GT talks to the brains behind one of Pakistan’s biggest retail brands “SHEEP”

What is your idea of style for the modern woman?      

The modern woman expresses herself through her style. It must be an extension of her personality and values.

Which living person do you most admire for his or her signature style?

Giselle Bundchen

What is the trait you most admire in people?

Humility

What is your greatest extravagance?

Holidays

What do you dislike most in your wardrobe?

Tights

Which living person in Pakistan has a style you admire?

Nadya Shah

What is your greatest achievement?

It’s in the making!

What in the future do you consider your greatest achievement?

Happy children.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

Myself

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The modern woman no longer needs to spend tons on designer wear to look or feel good

You were involved in the creation of a mega retail brand featuring ready-to-wear for women. What were the initial challenges you faced?

The biggest challenge was getting the right team on board and doing the best one could with the limitations of a startup business. Since the quantity requirement was small initially, getting the right fabric quality was very difficult. We were too small to get it made and fabric in the open market was really not up to the standard

Having a brand targeted towards the masses, how does that influence your creativity in a country like Pakistan?

I have had this discussion with many local and international retailers – the interesting fact which most have admitted is that what you hate the most is likely going to be your bestseller! We worked on a formula where a large percentage of the product was based on market demand and customer feedback and then some which represented SHEEP®’s philosophy. This was perhaps the most difficult part of my work to maintain the balance between the two.

Arjumand, Sara, Aalia & Nadiya

Arjumand, Sara, Aalia & Nadiya

How do you feel a ready-to-wear brand has changed the modern woman?

The modern woman is now more liberated I feel. She is empowered. She no longer needs to spend tons on designer wear to look and feel good

Do you intend to take some unique elements of Pakistani fashion global?

My next project is exactly that. We live in a low-cost country with amazing talent. While there is focus on the local market, I am very excited about how we can take all this and sell to higher price countries

What is your favorite daily wear attire?

Jeans and a top

Name an essential item for the young traveller?

Ipod with music. It makes you dream about what you want to do in life!

Where do you see your brand 5 years from now?

That’s a secret!

Name a local brand who’s success you admire?

Sana Safinaz

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Aalia Jafar & Arjumand Rahim

Aalia & Hasan Jafar

Aalia & Hasan Jafar

What you hate the most is likely going to be your bestseller!

Apart from being an entrepreneur and a good dress-maker, what do you believe is the role (or even, the responsibility), of the contemporary fashion designer in society today?

Anyone in this country who has had the privilege of an education must contribute to the economy. We are a poor country and so the privileged from us must contribute towards employment creation. The best way young designers can help is to develop the skill set of workers who have the talent but need guidance to contemporize their work to produce market-relevant products.

What advice would you give the young teenage girl looking to make a career in fashion and design?

To stay original, create your market rather than penetrate others. Be patient and you will see results. Lastly, always remember “Value Addition, Value Addition, Value Addition!!”

Text and coordination: Marium Hamid Ali Khan

Photography: Gibran

Hair and Makeup: Rukaiya’s Salon

Good Times

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