out for.
“I am obsessed with being a movie director! I observe each and every step of the process on a shoot; from when these people [directors] say action, focus and roll their camera to how they instruct actors,” he said in excitement adding that he became a choreographer for the same reason. “My shows are put together like a movie script with a beginning, middle and end. Likewise, my collections are also designed in a similar style – introduction, happiness, sadness, and a big ending – it’s all part of a narrative.”
Watch the interview here: