While most designers take time to burst into the fashion scene with a debut collection, Bina Sohail’s story is slightly different.
This 21-year-old fashion designer, who is currently enrolled at Central Saint Martins College in the United Kingdom, launched her clothing line Rumor on Saturday with an exhibition at the Grandeur Gallery, Zamzama. With 28 pieces of well-stitched Western wear in malai lawn, malai silk and georgette, Sohail offered smart casual wear at affordable prices. As the brand’s Facebook page suggests, girls no longer have to wait for a trip abroad to update their wardrobe, or be bound by last season’s stock at high-street brand stores — Rumor offers simple and elegant designs which are bang on trend with floral prints and high waisted pants.
“I just follow the latest trends and designs according to international fashion,” Sohail said, explaining her style philosophy that has generated interest in the local brand online. Her most noticeable pieces are her tribal-print inspired palazzo pants and button down shirts with pleated pockets in shaded hues.
“When I was younger, I used to design clothes for close family members, including my mother, sister and khalas,” said Sohail, whose first experience with designing came as early as when she was a 10-year-old school girl.
She added that her family has always been drawn to wearing more Western outfits than Eastern, which inspired her to design the same, explaining that “it was not entirely difficult to launch such a brand.”
When asked why she chose to name her brand Rumor, Sohail added, “It is such a catchy name and every woman in town spreads it. It surely gets you thinking.”
The exhibition was attended by Sohail’s family and friends, who had gathered to cheer her on as she made her fashion design debut. Her close relative and business partner Ali Chawla handles the management side of things. “She wanted to design outfits so I ended up looking after the business side of the deal and hence ‘Rumor’ came about,” he explained.
While Rumor’s first collection is all about women’s clothing, Chawla believes there is so much more to offer in men’s wear too, and hopes to cater to that in the near future. “What I see in the market is that good dress shirts for men are not available at affordable prices and there is a lack of variety as well. However, in two months things are definitely going to change as we plan to have a men’s line by then.”
Chawla also plans to hire fresh graduates from fashion schools all across Pakistan as designers, so that the entire burden is not on Sohail. While she will continue to lead the design team and set a vision for the clothing line, the duo hopes to get others on board to expand the brand’s reach.
All pieces at the exhibition were priced at Rs1,700 to Rs2,600. To place an order, customers can visit Rumor’s Facebook page and view the collection, which thankfully has prices available without having to mail requests.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2012.
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