Ammara Zulfiqar is not your average fashion designer. An upcoming name, she is bold, spirited and believes in living life to the fullest. For her, fashion is an art form – one that she wants to introduce to the rest of the world. YC caught up with this vivacious designer recently to have a chat about her experience at the Islamabad Fashion Week. With special thanks to Anum Hamid for making this interview possible.
Please tell us a little bit about yourself.
I hail from Pakistan but I was raised in Kuwait where I attended the English School Fahaheel. After my A levels, I joined Iqra University Islamabad to pursue my undergraduate in Fashion Design.
When did you release your label? Do you have an ideology behind it?
My Final Collection for my undergraduate degree was launched at the Islamabad Fashion Week. My theme is inspired from Greek Mythology’s Gorgon ‘Medusa’ who had a bold character and living venomous snakes in place of hair. Thus I kept my sub theme ‘snakes’ and the silhouettes of my garments are bold and fitted. My major colors are darkest shade of Emerald Green & Black and I used Olive Green as an accent color in my collection. I have focused more on creating textures and adding a lot of reverse panels so when you look at my garments they will remind you of snakes.
My collection is for Fall/Winter hence I have used fabrics like Velvet, Charmeuse Silk, Textured Lace Sequin fabric and other Textured Fabrics. I wanted to do everything in my Final collection solely myself, so I did hand Embellishment with Stones and gems totally myself too.
“The headgear and wrist cuffs were designed in an abstract and elegant manner with the use of black lace fabric. I also used it in my gown(s) for a complete dark goddess look. I have also made use of snakes and stones in my accessories”
Did you have a mentor? Who do you look up to / ideolize in the industry?
My biggest mentor is my father; his brilliant aesthetic sense has always served as the biggest source of inspiration for me.
Also my Art instructor Mrs. Caroline Lord in Kuwait and my competent instructors at Iqra University. In the industry, I had always found true inspiration from fashion legend Gabrielle Chanel.
Did you have investor(s) who helped you?
I’m a recent graduate, I have not explored the marketing opportunities as of yet.
How did it feel working next to so many other designers?
It is always a good learning experience.
What is your opinion on the kind of production taking place in Pakistan’s Fashion Industry?
I would say every piece created has a charm of its own; everything is unique in itself and appeals to someone if not everyone.
How do you think we are faring compared to the industries of other countries (particularly India)?
Compared to our counterparts, I believe we are doing pretty well given the current socio-economic adversities; the industry is still doing an amazing job and has earned appreciation in international arena.
Do you think our industry will flourish in the future – or will it dry out?
I am optimistic. Pakistan has undergone a series of devastating conditions, yet, the industry survived these adversities, and this indicates a firm industry. In addition to this, it is the people of Pakistan who are now more welcoming towards this field and more artists are venturing in, the industry is sure to expand.
What obstacles do you face when launching your brand in Pakistan’s Fashion Industry?
My geographical location, people argue that in 21st century, geographical barriers have been eradicated; however, I believe this is not exactly the case. Based in Islamabad, I might still not have access to huge markets and events like those in metropolitans like Lahore or Karachi.
Is the perception that the Fashion Industry caters to only a few elite a myth or fact?
A Myth definitely. Not all fashion products sell for millions. Look at the market, there are amazing brands catering the needs of many who do not belong to the elite class.
Being in the Fashion Industry, what message would you give to our youth wishing to join the same and start their own brand?
I am a recent graduate myself who is an aspiring fashion designer as of yet and probably fall in the youth of the fashion industry. My advice to others would be just exactly what I have been telling myself: Fashion Industry requires some rigorous work and if you are filled with creative ideas and are able to transform them into gorgeous pieces, then this is the place for you.