When I was young I went up to the northern areas of Pakistan, where I saw the beginning of a river from a point where little trickles of water were falling into a basin from where it was falling into an another basin, turning into a lake which later turned into a large river. That image remained in my mind ever since, and now when I look back in my life, the journey for anything that has happened with me is very much similar to that river. I started my journey 26 years ago with a creative vision and entrepreneurial skills, which was the manifestation of what I had in my mind, whether it’s a painting for a gift box for a family member. I started making ties for myself and people started liking them and from there the designing journey started. Everything I did took time, every single day I did bigger and bigger to reach that point where it got noticed.
FHM: How did “Amir Adnan” became a brand?
AA: Amir Adnan was already a brand. Since childhood I started creating things, I made a painting for my father when I was three years old and he put it up on the wall, that was when the brand Amir Adnan was created. I created a wig made out of jute coloured with black spray paint for my sister because she had a haircut and she was crying that she lost her hair. I made a make-up box for my mother out of cold cream, bottle caps and colours. It was a childish thinking, that I could make whatever I can in need, but never knew how to market it. So, Amir Adnan was always there but it wasn’t commercialised until the time I held an exhibition and declared myself as Amir Adnan – The designer. I did not happened in one go, it took time. Before that I did some plays, organized carnivals etc. I did a carnival, Amir Adnan Theatrical Creation, when I was 19 years old by picking up beggars from the streets and trained them to do theatrical performances, puppet shows and horror houses.
FHM: Why did u choose this field?
AA: Fashion is just a manifestation! A person who is an entrepreneur or believes in expressing his personality would find a way, just like fragrance finds its way to reach nose. This was just means to express myself, if it wouldn’t have been this then maybe theatres or films or designing something else. I am person who believes in making something out of nothing. That’s what I have always done, whenever I see anything I think about what could be done which is not happening at the moment. An entrepreneur or an expressive person cannot be contained, his expressivity or his creativity will come out in every form, designing is just one form which is more visible.
FHM: What is your design philosophy?
AA: Designing comes in any form and my design philosophy is, “I should like it”, whether designing clothes or designing a store. The store that we recently launched at MM Alam Road, Lahore was conceived and sketched initially by me. Everything that I do is always for myself, I do things which I like and I have never thought what others would like, that is my principle of design and leading life. Every single design in the store has been worn by me on a sample stage, I stand in-front of the mirror and ask myself if I look good. I may not wear such clothes because of my age but I would have definitely have worn 20 years ago. If I cannot wear it, I cannot ask others to make it for my store.
FHM: Any problems you faced in this span of time?
AA: Off course! Every morning I get up and make a list of 100 things on a paper that I want to do in a day but when I go back to bed at night, I fail 90 of them. But when you accumulate that 10%, you look back and say that you have achieve a lot in time.
FHM: Where do you derive ideas for your collection?
AA: Inspiration is from all over the place! From the streets outside, from an image that I see, from my travels, talking to people or by interacting with people who are not from my world etc. Ideas are always fresh things that enters your mind, its always the unseen and irregular things that you look into that give you new ideas. But, if you keep looking at the old things again and again, it will block your mind. There is no one particular place from where I get my ideas from, but in large, whenever I travel I see things that you don’t see on a regular basis, and pick up new things that hit my mind. Later I process those things and come up with something that is suitable for the environment.
FHM: How does your wife support you?
AA: We are in-separable! We are not two atoms put together but a
molecule. We work together, we wake up in the morning together, we do everything together because we are partners for 24/7 for lives. We are like two wheels and we are parallel to each other and are constantly together.
FHM: Tell us about your next collection?
AA: As we do multiple collections which caters various customers and their needs, the new collection is coming in two to three folds. The first collection would be formal wedding wear. We are trying to change the wedding trend from sherwani to fusion jackets, to give the fresh look. Our new collection is a fusion collection where a lot of things are added, we say culture is very important but fuse it with other cultures in the world so that you come up with a global concept rather than a very specific concept. You should look international, you should look global and acceptable by the society, no matter what culture looks at you but it should be aesthetically pleasing.
FHM: You recent collection in BCW became the talk of the town, tell us about the collection?
