Specialising only in men’s ties, Sidrah Nadeem’s small-scale operation has helped her develop a small but devoted clientele.
As far as she is concerned, she believes every other designer is in the business to make money and for the sake of making ‘wedding ensembles’.
Nadeem, whose label is called All Tied Up, believes her ties are comparable to those stocked at Selfridges, Harrods and Marks and Spencer. She supplies the designs at a store in Karachi’s Defence area. Her tie collection is not only being delivered to Karachi and Lahore, but also to Oslo, Singapore, New York and Mumbai.
While finding the right tie has long been a struggle for men - the number of oddly matched ties with suits one sees on a daily basis in offices is proof of that - Nadeem has experimented with colours and patterns. Last fall, she attempted to introduce her signature line with an orange theme. During the winter, she did all her ties in black. For Valentine’s Day it was pink and for the wedding season she worked on a red colour palette.
Nadeem told The Express Tribune, “To me, ties are a personal statement. For example at a wedding reception, where people are busy with various other things and the bride looks really pretty in her wedding outfit, the groom too should look presentable and ties definitely leave a mark.”
But she believes a conservative touch is needed at the workplace and in wedding halls. “Loud shirts will lead to muted ties.”
When Sidrah Nadeem started off, she only had one weaver at her disposal. Now she has six, who are full-time employees.
Weavers in Pakistan usually work with cotton, but Nadeem specialises in silk ties. According to her, a tie must be “lustrous and drape well”.
Even though Nadeem is planning to enroll at the London College of Fashion, she is still undecided about whether she wants to move away from Pakistan, “which I believe is an interesting place to be in and an interesting time to live in.”
Published in The Express Tribune, June 26th, 2010.
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