LAHORE - Ambreen Azhar is an upcoming fashion designer from Toronto, Canada. She started making clothes in Kuwait around 1 year ago, and established a small boutique, “Sequence”.  After then she went to Canada with the passion to learn fashion designing and to pursue her career goals in the ever evolving fashion industry. She has worked with well known fashion designers from New York, Pakistan, Lebanon and Indian. Her style and designs are truly unique which make her label stands apart from all other labels. In an exclusive interview with The Nation she talks about her career in fashion industry. Following are excerpts of the interview:

Where does your artistic influence come from and when did you start making clothing?

I believe that everything can influence new ideas and thoughts. For me, nature and architecture are two muses that bring out my creativity. Different landscape, colors and textures are all factors that go into generating new designs. I started bringing my ideas to life around 2005 by making my own clothes, and created my first clothing line in 2006.

Tell us a little bit about your background and what led you both to set up your own

business.

Since my early young days, I had dream of starting my own clothing business and becoming a fashion designer was my passion.  I started making clothes in Kuwait around 1 year ago, and established a small boutique, “Sequence”.  At the beginning, business was good but I wanted to increase my knowledge as well as my clientele. After then I closed my boutique and moved to Canada to study fashion designing and expanded my business.

You deal with bridal, prêt which line you enjoy making most and how would you describe word ‘Couture’?

Bridal wear is definitely more enjoyable in creating. The numerous patterns, embroideries, and colors to work with can leave you with endless possibilities. Couture is high end fashion that is made by hand from start to finish, made from high quality, expensive, often unusual fabric and sewn with extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable sewers, often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques.

How did you develop your interest in fashion design?

My interest in fashion design developed at a very young age. Going to weddings, flipping through clothing magazine, and seeing all the different types of designs out there, motivated me to create my own designs one day.

The fashion industry is fiercely competitive – how difficult is it to separate yourself from other brands? How important is

differentiation?

Individuality is essential when it comes to making something different. If all designers following the same trend, they would all be merged together, and nothing special would be created. Differentiation is what makes a name stand out, and my goal is to make unique designs in order to achieve success.

How do you balance creativity with

business?

Although creativity is a very important factor in designing, business strategy is also crucial. Following my customer’s demands as well as my personal motives need to be balanced out in order to keep my clients satisfied.

What’s your latest fashion design project?

My latest project has been my Ambreen Azher 2016 Bridal Collection, which will be showcased at Mississauga Fashion Week on August 16th. I began working on it during the beginning of summer this year, and the production of this project has come along very well.

What advice would you give to aspiring fashion designers?

My most important advice to aspiring designers would be to find your own unique style and way of looking at fashion. Having your personal perception of design will motivate you to follow what your heart tells you, and that is your key to success.

What is the most important thing in running online business?

What’s the greatest lesson you have learnt by selling your clothing products through online service?

Customer satisfaction is my upmost priority when it comes to an online business. Proper fitting is very important and all specific size measurement is all available on my website for all customers’ to look over purchasing a design. It is also important to follow a customer’s desire, when it comes to taking custom made orders. Understanding exactly what they want.

You have showcased your designs in various fashion shows and exhibitions across the US, Canada, Pakistan, and Kuwait. How has been your experience?

My experiences in various exhibitions and fashion shows have always been memorable ones. I had the opportunity to showcase my designs to different crowds, and people appreciated my work. I will continue showcasing my future collection at upcoming fashion shows and exhibitions.

If you could only use one social media platform, which would you choose?

 Facebook

Do you have any new collection in the pipeline that Ambreen Azhar fans should be looking forward to?

I have several projects and ideas that I’m currently working on, but cannot share so soon. What I can promise is an Upcoming 2016/2017 Winter Collection by the end of the year, so stay tuned for more updates on that.