FUCHSIA had the chance to speak with Saman Arif, the creative force behind the internationally accomplished fashion house Nayna, the one and only brand in Pakistan which the likes of Dior, Fendi and Tag Heuer have formed local collaborations with on more than one occasion.
Not only was Nayna the proud representative of Pakistani fashion at Mauritius Fashion Week as per invitation from the Government of Mauritius, it was also the only Pakistani design brand at Washington DC Fashion Week 2010. Not to mention, Nayna hosted the first ever 4D fashion show in Pakistan in 2014.
A graduate of Pakistan School of Fashion Design (PSFD), with summers spent at Fashion Institute of Technology (New York), Saman taught for 4 years at PSFD. Having been at two ends of the spectrum, her advice to students and budding designers in an industry where many unqualified people have ventured is to believe in themselves, and keep moving with changing trends.
Nayna’s style philosophy is understated elegance. The idea is for each Nayna outfit to turn its wearer into a statement of simplistic femininity.
Staying afloat in a mushroom growth of designers in Pakistan, Nayna has faith in the consumers’ ability to appreciate a well-finished outfit in signature Nayna style – the attention to detail and the intricacy of each design.
Being part of fashion events both abroad and in Pakistan, Nayna strongly feels that as a brand, Fashion Weeks are an important platform to showcase work, and reach a wider audience. “To be a part of Mauritius Fashion Week and Washington DC Fashion Week, and have the honour of showcasing our collection before the Parisienne audience; the lessons one brings home is that creativity and presentation of any collection, may it be a work of art, needs to be well thought-out and planned.”
“The journalists are NOT the last word on your work, the real feedback is the audience!”
All fashion designers want to be unique and distinct, and yet, they have to be guided by mainstream fashion. Nayna thinks it is important that:
“One always has to keep up with that which is going on around. Let it soak in and create. The process of creation is one that takes a lot of thought and planning and like any other process, must start with something. I wouldn’t say that we follow mainstream wholly at Nayna, but we do have to keep up with the colours and the palettes that are ‘now’ and international. Essentially it is a bit of both that goes in to juice up the creative process!”
After setting the bar so high for themselves in the past decade, Nayna’s future plan of action is to do more international shows, and have more of a presence in internationally acclaimed department stores. “We are trying to change our focus towards the international markets now, and for that we will need to develop more franchises, and more relationships with international buyers.”
In 2013, Nayna celebrated 10 years with an exclusive show with Tag Heuer and Pedro at the Royal Palm Golf Club. This was perhaps the only solo show by any designer that year, reaffirming Nayna’s leading position in industry.
With a decade of accomplishments behind it and a lot going for it in upcoming ventures, Nayna isn’t just about making clothes. With all its events and international partnerships, Nayna is about making a statement and leaving an impression that lasts until its next big showcase wows us even more than its last.
FB: Nayna Fashion House, UK.