What drew you to fashion and when (specifically to starting your own line)?
I was always interested in interior design since I was a child but as I couldn’t pursue that career, fashion designing was something I could start on a small scale, initially from my home.
What is the most difficult aspect in launching your own label, i.e. design, production, sales, finance, advertising?
All of the above. The lucky part for me now is that as we have grown, so has our management capability. I’m no longer the sole manager in the business & each of us controls a particular aspect of the company. I’m the Director – Design so all things design related come under my authority & everything else is somebody else’s headache!
You are particularly fond of using sustainable textiles; can you give us some more details on this? The materials you like to use, your designing philosophy, combinations, etc.
We believe in being the market leader in the value. We believe in offering our clients the best quality in any particular class of clothing. I strongly believe in longevity of design, fabric & work to enhance the wearability of my pieces. We only use pure fabrics of the best weave & quality.
What do you wish you had known before entering the fashion industry?
A rich benefactor, perhaps?!
What are you excited about for style and trend going forward for Pakistanis?
People’s openness to try new things & being more daring & accepting in their wardrobe choices. It’s creatively much more rewarding as a designer to see the change in my client’s sense of style.
Who or what inspires you?
My inspiration comes from my inner competitive streak to do better than my last creation.
When you create something, what goes through your mind?
Stress, fear, trepidation & finally euphoria.
What is the target audience for your collection?
Anyone with a subtle & elegant sense of style.
With so many fashion designers coming up every now and then, how is Tena Durrani as a label different from others?
We try to provide a higher level of quality & design concept than our competitors. We have a ‘look’ that is very recognizable because of our desire to always improve.
How important is the price point for you?
Price points are important because this is a business at the end of the day. Having said that, we try & create the best design that we can for a particular outfit. Pricing is done after the creative process so that there is no compromise in the piece.
When was your last exhibition/ fashion show and where was it? (You can also mention few other successful exhibitions, if any on the list)
We last exhibited in Islamabad at L’Atelier, owned by the Raza siblings. We routinely exhibit in Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad & UAE.
How do you intend women to feel when wearing Tena Durrani labeled clothing?
Women should feel confident, glamorous and impeccably dressed.
How do you work with your clients?
I usually have a very easy relationship with all of my clients & do my best to get to know them. It makes it much easier to design for them that way.
Athletes aim for the Olympics as their biggest goal, highest mountain to climb. What’s your biggest mountain?
My own satisfaction that I have done the best job for ‘Tena Durrani’ & therefore the loyal clients that purchase our pieces.
What has been your biggest learning curve? / your biggest milestone so far?
Learning to deal in a more professional organization has been the biggest step for me. Timelines, deadlines, management of my junior staff & production are things I didn’t have to deal with in the past.
What advice would you give a fashion newbie or student, looking to become a designer?
Get some experience working in the industry at design houses rather than launching your own brand immediately. There is so much to learn which will only be beneficial in avoiding pitfalls in the future.
We have many exciting plans for the future but I think Taimur would kill me if I let the cat out of the bag. Just keep following ‘Tena Durrani’ to keep abreast of latest news.