Classic designs, attention to detail, luxe fabric and an interesting play of colours is what has made Manara one of the most coveted newly introduced fashion labels in the industry. We sat down with the lady behind it all, Maria Asif Baig to talk about her present inspiration and future ambitions
What inspired the idea of Manara by Maria Asif Baig?
I already have my own consultancy which is all about working according to the needs and requirements of the clients. Manara was my own innovation, a vision with no limitations which provided me an opportunity to create a product range with enough room for all audiences different from the existing market.
You initiated a transition from the popular pastel hues to solid jewel tones, what inspired this aesthetic?
Switching to solid jewel tones has set our product apart from the current market where everyone else is still playing around with light pastels. This has grown into a unique selling proposition for Manara.
What city in the world inspires you the most?
Rome; all its impeccable historical buildings from the beauty of the Colosseum to Pantheon and Ara Pacis are most inspiring to me.
What is your design process like- from capturing inspiration to the final design?
I draw inspiration from every little thing around me. From people to enviourmental change, the vintage visuals and the art around me.
What music inspires and moves you when you are in a creative headspace?
Absolutely everything; from trance and house to Sufi and Qawali.
When you design, who do you envision wearing your work?
We want to design and put together a final look with multiple options for everyone’s sense of style. We want people to innovate and style their way but also be confident in their own skin consenting to experimentations and not bounding themselves to what’s currently trending.
Where do you see Pakistani fashion heading in the next five years?
Pakistani fashion will definitely be reaching new heights making progress by leaps and bounds competing with the international world of fashion and vogue.
How do you prefer to spend your leisure time?
Either chilling at home with family or watching a brain dead series with my close friends.
What are some of your favourite silhouettes and why?
The sheath and A-Line silhouettes are my favourite; it is elongated and can be customised to a perfect fitting according to one’s shape.
What was your biggest fear when going out and starting your own line?
I had no fears. I trusted my gut and went with the flow.
What is the most outrageous piece of fashion advice you have ever received?
When random people advise others about what looks good on them. This is something that should come from within. Everyone is the best judge of themselves.
How would you define Manara in three words?
Classic, beautiful and detailed.
What is in store for the brand’s future?
Lots of ideas, stay tuned for some really amazing surprises.