“I am happy to see we have so many people who want to show that one fashion week isn’t enough…”
Maheen Karim entered Pakistan fashion industry with a vision to innovate new trends and bring change in perception of masculine aesthetics. With consistent hard work and dedication, she achieved milestones in a short span of time. Her designs for today’s modern woman who enjoys traditional, classic and contemporary pieces that provide directional styling to her wardrobe. Here she just gave an exclusive interview by sharing her journey in Pakistan fashion industry and some upcoming trends…
- How did you first get into fashion design?
I have always been into creating glamorous looks and even as a child I loved to see women dressed up and looking elegant. It’s just me…so I felt I wanted to give women a piece of my philosophy. I enjoy making women feel special.
- What is your inspiration? Who inspired you to come into this profession?
No one person or thing inspired me…I just love fashion. I love to create looks and I love to see people in them. It’s a stroke of luck that people like and appreciate my work and I am grateful for that. Everything inspires me to create, glamour inspires me, and it gives me an adrenalin rush!
- What does fashion means to you?
Fashion means feeling good with in your own skin, confident and strong, not blending in with the crowd. Trends keep changing and one doesn’t have to follow them to be fashionable, one has to dress according to and know their body type and feel good in their clothes, it should enhance your personality, not be overbearing.
- Which new color pallets of fabrics or objects are inspiring your fashion?
Color is important when designing a collection and for that reason one designs for the weather in mind, sunny summers make perfect backdrops for vibrant colors and loose drapes…one has to keep the silhouette cool and classy.
- For summer collection 2015, what was your theme or inspiration?
Summer is almost over, however this year I have enjoyed playing with color, lots of oranges, yellows are perfect for the summer heat and as far as silhouettes are concerned, I have kept them cool and flowy. I have also enjoyed working with bright summer floral and tropical prints, be it cinched tunics or jumpsuits; prints are always a great summer statement.
- How do you take criticism and do you think that criticism is a healthy activity?
Of course, I have no issues being criticized, it’s healthy and it helps me learn more and more. I try to use it to my advantage to better work. At the end of the day I design what’s in my head, everyone doesn’t have to like it and I wouldn’t change who I am but I would certainly take notes and correct myself where I have gone wrong. Our entire lives are learning curves and one must always soak in the positive and the negative, one must always strive to better themselves at the same time as being true to one’s own inner being.
- There are two fashion councils working in Pakistan, shouldn’t we have one council and one fashion week at time?
There is nothing wrong with more creativity, its healthy competition, I am happy to see we have so many people who want to show that one fashion week isn’t enough. We are one people, two fashion weeks doesn’t change that.
- The field of fashion has grown enormously in the last 5 years. The number of designers has multiplied remarkably. Do you think it affects what a designer has to do to get attention?
As social media expands and takes over, commercial activity relies more and more on these instruments to gain more awareness and get the word out. The world has now become a much smaller place. Yes with more activity one has to market more in order to sell…that’s competition and that’s how the entire world functions.
- What would you say about the quality/standard of Pakistan fashion? Do we have a standing in the global arena?
Yes of course…we are a resilient nation which in the face of adversity still goes on to create masterpieces, host fashion weeks and exhibitions across borders which are appreciated all over the world. People place orders from all over the world and travel miles to get their hands on Pakistani wear which boasts workmanship like no other country in the world, we definitely have a high standing globally.
- Do you think we have a rich heritage culture of our own but still we are more inclined towards west?
Not at all, I don’t think we are west inclined at all. The world consists of global citizens now, if we have a rich heritage it is our duty to show it off to the rest of the world and make them appreciate it just as much as we do which is why we create garments that are inspired by our heritage and worn by the world…its called globalization. If we make something only we can wear our markets will shrink and slowly vanish.
- What challenges & hurdles those causing hindrance in the growth of the fashion industry in Pakistan?
Every country has its problems and production is not stream lined anywhere, however yes in Pakistan we face a huge security and infrastructure problem that effects our production and consistency…however, we are still creating and we will continue to do so.
- Do you think that we should also give a chance to new upcoming designers to prove their ability & creativity?
Yes of course, how else will the industry grow. New ideas and talent is how development takes place and is always welcome.
- Tell us about your recent collection? It’s inspiration?
I am currently working on my new collection for FPW and all I am going to say is that it is definitely ornate and GLAMOUROUS! It’s very me.
- Favorite vacation spot?
- Perfume you wear?
- What makes you impatient?
- Secret talent?
- Addicted to?
- Necessary extravagance?
More and more handbags.
- When are you happiest?
I am happiest at home in my PJs with my family.
- Best competitor you would love to work as a designer?
I am nowhere near her league but I would love to work with Bunto Kazmi, I can’t do traditional to save my life, I love her work.
- Your closet is a shrine to?
Extremely high and very uncomfortable shoes.
- Favorite international designer?
“Color is important when designing a collection and for that reason one designs for the weather in mind, sunny summers make perfect backdrops for vibrant colors and loose drapes…”