Emerging talent


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.

Founder Eman Bachani talks about how her khussas are taking off globally

A girl can never have enough shoes, and we at GT are compulsive shoe-a-holics! The latest label to catch our eye is the funky and bohemian Meraki Design House. Brand founder Eman Bachani, who herself designs  Meraki’s khussas for the international market, catches up with Afshan Shafi to discuss her inspirations, favourite shoe designers and more!

How did you decide on this name for your brand ? tell us more about the team behind Meraki.

Meraki is an untranslatable Greek expression, which means to do something with soul, creativity and love, leaving a piece of yourself in what you create. As I was completing my initial research, I came across so many names but nothing resonated with what I envisioned the brand to be the way Meraki did. The goal for the brand has always been being equally focused on craftsmanship as on showcasing and delivering high quality one of a kind products – and Meraki highlights exactly that.My production team and I are working tirelessly with artisans around the world to bring the best products to our consumers. Other than that we’ve got our PR & communications coordinator who is always making sure that our customers know what we’re up to and how they can find us!

My production team and I are working tirelessly with artisans around the world to bring the best products to our consumers. Other than that we’ve got our PR & communications coordinator who is always making sure that our customers know what we’re up to and how they can find us!

Who are the creative inspirations for your brand?
I have been inspired more by my surroundings than anything else! This is reflected deeply in Meraki products as I have drawn inspiration from Eastern culture and crafts, which are extremely vibrant yet undermined in the West.

Who are your three favourite shoe designers anywhere in the world and why?
Sophia Webster – Other than her distinctive style, I am in love with how she has struck a balance between ‘wow’ and wearable.

Her signature Evangeline shoes are definitely on my list!

Aquazurra – They’re so perfectly tailored for the modern woman and can work in both day or the night, – also I can vouch for them being the absolute comfiest!

Christian Louboutin – Though this may sound clichéd, but his shoes entail a simplicity that just can’t be duplicated

Your dream shoe purchase?
All the Meraki shoes I have yet to make!

Who would you like to see wearing Meraki?
Every GirlBoss that has inspired me to build something that I can call my own; Sophia Amuroso, Whitney Wolfe, Sara Blakely to name a few!

Top five shoes in your own closet?
All my Meraki shoes!

Who is the ultimate Meraki woman?
I think every woman can be the ultimate Meraki woman so long as she dares to be different…

What’s next for your brand?
At the moment, we are working on a new line of accessories for next year. I have a few other tricks up my sleeve, but you’ll just have to wait and see!


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