An up and coming designer, Iqra set foot into the fashion world after getting hired by a notable designer. After working for a couple of years, she eventually left her job and took the plunge, starting her own label for luxury prêt wear by the name of Juella, a successful brand available at PFDC Mall One. But one brand wasn’t enough for this driven young woman, so this year she launched a bridal wear label by the name of Iq’Aysh, which she co-owns with a friend. 

Iqra is a graduate of PIFD (Pakistan institute of Fashion Design). Given her immaculate sense of design, Iqra has a tête-à-tête with Arshia Nisar regarding fashion

You started off by working for a fashion designer. What made you leave that label and venture into your own?

I loved my first job but eventually I guess you need to make a mark of your own and in order to get the freedom of designing the way you want, reflecting your personal sense of design, you need to break through your comfort zone and start your own brand.

With no connections in the fashion industry, it must be a difficult feat. What were some of the hurdles that you had to face along the way?

I guess for someone as private as me, not having the required PR has been the only hurdle, but I’ve seen that good work doesn’t go unnoticed for long. Working with as professional an organization as PFDC you’re bound to get noticed and make your mark.

Iq’Aysh is a completely separate brand having no association with Juella. Why did you feel the need to launch a brand completely dedicated to bridal wear?

Iq’Aysh is a more high-end label that I have started off with a dear friend Ayesha. The main focus and hence our target audience comprises of brides-to-be. With Iq’Aysh we wanted to go all out on our bridal wear and that meant an amalgamation of our individual aesthetics to bring out the best possible product.

Clients often like to add their own suggestions to the dresses they want to get made. Has a client ever changed a design to the extent that the original design was completely destroyed?

Yes, clients do tend to have a mind of their own and I’ve learnt to respect that to a certain extent but thankfully I haven’t had any bad experiences as of yet.

You must have daily interactions with brides-to-be and hence their endless demands to make their bridal dress perfect. However have you ever had to deal with a complete bridezilla?

I think it is totally normal for the brides to feel like they have to be in control of what they end up wearing. I always recommend they stick to the sample design because nobody wants an unwanted surprise at the last moment.

Trends in Pakistan tend to follow international ones. Even though the dresses might have a desi outlook, you can see Western trends hidden amidst the folds of fabric. Name 2 international designers who, in your opinion, have set the trend for this season.

I think Elie Saab and Reem Acra do influence the local wedding wear fashion trends to a great extent.

Currently which designers inspire you the most?

Personally, I love the clean cuts and minimalistic work by Zac Posen; however, the details and cuts by Monique Lhuilier and Ralph Russo are ethereal! From across the border, I think Gaurav Gupta is pretty inspiring.

The designers you named are all international, none of them are Pakistani. Any particular reason you chose all non-Pakistani designers?

I absolutely love some of the local designers and the local trends you pick from them. But I don’t focus on their work so much lest it starts to influence my own style of work.

What fashion trends do you see making it big this season?

The sleeve details seem to be quite a highlight this spring with cut-out shoulders, slits and gathers a stand out this season.

A piece of advice you’d like to give to aspiring designers.

Well I’d say, stay original and be confident about your work.

Good Times

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