Many new designers have entered the fashion industry. Some of them are very talented while a few have made their place in the industry by sheer luck. Hajra Hayat is a very talented fashion designer and is a source of inspiration for the new designers. She is very versatile and designs eastern and western wear at ease. Her selection of colour palette is outstanding. Each of her collection is unique and one can see a complete range of formal, semi formal and couture. Her design philosophy is to present timeless, classic cuts and design. Hajra is a trendsetter. In an exclusive interview with Sunday Plus Hajra Hayat shared her views about fashion industry. Following are excerpts of the interview:
Q: At what age did you start taking interest in fashion industry? What inspired you to choose this profession?
I graduated in art and textile in 1997. From a very early age I was waiting to be part of this absolutely wonderful field. The senior models became my muse and I wanted people to see my designs on them.
Q: What is your quintessential design philosophy? What does the Hajra Hayat brand stand for?
I have always designed for the modern contemporary female. Our philosophy has always been ‘less is more’ and we try bringing it out in timeless, classic cuts and designs.
Q: When you start working on a subject, how do you decide the design and the colours?
The designs and colour concepts are based on the season we are designing for. We create a mood board while keeping international colour charts in mind as for cuts. My bridals are very traditional. My luxury pret line experiments with cuts.
Q: How do you create a different niche for your clientele?
For last 16 years in business, our focus has always been quality in compatible prices. We don’t compromise on our quality and our services.
Q: What are the trends you love and techniques you would like to incorporate in your clothes?
I have always loved the longer linear shirt trend; it goes very well with Asian bodies and our culture .At the moment we are experimenting with various fabrics in our collections.
Q: What's your style statement for an elegant girl?
Wear clothes that fit well, trends that are classic and feminine. Be your self , and you will make the best style statement ever.
Q: What are the three signs of beauty for you in a woman?
Confidence, intelligence and compassion
Q: Does fashion have a political role?
Fashion brings the world together.
Q: What is your idea of style?
Style is self created; it reflects how you think and who you are.
Q: Do you see style& intellectuality as related concepts?
Absolutely, intellectuality comes from exposure and knowledge and exposure defines your style sense directly.
Q: What are your observation on Pakistani society and beauty?
I think as a nation we are still learning that "beauty comes from within ".
Q: Besides a Hajra Hayat creation, what should a woman invest in?
Compliment a Hajra Hayat piece with a statement shoe and you are set for a great day out.
Q: What is the driving force behind your success and respected status?
I have always been a hard working kid in school and college. I applied same thing at my work. You just set your goals and then stay focused .One has to be goal driven, for any form of success.
Q: Do you feel that fashion weeks in Pakistan can help institutionalize and professionalize the business of fashion in Pakistan?
Absolutely, its already under way, great work has been done. They provide a wonderful platform for the local ,upcoming designers and as we move forward more international recognition will come thru.
Q: Do you have a specific vision for your brand?
We are a bridal selling brand; the vision has always been, to do something different and extraordinary while increasing our client base.
Q: What your success mantra ?
There no success mantra except consistent hard work.
Q: Bridal is your forte. What kind of changes do you foresee in this regard?
I am a believer in keeping the tradition alive, while blending latest trends to our traditional concepts.
Q: How has the Pakistani fashion industry changed since you began?
Immensely and beautifully. I am just lucky to be part of a growing industry in Pakistan.
Q: What is one change that you want to see in prêt clothing in Pakistan?
It’s going in the right direction; more international stores will always be a good addition.
Q: How do you see year 2014 for fashion industry? What trends will stay this year and which will be out?
It’s a great year for fashion as some interesting trends are coming back like shorter shirts and more structured looks. The extra over flowing volumes will be a big NO.
Q: Of all the models, whom do you think looks best in your outfits?
It would be unfair to take one name. We have done various campaigns with the best in the business and they all bring the best out of Hajra Hayat ensembles.
Q: What is your favourite colour and your favourite colour combination?
MY favourite, colour is Pink and my forever favourite combination is white on white.
Q: What do you think was your best creation?
There is so much work done since 1998, it’s hard to say. I guess with each collection we try to do our best.
Q: What projects are in your pipeline?
We are currently focusing on H2: black and white by Hajra Hayat. Its’ a retail brand and will be available at select stores soon.
Published in The Nation newspaper on 23-Feb-2014