Pakistani fashion has been revolutionized by each new brand that has come forth. Every year, fashion enthusiasts and aspiring designers come up with unique concepts and ideas to help further the evolution of the fashion industry. This year, Manara by Maria Asif Baig will be a new and fresh addition, inspired by exotic craft embroidery as well as old world charms. Manara, meaning shining star, is a brand that’s looking forward to making everyone wearing it feel original and to allow their personality to shine through their aesthetic. From working with perennial designer, HSY, to starting her brand, which is a fulfillment of a life-long dream, designer Maria Asif Baig takes us through her journey! Check out the full interview below!
Has starting your own brand always been a lifelong dream of yours – if not, what prompted you?
Well, yes, it has been long since I wanted to do something which was distinctly my own and that gave me creative liberty. I had been working towards it but there was no time period in mind, it evolved more so with the flow of my work which eventually led to this venture.
What did your work experience with HSY teach you about the fashion industry?
My work experience with HSY taught me exactly the opposite of the conventional practices followed by our fashion industry.
Firstly, to stick to your own design ideology and to always be original, no matter what! Secondly the importance of teamwork as oppose to the one man show. The power of people and to bring out the best out of them is an art known to seldom but a strong need right now.
Where did you come up with the name Manara?
Manara means a shining star, a source of light, exactly what I want it to become. It struck a chord with me! After Manara, no other brand name came close to my heart.
Tell us a little bit about your debut collection. What all can we expect from it?
This collection is predominantly inspired by the exotic craft of embroidery, combined with details of mukesh, sequins and beads to give it the festive vibe. Bringing this kind of value addition but on fabrics like pure lawn or self-jacquard or hand woven cotton nets makes it breathable and comfortable for an Eid that falls in summers.
Though it’s a little early to tell, what do you think your brand aesthetic is? What do you hope it to be?
The brands aesthetic is greatly influenced by old world charm. The idea is to maintain its individuality yet offering the consumer multiple options to construct an outfit that is in accordance with their personal aesthetic.
What were some of the challenges you faced while creating the collection?
Well, not many. I was very lucky to have a great support system/team. However I do wish that people in our industry become more professional and meet their deadlines. This way work can become smoother and more efficient.
What are some of the things you’re hoping Manara will achieve in the market?
Manara aims to achieve appreciation on the basis of its individual design aesthetic in a market with countless brands. Its important to stand out and offer something unique to the consumer.
What is your target market? Are you hoping to attract all ages or just millennial’s?
We are targeting all those who appreciate our design aesthetics. A Manara ensemble offers multiple styling options which can cater to a wide range of profiles. We want consumers to be able to personalize and bring out an option that best fits their personality and style sense.
Who are some of your muses and role models?
Role models and muses are passé. Every day is a new thought, a new inspiration and a new muse to work your collection around. I admire many artists and get inspired by several talented individuals around me.
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