1) Shamaeel, you graduated from a world class University in US with major in Finance and Corporate Law and here you are applying the academic knowledge to the Fashion Pakistan arena apparently the changeover seems irrelevant to what you studied, yet success has been generous in coming your way. Please share with our viewers how this came about.
Ans: My degree as a major in finance from UC Berkeley has served me well. It has enabled me to think and operate not just as a creative visualizer, but a systematic business manager for my own enterprise. Saying this, I also feel that the Council needs due attention for financial aspects, vision, growth, budgeting et all. It is also important that being a section 42 company it also needs understanding of financial accounts, reporting and audits. I believe that I have and will continue to play a major role on putting these systems back on track.
2) Talking in terms of commercially viable creativity, do you think your strategy has brought dividends from the money making angle.
Ans: Absolutely! Ithas always brought positive results for me and my own brand. I design keeping in mind Practicality and wear ability. We believe this is the main core ingredient of my brand’s success and sell outs of my collections within hours of exhibitions. Working with zero inventories is another accomplishment of my brand.
Also since my designation as Chairperson Council, we have made our budgets tighter and have been able to clear all the financial obligations that were piling up with the council before.
3) Can you explain the statement’ vibrancy of product ranges ‘for the benefit of our viewers?
Ans: The “Vibrancy of product ranges” refers to rich pool of different designers/collections exhibited in a fashion week. At every episode of the fashion week we inject 50% new members and young talent, alongside with already established namesshowing their signature styles. At the Council, one of our aims is to bring young, innovative designers in the limelight.
4) As regards the Fashion Pakistan Week in March 2013 in Karachi, please share the innovative aspects of this huge occasion.
Ans: At FPW 5, we are doing a lot of new things; all collections shown at the fashion Week will be available online at the Style 360/ Label’s e-store from 11th April onwards, apart from this FPW 5 will also celebrate the achievements of participating fashion talent through 3 illustrious awards.
Member designers of the Council will be judging featured Pakistani fashion talent with 3 accolades during the show; 1) The Emerging Talent Award, to recognize the efforts of up and coming fashion talent 2) The Diamond Designer award, to celebrate the life time contributions of a designer to Pakistan’s fashion industry for over a period of 18-20 years and 3) The Best Collection Award, which will be based on voting done via the council’s Facebook page.
5) We receive some complaint oriented queries from online viewers about the ramp dresses not being readily available. Can you provide a solution to this during the current Fashion Week?
Ans: We are glad to inform all that all such issues have been addressed and all collections shown at the fashion Week will be available online at the Style 360/ Label’s e-store from 11th April onwards. Patrons will have now have convenience of having the collections delivered at their doorstep.
6) In Pakistan normally success stories like yours are attributed to mentors and gurus. Does this apply to you too!
Ans: Yes my grandfather was one of the pioneer industrialists of Pakistan. He was the chairman of Hyesons group of industries. During his professional career, he not only pioneered and chaired his own business but was a reigned chairman and president for many trade bodies and social service fellowships. To lead and be at helm is a quality in him that inspired me – he was my most encouraging mentor and one of my strictest critics, his persona worked for me.
7) Any adversities that you faced along the way, in terms of poor government regulations or below the belt tactics of competitors.
Ans: Where there is competition there is war- the key is the art of war
8) For all the talent that makes Fashion Weeks successful, do you have a plan to turn the talent into trade and profitable business?
Ans: I believe the one of the core objectives of Fashion Pakistan Council is to promote fresh talent, basically providing the talent a renowned platform that is beneficial and economical at the same time for them.
We help aspiring designers reach their maximum potential by offering mentorship, introducing retailers to the them and most importantly in organizing shows, exhibition with trade authorities and private companies both on a domestic and international platform. A testament to our success is the initiation of the FP lounge store for multi designer brands.
9) What are our chances of making an impression on the international frontiers of fashion?
Ans: Many of our designers have been invited to international fashion weeks; however a lot of work needs to be done on an individual level by each designer to gear themselves in their production facilities on more quantity and standardization. We believe that if venture capital adopted fashion yes this could go very big internationally.
10) Your favorites ?
-University of learning ?
Ans: I believe that learning is an opputurnity and application of knowledge an initiative. I respect all institutes of caliber that prepare an individual to write his or her destiny with will.
Ans: Donna Karen
-favorite food ?
Ans: I’m a Steal lover
-favorite fashion model
Ans: Many, the list is long
-favorite clothing theme
Ans: Being inspired
11) Can you define beauty for us
Ans: For me beauty is inner confidence and the connection with one’s self.
12) How do you handle envious competitors?
Ans: A pinch of salt
13) Is the current instability an impediment to your plans?
Ans: It’s a national issue – affecting all sections of society but the important thing is we despite of all these issues are positive and carrying forward with our plans.
14) Anything you are proud of
Ans: My Son
15) A message for the upcoming designers
Ans: Shoot for the stars and every day take a little step forward on that journey you will be surprised how your goal is so close
Famous fashion designer Shamaeel Ansari, the Chairperson of Fashion Pakistan Week 5 unveils the love for dress designing in an exclusive interview with Fashion Central.