LAHORE-Zonia Anwaar is one of the most talented and internationally recognized young designers of Pakistan. Her signature style and authenticity expresses feminine individuality using practical silhouettes that can be carried by women from different zones of the world. In an exclusive interview with The Nation she talks about her career and success in the fashion industry. Following are the excerpts:

What is your favourite part about being a fashion designer and what inspires you when you are creating your designs?

It’s the dynamic momentum of this profession. A new day a new design process and to keep it unique and also sellable at the same time inspires me the most.

Are you self-taught or did you study fashion design?

I graduated from Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design in 2011 with distinction, I was fortunate enough to do my first PFDC fashion week under my label within that year, and from there this all has been a fantastic journey so far.

Is lawn the best possible way for high-end designers to reach out normal Pakistani’s?

It’s a huge market, catering to mass clientele with an unstitched product is an altogether different experience for designers and I think it’s true to some extent that a product like lawn connects a Pakistani designer to consumers all across the globe.

What is so exciting about your lawn collection this year, how do you compare it with others?

 I think its affordability is a strong USP to reach out to masses. Keeping our signature style in mind we have ten designs each having an entirely different theme and colour palette.

What do you think of the current state of modest fashion?  A lot of brands are getting in on the action.

If showing less skin is the interpretation of modest fashion it will be a lot more sellable and practical in any Islamic country. In the current age due to the impact of social media, the fashion world seems to have tuned into a global network. Muslim women and others for whom dressing conservatively is a religious or cultural choice are making an impact on international platforms and bringing a new face to modern fashion. Now the aim should be not to call it modest fashion but just fashion!

Has the hustle of today’s business taken fun away from fashion? How do you strike a balance between creative expression and commercial viability?

I think to some extent it has as running a brand and make it a success means constant production and selling. When it comes to creativity I guess it does get compromised as you always think from consumer point of view but coming up with fashion week collections back to back keeps the creativity factor ongoing.

Up cycling is the integral part of your design signature. How did that come about?

I think being a fashion/art student you are always turning things into fashion products in your mind, so I think once you tilt towards creativity this all comes naturally to you.

What’s your take on Sustainable Fashion, Why do designers in Pakistan don’t try to work on it?

Pakistan is a developing country and we are even struggling to adapt a concept of recycling in our day to day lives at the moment. Even internationally we don’t see a significant achievement in this direction which is also commercially viable.

Would you like to tell us about your upcoming projects?

This year we started with a bridal showcase, an art and craft showcase for PSFW18, ‘Odisha’ S/S18 presented at PSFW18 and ‘Verso’ S/S18 at Hum showcase from there we collaborated with very talented Sarah Ahmad, a renowned textile designer for our new line ART|FASHION that was well received by people from both art and fashion field.

We just launched our debut lawn in collaboration with Raya textiles just now. Our upcoming projects include some Eid exhibits, another bridal showcase and definitely another Fall collection from ART|FASHION line.