The fashion industry has seen many designers revel in their moment of glory but recede to the sidelines shortly thereafter if they can’t build on critiques and reengage audiences. Having been around for three years now, Suffuse by Sana Yasir has been among the brands that have taken criticism in their stride. The brand managed to make a steady recovery after receiving flak for its debut showcase in the ‘New Bridal Designers’ section at Paris L’Oréal Bridal Week (PLBW) 2015. Yasir spills the beans on how she continued to gain ground despite the initial snub.
The feedback Yasir received after the fashion show was directed towards the cuts, colour palette and workmanship she brought to the ramp. Although the ensembles were wearable and expected to do well commercially, there was nothing new in terms of design value and innovation, factors that form the basis of every fashion extravaganza. “I am not going to deny that there was no clear aesthetic because I’m relatively new compared to a lot of other designers and have no fashion background whatsoever,” she said, while speaking about Suffuse’s fashion faux pas at the event.
But Yasir was unfaltering in the face of criticism. “It gives you direction and indicates what works and what doesn’t,” she added. With hopes to continue designing bridals and formal wear, Yasir’s primary focus is pret-wear – a domain she feels comfortable working within. Yasir is gearing up for showcasing a complete bridal collection at PLBW this year, stating, “I’m confident I’ll be able to prove that I can create things that are predominantly mine.” She also shared plans of launching an affordable and ready-to-wear standalone store this year.
Yasir completed her undergraduate degree in architecture from the Arts Institute of Vancouver, Canada. On diverging from architecture to fashion designing, she shared, “I think if a person has an artistic aesthetic, it’s easy to translate it into any field of art. Fashion is also a form of art and the bases for art are the same. Even in college, everyone does the same thing the first year.” Yasir remains inspired by architecture more than the work of other designers. “I take inspiration from calligraphy motifs, carvings on mirrors and doors. That’s what I’m more experienced in; so, I’m naturally drawn towards it.”
In terms of designers, Yasir is inspired by Élan’s business model. “I want to study what Élan’s business model was five years ago and how they got where they are now.” Yasir’s keen interest in the business of fashion is what pushed her brand forward in a short span. “I admit my brand has grown in leaps and bounds over the past three years. I’m still finding my own aesthetic where people would be able to spot a Suffuse outfit from afar and while that happens, I’m focusing on creating designs with great quality.”
Scrolling through Suffuse’s Instagram account indicates that Yasir takes her PR seriously. She feels that is a strong factor in bringing her brand where it is. “We are in the digital age. We have so many ways to connect to clients through social media, such as Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat. We don’t have to wait for a magazine or newspaper to cover our work; there are so many other ways to showcase it,” she added.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2016.