Former Miss Pakistan Roomi Syed is not just a model, poet and writer — she’s now a fashion designer too. She recently opened up a boutique and production house in Karachi’s Khadda Market. The Express Tribune spoke to the former pageant queen about her fashion inspiration and her latest endeavours.
Syed was born and bred in London to an Arab father and a British mother. “My family has been living in London for the last 85 years,” Syed said about her lineage. Having studied Psychology and Law, Syed dreamt about being a judge one day, but she dashed those dreams when in order to pursue modelling.
Claim to fame
She was discovered at the age of 16 and was crowned Miss Pakistan the same year in 2006 at the Asia-Pacific Pageant Show. “I was dressed in a simple kurti and jeans but somehow they liked my look,” recalled Syed.
Foray into designing
When asked what prompted her to start designing, Syed said, “I designed a few outfits and Londoners loved them. All the outfits were sold out. And that’s when I decided I should turn my hobby into a professional career.”
Although she wanted to start right away with a boutique and a production house three years ago, her mother’s illness prevented her from venturing into the business right away.
Recently, she opened up Roomi Syed Designer House and Production house in Khadda Market area. “I am offering outfits which will have a unique style of their own. I love playing with different colours and fabrics. I truly believe that designer wear should be for everyone and I want to cater to every segment of Pakistan — not just make clothes for the elite only. It’s sad that the middle class can’t afford to wear designer outfits. Wearing good clothes should be every woman’s right.”
With a focus on catering to every woman’s needs, her outlet has both eastern as well as western wear on offer. With a starting price of Rs2,000, the clothes are positioned on affordability and do not carry a price tag above Rs 35,000.
Besides designing clothes, Syed is equally interested in teaching modelling and grooming. Talking about her production house, she said, “This will not only serve as a place where people can come in for photo shoots, but it will also be a modelling institute where personal grooming will be taught professionally.”
On the importance of branding oneself well, she said, “People here need to be taught how to look good and dress well. They need to learn how to present themselves in a more elegant way. Even if you’re wearing a simple lawn outfit, you should know how to carry it.”
Although it’s only been a short while since her first store opened up, Syed already has plans of opening up another outlet in Zamzama.
While designing professionally and modelling as a hobby, there is yet another thing that Syed is extremely passionate about — writing poetry. Syed said, “I plan to compile my poetry and turn it into a book soon and it will be named after my dear mother, Anna.”
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2012.
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