Annam Lodhi talks to designer Misbah Haider, who is set to make waves in the fashion industry with her brand Mirusah
The fashion industry is, quite truly, taking off. Social media is abuzz with the latest fashion trends and designers every day. It is rather hard to not get caught up in the whirlpool of looking fashionable, up-to-the-mark and to step up to society’s sartorial preoccupation; both for the laypeople and the designers themselves.
Misbah Haider is yet another designer who set foot into the industry about a year ago with the launch of her brand Mirusah. Named after her mother and her mother-in-law, courage, resilience, and goodness are the core values of the brand.
But what’s even more interesting is that the designer herself likes to remain behind the scenes and prefers that her work speak for her.
I decided to ask Misbah Haider this and many more questions about her foray into the burgeoning fashion industry in Pakistan.
In today’s day and age, how do you remain so detached from social media as an individual?
I think that’s what keeps me sane (laughs). This is the age of social media and I won’t say that I’m alien to it, but I do keep my distance. One can get way too caught up in the need to share minute-to-minute details over the internet. The clutter is overwhelming for me and even though I make sure I know what’s going on around, I try not to get too influenced by it. I prefer enjoying my moment.
Most designers have become bigger names than their own brand. Why do you choose to remain away from the limelight?
That’s something I very strongly believe in. I want my brand to be known for the product it offers, not for my hair colour, or my own outfit for the day! I don’t want someone to look at me when I go pick my daughter from school and say “Oh she’s a designer! Look at her dressed in those hideous PJs!” I greatly prize my privacy and comfort zone and I’m not ready to give it up! My PR team often pushes me to be more “out there” but that’s just not me as a person. If I have to depend on my face value for the success of my brand, then I’m not good enough at what I do!
Have you considered the possibility that because you aren’t part of the fashion circuit as an individual, it could affect your brand in any way in the future? Yes, it will have a short-term impact. Mirusah might not get the sort of exposure it deserves because frankly, it’s a wild race out there. You have got to conduct yourself in a certain way, among certain people to get noticed. However, I strongly believe that if you are good at what you do and are persistent, you are bound to succeed. And slow and steady is the way to go for me. What did you find lacking in Lahore’s fashion market that you thought to fill the gap by stepping into the market yourself? Exclusively tailored and designed affordable wear: for the client to be able to experience luxury without a backbreaking price tag.
Having worked in Karachi and now having settled in Lahore, how do you compare the style and sense of fashion of the two cities?
Karachi and Lahore both are vibrant cities in their own right when it comes to fashion. When I moved to Lahore, I noticed that the majority of my clients here want to wear outfits that make a statement. Experimental cuts and vibrant embellishments are much more appreciated. There is also a significant trend and preference here for designers from across the border – and so a lot of designers have work that takes inspiration from the same. In pret wear, Karachi peeps generally go for a less-is-more approach – keeping the outlook crisp, clean and somewhat more practical.
“When I moved to Lahore, I noticed that the majority of my clients here want to wear outfits that make
a statement. Experimental cuts and vibrant embellishments are much more appreciated. There is also a significant trend and preference here for designers from across the border”
How has your style philosophy changed over the years?
Obviously, since I changed cities, my clothes have also evolved in accordance with the demands of my clientele. However, I still believe that you don’t have to have everything going at the same time in one piece of garment. I only work with the best of fabrics – and embellishment is done to enhance, not overpower.
Biggi Da Veya!! So, my brother in law to be got married last weekend and it was crazy. I have anxiety issues, I can’t handle unpredictability, yet, I was able to pull through the wedding and manage some work. The #Nikkah was at #JamiaMosque in #BahiraTown #Lahore. The mosque is gorgeous! Reminded me of #UAE mosques. It is huge, clean and artistic. I am wearing ‘Aubergine’ by @mirusah, who was a lifesaver BECAUSE I wanted something and formal but didn’t want to look gaudy. Her clothes are super stylish, subtle and fresh. Photography by @takhleeqarproductions -the couple is very cooperative. They waited for an hour as we wear late and gave us extra time. The pictures so far are great! Waiting for the album! Makeup by @glam.lounge.salon more on that later! #AnnamLodhi #WeddingSeason #BiggiDaVeya #Pakistan #PakistanSteetStyle #DesiGirl #Browngirl #Browngirlonthego
Style statements for Summer 2018?
Easy breezy kurtas; white cotton shalwars and varying hemlines.
I’m glad that we are finally embracing our inner selves and giving preference to our individual fashion quotient instead of conforming to trends.