Interview: Farida Hasan & Khuban Omer Khan – Mother Daughter Team on Life at Farida Hasan!
With the overwhelming talent that can be found in Pakistan’s fashion industry today, the challenge to maintainig a unique and distinctive edge is real even for established designer brands. Despite the competitive nature of the business which has undoubtedly heightened in recent years, the dynamic mother daughter duo Farida Hasan and Khuban Omer Khan have successfully created and upheld an enchanting label under the name of Farida Hasan. The brands inherent philosophy of catering to women who are not afraid of embracing their feminine side has given it the solid reputation it deserves for its elegant and classic creations. Ranging from pret to formal and bridal wear, Farida Hasan is a one stop shop for the modern woman who has a timeless sense of style.
We wanted to learn more about Farida and her daughter’s journey into this exciting yet demanding field. In our exclusive interview with them, discover more about how the Farida Hasan label was born, what its future plans are and how each of its creations reflects a graceful lady-like sense of style. Plus take an exclusive tour of their elegant studio set in Lahore!
Farida Hasan and her daughter Khuban Omer Khan
Tell us about how the ‘Farida Hasan’ label was born? Was designing clothes something that the two of you always talked about?
It all started about 6-7 years ago when I got married and my mom made some exquisite luxury Pret pieces for me. I’ve done my masters in film making so I haven’t studied fashion. But I was always drawn to art and when I saw my mother treat each piece she designed as a piece of art I knew her work had immense potential. The label took of about 5 years ago.
What would you say have been your biggest challenges in creating this brand and how have you overcome them?
The biggest challenge has been dealing with labour and cost cutting strategies given how competitive the market is. We started with 4 people and now we have dozens of people to manage. I think with each piece we create our labour earns more than we do…haha…yes we’re really bad at negotiating with them and they seem to always have the upper hand. Luckily our client associates value for whatever they buy from Farida Hasan so it has worked out well for us.
Describe your working chemistry and how you complete each other
K: I am extremely organized and I like to make a schedule for everything. I handle the marketing, the retailers, clients and basically the business side of things. It’s a struggle working with a creative person who lives in her own bubble and who happens to be your mother! Haha I have often been scolded by her in the middle of a business meeting with “am I your mother or are you mine” line :)
Farida: I hate deadlines and following trends and costing constraints Etc. I just want to create beautiful classic pieces at my leisure. However, if it weren’t for Khuban, I would be doing this at a much smaller scale and Farida Hasan the brand could not have come this far. So I feel our working chemistry is great!
What are the sources of your inspiration and how do they translate into your designs?
F: sources of inspiration are varied: from a pretty printed napkin, a vintage, hand painted jewelry box at an antique store to a craft magazine that catches my fancy. But most of all what inspires me are flowers of all kinds. I am part of the floral art society in Lahore, which is a source of perpetual inspiration.
Your label takes pride in catering to the woman who is not afraid to express her feminine side. How do you maintain the right balance between elegance and modernity?
F: We love hand embroideries and we are known for our floral embroideries and combination of Chikan and print. However, We don’t like excessive embroidery and we like a softer palette which makes our pieces more modern. The cuts are also shorter and straighter hence trendier.
In your opinion, what is one fashion item that every woman should own?
F: A versatile white Kurta. Dress it up with a unique dupata or a statement jewelry piece. Or dress down with cropped pants and khussas. It’s like an empty palette.
K: It can be a bag or a shoe or even jewelry but it should be a reflection of her personality rather than a typical designer item evevryone is carrying.
Favorite international and local designer and why?
International: dolce and gabbana for its bold use of florals. Something we need to master at because if done wrong can look very tacky
Local: Rizwan beg. I really respect his deep knowledge and appreciation for our traditional embroidery.
What is the most rewarding thing about being a designer and what is your advice to people trying to enter this field?
F: Most rewarding aspect for me is actually creating each design. My advice would be to stay true to your design aesthetic instead of copying others or being too concerned about what people want because there’s a market for everything and if you’re good at what you do people will notice you.
K: for me it’s when people wear our clothes and then tell us how much they love wearing it. That’s very encouraging.
Tell us about the recent foray into bridals and what the Farida Hasan bride is all about?
We have started our bridals on a small scale. Each client who walks in feels special and gets something customized rather than limiting the bride to be ‘s choice to pre-made samples. A Farida Hasan bride can expect to look feminine and ethereal wearing a timeless and classic creation. Our workmanship is intricate and delicate, yet she can be sure to sparkle on her big day.
What’s next for Farida Hasan?
We are already stocking in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad, dubai, India, London and the US. Our next step is our Estore which is launching very soon.
Lahore studio: 148 A Abu bakr block new garden town | Contact: +923464555111 | Facebook and Instagram: faridahasanonline | Stocking at: Ensemble Khi, lhr, Islamabad and Dubai, Anhad Delhi and PKDL US.
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