Award-winning fashion designer Syeda Amera makes absolutely stunning womenswear, ranging in versatility from ready-to-wear, western evening dresses from structured corset dresses to sensuously draped ones, as well as traditional bridals, combining delicate embroidery with sumptuous fabrics, workmanship and glamour for a well heeled clientele. She is the first Pakistani designer to be featured in British Vogue, Glamour UK and ELLE UK and has participated in many fashion shows on the international stage. Just last month, she represented South Asian designers when her S/S 17 collection Flower Power was featured amongst those of other international designers in J Summer Fashion Show 2017 set against the back drop of the Hoover Dam, Nevada, on a 100 metre curved runway. This is Amera’s fifth collaboration with theatrical fashion show producer and Vietnamese model Jessica Minh Anh. Syeda Amera tells Mahlia Lone about her gorgeous yet surprisingly affordable dresses that have grabbed the international spotlight
Have you studied fashion designing?
Ever since I was child, I wanted to become a designer. It just seemed natural to want to translate my ideas into fashion. My love for fashion and glamour brought me into this profession. I am a self-taught designer and I think the talent was there since the very beginning but to polish my skills I acquired my fashion education from London School of Fashion, Sota School of Arts Singapore, TFWA World Exhibition and ESMOD Fashion School in Paris.
Are you involved with the construction of dresses or just the designing and business aspect?
Well, I would say that’s what I enjoy the most. The best thing about being a designer is the process when I translate my drawings into a real piece. I enjoy overcoming the little challenges I face with the materials and design technicalities then watching my creativity come to life.
Which are some celebrities apart from Jessica Minh Ahn that have worn your creations and for which high profile events?
I have been really popular amongst celebrities when it comes to rocking the red carpet, hosting a TV show, or a performance in an award show. Apart from the many international celebrities, locally I have had the honour of making dresses for Humaima Malick, Sajal Ali, Mehwish Hayat, Nadia Hussain and many more.
Your gowns are certainly eye-catching and beautifully made; do you mostly specialize in western evening dresses?
I specialize in ready-to-wear, traditional bridals and western evening dresses. I would also like to mention that we do not compromise on quality when it comes to any of our creations.
Where are you based in and how does one buy one of your dresses, apart from your website?
I am originally Karachi based and operate via my outlet at Park Towers in Karachi and my studios in Karachi (Pakistan) and Business Bay Dubai (UAE). I also stock at various multi-brand stores locally and internationally and have numerous website and fan page clients as well.
You have quite an inspirational journey, what are some of your achievements of 2017?
2017 has proven to be an amazing year for me. With many local and international projects, I was recently honoured with the Women Empowerment Award for the most inspiring woman of 2017 at the Women Empowerment Gala in New York.
The event was organised to recognise the work of outstanding individuals of different professions from all over the world where I became the first Pakistani to have received this recognition and award for my tremendous stand as a woman.
Then in June 2017, I showcased my Flower Power SS’17 collection at the J Summer Fashion Show atop American engineering masterpiece Hoover Dam in Las Vegas. It was a dream come true to showcase my collection at such an amazing venue and my collection was the most appreciated collection of the show. I was the only designer selected to represent the whole of South-Asia among the carefully selected designers from all over the world. With a natural backdrop featuring the world’s largest man-made reservoir, Lake Mead, and the majestic Black Canyon, as reported by celebrities and journalists present at the show, it was pure magic to watch Syeda Amera’s creations go down the ramp as the models walked on the 100-metre curved catwalk.
You look like a model yourself. Give us some tips on looking half as good.
“Nothing makes a woman more beautiful than the belief that she is beautiful,” so believe in you and love yourself. Beauty is confidence, how you feel inside and it reflects in your eyes.
What’s on trend right now?
Head-to-toe floral is definitely one groundbreaking trend of Spring/Summer 2017 and Syeda Amera SS’17 collection showcased atop the American engineering masterpiece Hoover Dam was centered on this very simple concept. Trends like super bright tones and ubiquitous detailed sleeves were also highlighted in my latest collection, which proved to be very impressive.
Give us some styling tips.
I strongly believe that effortless is chic; you should keep it simple and not too complicated. One should be relaxed in what you wear as being comfortable is the key. We should all observe the trends but try your best to be an individual.