AA: Exactly the kind of collection I am talking about. We went to a destination wedding from where the idea for that collection came from. As I wanted to look good and acceptable in that wedding, neither eastern nor western. To maintain my identity I created a piece for myself that looked eastern, flamboyant, international, cosmopolitan and acceptable by any culture of the world. This is why when I design clothes I design it for myself first and then for others. That was exactly what BCW collection was all about. Even if you are getting married, it doesn’t have to be typical sherwani. Until life doesn’t mutates, it doesn’t move on, even humans has to evolve, designers and fashion has to evolve, philosophy has to evolve unless you die.
FHM: How did the idea of taking so many celebrities as a showstopper came into your mind?
AA: For a simple reason that celebrities are more expressive and when you do something out of the box, the result is generally better. When you showcase your designs, half of the work is done when you see the person being comfortable in it. The level of understanding and comprehension of the design is way superior than the regular model. Models just put on dresses but does not associate with the product. For models, it’s just another outfit to pose in. Celebrities don’t do that on the daily basis, hence it’s a different concept for them. When I brought the celebrities, I showed them the outfits, out of which they chose their own outfits they wanted to wear, hence the way they moved, their expressions, everything made a difference. They worked well and they loved wearing the dresses and started relating to it that he/she could actually wear it on any occasion. The
FHM: Tell us about your new western collection?
AA: I just feel that western is need of the day because we need to become part of the world. Traditional outfits are there but needs to be maintained but with a western twist, bringing it to a level where one can buy a whole collection and wear that abroad, to look alike in that crowd. Our new collection is spot on and you can wear it without even giving it a second thought. We have done shoot in Tuscany and the model looks exactly like someone from the streets of Tuscany, and the guy is totally comfortable wearing it.
FHM: How do you see the current fashion industry in Pakistan?
AA: It’s a growing market, people are getting more aware. There was a time when people used to go to tailors to get their clothes stitched, but now they are well aware of these brands. The next generation is going to start wearing fashion, not just brands. Currently, the whole concept of fashion and a regular product is vague. You go to a certain store, pick a piece for yourself and wear it without knowing what you are wearing. Brands are actually not promoting fashion but ready-made garments. The first step towards fashion has been made through the transition from tailors to brands, which is more towards Pret wear. Step two would be differentiating between selling fashion, making you look trendy and which is simply providing you a garment. When the client is educated enough to pick up a fashion from a regular product, he/she would be able to differentiate between brand selling fashion and a commodity.
FHM: Do you think these fashion weeks are helpful to make our industry bigger and better?
AA: Eventually it will but right now the only credit I would give to fashion weeks is that they have become regular, unlike one fashion week today and one after years. Both the councils and BCW have been consistent in holding fashion weeks. Brands who were promoting fashion are also becoming a part of Fashion Weeks. The only issue is that all the fashion weeks looks identical, you cannot tell the difference between 2014, 2015 or 2016. Rome wasn’t built in a day, so will our fashion industry.Brandsare coming up and advertising, soon they will realize that they need to start promoting trends. It is developing slowly and gradually and one day it will reach to that peak point, it’s just the beginning.
FHM:Any advice you would like to give to all the aspiring designers?
AA: Fashion is all about expressing yourself.Educated, expose and don’t repeat yourself! Believe in recreating and reinventing things, trust yourself and follow your own heart. Don’t do anything for other’s acceptance, do it for yourself. Bring out the originality because only then fashion industry will grow.
FHM: Describe your brand in three words?
AA: Bold, flamboyant and different.
FHM: Favourite Model?
FHM: Favourite Accessory?
FHM: Last place you visited?
AA: Florence, Italy.
FHM: Place you wish to visit?
FHM: A historical figure in fashion you wish you could design for?
AA: Jinnah Shahab.
FHM: Any hidden talents?
AA: I am a great story teller.
FHM: A skill you wish to master if you had time?
AA: There are too many.
FHM: First thing you notice when you meet someone?
FHM: Favourite perfume?
AA: Blue by Chanel.
FHM: Something you never leave home without?
FHM: If you were not a designer you would have been?
AA: I would be designing something or the another.