The London-based clothing label Ava Mirabelle focuses on avant-garde and luxury designs. The duo behind it are 24-year-olds Anushee Hashwani and Maliha Aziz, who launched their online store in February this year. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Hashwani said, “Our primary objective was to showcase rare and exquisite fabrics from the East and fuse them with Western silhouettes.” While the brand’s office is located in London and products are made in Pakistan, it receives orders from over 170 countries through its website.
“We wanted the Ava Mirabelle girl to feel confident yet glamorous at the same time. We needed an inspiring name,” said Hashwani. “Ava displays femininity and Mirabelle means ‘a wondrous beauty’ in French.” As a result, their luxury collection consists of a diverse range of silk – mostly charmeuese – mixed with georgette, crepe and chiffon. They work on customised and made-to-order outfits only.
While Aziz oversees all communication and production activities, Hashwani manages the day-to-day operations and liaisons resulting in an efficient partnership. “Fashion was my first love. I used to prance around in my mother’s heels and spend hours in fascination while watching my grandfather sketch shoes,” said Hashwani, referring to her childhood. “I was influenced by innovative and creative minds from a young age,” she added, referring to her godmother (a jewellery designer) and aunt (a fashion designer). Hashwani has also been a freelance stylist in London for about two years and is the founder of Closet No.3, a fashion blog which started in 2010.
Aziz, on the other hand, did her Bachelors of Arts in Marketing and Advertising from University of the Arts London (UAL) along with a few diplomas in the field of fashion. She admitted however, “My practical skills and knowledge come from my mother who has been running a luxury fashion label in Karachi for the past decade.”
When asked what inspired them to bring forward a summer collection, they responded: “Our initial plan was not to introduce a summer collection this year. We were waiting to share our handmade block prints in our Autumn/Winter 2012 collection in September.” Aziz added, “However, we fell in love with the results of the prints we were working with and experimented a lot with bright colours and designs on different fabrics that we couldn’t resist!” The collection uses antique block printing to introduce intricate traditional Mughal designs.
Both Aziz and Hashwani are thrilled with the response they have received in just a few months. “Ava Mirabelle’s entry into the luxury fashion market in the UK has been received with unprecedented enthusiasm,” said Hashwani very excited with their success. “This response is based on our online sales – we get orders from countries that we don’t even market to!” added Aziz. They believe that their clothes are unique and innovative and this is the prime reason why they are getting appreciation from all across the globe.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 17th, 2012.
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