Geo News – In conversation with designer Maheen Karim

Maheen Karim is a well-reputed designer whose clothes are all about grace, elegance and glamour.

Armed with a degree in Fashion Design Marketing from Central Saint Martins, College of Art and Design, London, Karim has been designing beautiful outfits professionally since 2006.

“I have always been inclined towards designing clothes since I was a young girl, I used to choose my own clothes and tailor them according to my own taste,” says Karim.

“However, I started my business 10 years ago by stocking at Labels,” she adds. Karim has also worked with internationally acclaimed designers such as Hussein Chalayan, Julien Macdonald, Giorgio Armani and Vivienne.

Karim has participated in numerous fashion shows. She has a showroom and she also stocks at various boutiques in and outside of Pakistan. Karim has recently become the member of new Fashion Pakistan Council. In a candid interview with You! Karim shares her passion towards fashion and unveils her beauty secrets…

You! When did you first show your collection?

Maheen Karim: If I recall correctly I first showcased in 2008 at a Fashion show, it was a launch and I showcased with the likes of Sonya Battla which was a huge honour!

You! What is your design philosophy?

M.K: Elegance and glamour, I don’t follow trends I like to keep my pieces timeless.

You! What type of clothes you design for women?

M.K: Women’s evening wear is my forte.

You! Why do you think women should wear designer clothes?

M.K: Every item of clothing is designed by someone…the price tag is irrelevant and totally up to the person spending the money… every woman should take an interest in what she wears.

You! What do you like best about designing clothes?

M.K: I love to create.

You! What was the first outfit that you designed?

M.K: I used to make clothes for my dolls; I suppose that’s how I started.

You! How would you define your own sense of style?

M.K: Elegant… I hope that’s how it appears too!

You! What are your favourite fabrics to work with and why?

M.K: I love rich velvets and lamé but I also love georgettes and their fall.

You! In your opinion what is the biggest mistake a person can make while choosing an outfit?

M.K: Following trends blindly without knowing your body type… One should not follow trends for the sake of it. It is important to know your body type and what suits you.

You! What is the one piece of clothing that you shy away from wearing and why?

There’s nothing I won’t try. If it suits me I’ll wear it happily, I have to feel good in whatever I am wearing.

You! What are the difficulties faced by designers in getting their work done?

M.K: In Pakistan it’s mainly security and stability which is most debilitating. Work stalls and deadlines can’t be met.

You! What are the high and low points of being a designer?

M.K: The most rewarding to me is to see someone enjoying my design…there are low points but why get into negatives…it all works out, that’s life!

You! How long does it usually take for you to design an outfit?

M.K: Depends on the design totally.

You! How do you prepare for a fashion show?

M.K: My method is to research and sketch and then experiment with fabric of my choice and that’s how the palette develops.

You! Do you prefer sketching designs or actually constructing them?

M.K: Both.

You! What are the latest trends in winter?

M.K: Velvets and structured evening wear…I love luxe velvets.

You! Do you think there is potential for new designers in our fashion industry? Any advice for aspiring fashion designers?

M.K: Of course the industry is growing very fast, my advice is to stick with your design philosophy and be creative!

You! What are you currently working on?

M.K: My Winter Festive Collection – ‘Tales of Vienna Woods’.

You! How do you feel about becoming the member of new Fashion Pakistan Council?

M.K: I love to be a part of the industry and helping it grow…there’s energy and tremendous talent.

You! What’s the basic agenda of the new Fashion Council?

M.K: The new Fashion Pakistan Council board members includes Maheen Khan, myself, Nauman Arfeen, Obaid Sheikh, Aamna Aqeel with Deepak Perwani as the Chairperson and Nida Azwer as the CEO. Our agenda is to develop the fashion industry of Pakistan and provide a platform for all designers.

You! Do you think we need platforms like FPW to encourage new designers?

M.K: Most definitely! How else will word get out? Marketing is the key. FPW is attended by lots of people in and outside of the industry and covered by most of Pakistan’s leading press and glossies…it’s the only way to get your brand name out there!

You! What are your future plans?

M.K: To develop my brand further.

—Published in Geo News

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