LAHORE : The journey of Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer started back in 1989 with a seed investment of just a few thousand rupees. Today, the designer duo is scaling new heights, both here in Pakistan as well as abroad, having celebrated their silver jubilee in the fashion industry three years ago.
But even after all this time, both Sana and Safinaz – who have been friends for 30 years and share family relations too – remain as passionate about their work as ever. Speaking with The Express Tribune, the inspirational pair spoke about its humble beginnings and the empire that they have built together, bit by bit.
“It’s extremely humbling and gives you a great feeling of accomplishment. We are proud of our brand; it has such staying power and such loyal customers! Our expansion has particularly been exponential over the last five years and it’s been the ride of our live,” said Sana.
Together, they are running one of Pakistan’s most profitable design houses. “At the end of the day, we are a work family. Relationships are most important, laying their foundation, building upon them and continually maintaining them. We are nothing without our relationships within our company and beyond,” they stated. Asked to share the secret behind such a thriving partnership, Sana and Safinaz added, “We very rarely have a difference of opinion. We’re like a well-oiled machine; always in sync. This is definitely one of our greatest strengths and why we have been able to keep things going so fluidly for as long as we have.”
Sana and Safinaz first began with the intention to design couture that was classic and elegant, grounded in the solid foundations of Pakistani arts and crafts. “When we started out, it was just the two of us, a few tailors and a few thousand rupees in seed money. Back then, we never could have imagined what lay in store for us ahead,” shared Safinaz.
“That being said, it’s always been the dream and we have always got a timeline of goals in our pipeline. Yes, every single item has our approval or input in some capacity. This is the key to keeping the Sana Safinaz aesthetic strong.”
Pakistani fashion has come a long way since the duo began working and Sana and Safinaz have been riding the waves of change as best they can. “Yes, Pakistani fashion has indeed come a long way but it still has a long distance to cover. We find it very exciting to be part of an industry that is always growing and evolving.”
As trends and ideas change in the blink of an eye, the duo sticks to their timeless aesthetics which always pays off. They revisit old trends, redefining and adapting them in sophisticated new ways. “Playful hemlines, varying lengths and dramatic sleeves are all the rage these days,” they reveal. “Also, short kameezes have been very popular amongst brides this season, as have shades of gold, silver and red.”
Another quality SanaSafinaz is known for is participating in fashion shows regularly. Asked if they find fashion weeks to be challenging in terms of creativity, the duo responded, “Fashion Week is a great platform to showcase creative choices that may not work commercially but set the tone for a specific brand aesthetic and ethos. It can be challenging in many ways but equally rewarding.”
On a parting note, Sana and Safinaz shared some great insight for youngsters aspiring to make it big in the fashion industry. “Work hard, play hard but always remain humble!” they advised. “Always be original and informed. Fashion is a business at the end of the day so one must be savvy on that front to be successful in this industry.” So what next for the fashion powerhouse? “You will have to wait and see! We’ve always got something exciting brewing,” they teased.
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