We’ve all heard of ‘Samar Mehdi Designer Wear’ – one of the most popular fashion labels in Pakistan today! But where and how did it all begin? FUCHSIA is here to give you some insight into Samar Mehdi – the designer, and the philosophy that guides her Fashion story!
Samar Mehdi – a graduate of Bristol University UK, with a degree in Fashion and Accessory Design, established her brand in 1997. She launched her label by showcasing both pret and couture and has now expanded to cover handbags and shoes. She is also the first designer to launch Pakistan’s first designer maternity line, ‘Positive’. Although her flagship store is located on Zamzama, Karachi, the label also stocks in multi-designer stores across Pakistan.
FUCHSIA: Who is Samar Mehdi? Tell us a bit about yourself.
Samar Mehdi is: a fashion designer, mom, wife, daughter, sister, traveler and a friend. She’s blessed to be doing what she loves and proud to be a woman of today.
FUCHSIA: How did you start off in the clothing business?
I was always interested in clothes since I was a child. From designing for my Barbies to designing for the whole family, it was pretty much tunnel-vision which culminated into my degree in Fashion. I began designing right after graduating with a BA Hons in Fashion from Bristol, U.K.
FUCHSIA: What’s your style philosophy?
Samar Mehdi’s style philosophy is to design clothes for the modern woman of the millennium, who is independent, yet proud of her femininity.
FUCHSIA: How do you get inspired?
I get inspired mostly when I travel, which is not only a passion but also a huge learning experience. But at times simple things like a smile on my son’s face can also bring immediate enthusiasm and inspiration. Not only history and culture, but simply observing street wear in different parts of the world is hugely inspiring as well. Creativity means constantly reinventing yourself, but at the same time retaining your signature style.
FUCHSIA: What’s your target market?
Our target market is quite vast. It ranges from a 6 year old to her 60 year old grandmother. We have also branched out to cater to expecting mothers and plus-sized women. Basically it’s anyone who agrees with our philosophy of design and thinks they can look good in a Samar Mehdi.
FUCHSIA: On the challenges of being part of a Fashion business?
It’s not easy being in any business. Every profession has its own challenges. Competition is cut throat and deadlines are always looming above our head. Of course there are clans and cliques within the industry, but I have learnt that with dedication, principles and hard work, you can overcome all difficulties.
FUCHSIA: On the perks of owning your own business?
The biggest perk of owning your own business is that if you’re a working mother, you can be hands-on with your children. It also teaches you humility as you are not just responsible for yourself but your entire work force.
FUCHSIA: Tell us about your latest collection.
The latest collection is in colours of ivory. We are working with organza, chiffon, high-neck sculpted collars, adventurous sleeves and beaded-tassels. We’re teaming up jackets with sarees and also experimenting with various cuts in trousers.
FUCHSIA: If there is ONE quality that makes your clothing line unique, it is?
My clothing line is unique due to our signature style of feminine clothing for a woman of the new millennium. She wants to project her independence, yet retain her feminism. Of course we follow mainstream trends to a certain extent like the lengths, the colours etc. but then we adapt it to suit our own creativity and style. Since we also carry a line for expecting mums – Positive by Samar Mehdi, and a line for plus-sized women – Plus by Samar Mehdi, we have to adapt trends to our own requirements. We have never toed the line.
FUCHSIA: One celebrity you would love to design for?
Although we have designed for many celebrities, red carpet events, etc. but if I had the chance I would have designed for the late Princess Diana. For me, she was the ultimate Style Goddess. It would have been a gown for sure, a signature Samar Mehdi gown.
FUCHSIA: Are your products made in Pakistan? How do you give back to the community?
Yes, our products are made in Pakistan. We are very proud to have grown our business from a small setup when I began, to a thriving company today, providing employment to our staff and therefore, making our small contribution towards the economy of this country.
FUCHSIA: Best advice you’ve ever received.
From my parents – follow your own path and live life on your own terms.
FUCHSIA: Your favourite collection so far.
My favourite collection so far has to be my first collection ever, shown at the Business Design Center Islington. This was my graduation collection called ‘Work ware Militaria’. It went through a tough selection process to get there…and the rest is history.
FUCHSIA: The must-have outfit of the season.
A Samar Mehdi outfit 😉
FUCHSIA: Where do you see Samar Mehdi in 10 years?
We see ourselves thriving, introducing new lines and creating new milestones.
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