FHM Pakistan
17 years of design re-invention - Nicki and Nina

17 years of design re-invention – Nicki and Nina

FHM: Tell us about your successful journey.
It was in 1990 when we did our first show. Till then we would usually make clothes for friends and family that’s when we decided to make our first collection. It was a small show at our mother’s house and it was a complete sell out! From that point onwards, there was no turning back!

17 years of design re-invention - Nicki and Nina

FHM: Why did you both want to be a designer?
Ever since we were young girls, we were taught how to cut, sew, knit and do embroidery. We had classes at school but our mother and aunt basically taught us at home. Because of that we understood the basic cut and fabric and we have been doing it since so long that we are technically sound at the craft. In our teens we used to stitch one suit daily and our mother was very particular about what we wore and how we dressed up so that helped when it came to making clothes commercially.

FHM: Your label has completed almost 2 decades in Pakistani fashion industry, how do you compare the current situation of fashion in Pakistan with your starting year?
Our industry has evolved leaps and bounds since the time we started our label back in 1989. At that time, we were a handful of design labels penetrating into a market where we had to create awareness amongst people who had little understanding of designer clothing. Today, our industry enjoys an abundance of talent, catering to consumers from all walks of life; thus generating a healthy competition, ensuring only the best work comes forth with each passing collection.

FHM: How was the experience of showcasing your designs internationally, especially at Lakme fashion week?
For over two decades, we have shown at innumerable international platforms and the response has always been more overwhelming than the previous time.

We have a huge clientele from the South Asian communities in USA, UK and Middle East, so showing at Lakme was as if we were showcasing at home. Our friends from across the border are extremely hospitable and courteous, and thoroughly enjoy Pakistani fashion which really made it worth our while!

FHM: What are the new trends you are working on for 2017?
NnN: We are doing all kinds of cuts this year. We are doing ghararas, cut outs in the shoulders, waist and back. This time we are doing organza cut outs, criss crosses and different cuts such as peplums. We are doing an eastern/western fusion with the cut, fabric and work placement.

We are also doing 5 dimensional works this time.

FHM: Do you think that Karachi and Lahore lobby is destroying the fashion industry’s success or do you support the idea of two fashion councils?
We don’t think it affects or destroys the fashion industry. In fact, the result of two councils is that you get more competition and a bigger platform to showcase your work as there are based in different cities and all markets can be targeted through this. If a designer doesn’t get selected from a certain council then they can try for the other council, which again is a positive outcome.

FHM: How do you describe your signature style?
Our clothes have a conventional touch matched with modern fashion. We like to mix and match a lot of different fabrics, textures andcolours. Our clothes are made as such that it’s trendy and conservative as well as graceful. The same outfit can be taken out after 10 years and be worn; itcan be worn by a teenager as well as her mother.

FHM: Which materials are difficult to work with and which materials do you find fun?
We love using velvets and combining that with organza and silk. We also love handmadejamawar fabric. We encourage using Pakistani fabric in our designs.

FHM: Which has been life’s most defining moment?
To be honest, we have had many defining moments throughout our career. We were the first design house to launch our flagship store on MM Alam Road, Lahore, back in 2000. We have also been invited by the royalty in Malaysia; we also a did show for them at the London Royal Museum,Royalty in Jordan, Princess of Middle East, and President of Pakistan to showcase our collections at private events to name a few.

FHM: Do you get any restrictions from the council or management while designing a collection for a certain fashion week?
Yes, we do! In the beginning there were no restrictions but now we have to follow certain outlines with the fashion week such as on seasons, prêt or couture pieces which ultimately defines the platform in a better way.

FHM: Any message for the readers?
NnN: Keep working hard. There is no shortcut to experience. Be on top of things all the time and don’t let anyone stop you from achieving your goal.

 17 years of design re-invention - Nicki and Nina

Rapid Fire:

Favourite model (Male/Female):
Mehreen Syed and Amna Baber

Eastern or Western collection:
Eastern with a western fusion

Favourite holiday destination:
KohSamui (Thailand)

Few things you can’t leave home without:
Our Rollers! Our phones, Headphones, and our glasses.

Any hidden talent:
We both cook really well and I play golf and enjoy nature walks [Nina]

Any celebrity you wish to design for:
Many but to name a couple of them; Olivia Palermo in an embellished lehngacholi, Meryl Streep in a Draped sari with a gown in a contemporary way

Few things you want to eliminate from industry:
Copycats. People should create their own designs.

17 years of design re-invention - Nicki and Nina

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