Through her distinctive handbag collections, accessory designer Mahin Hussain has appealed to the patriot that lives in every Pakistani woman’s heart. With a Lux Style Award in the Best Emerging Talent 2011 to her credit, Hussain has launched her third Independence Day collection to join in the festivities of Pakistan’s 65th birthday.
Her latest collection “Zinda Qaum” features two great personalities who she feels must be commended for their contributions to Pakistan — Liaquat Ali Khan and Noor Jehan. “It’s been 65 years after independence and we need to boost a more positive and uplifting image of Pakistan,” said Hussain, enthusiastically. The collection has been inspired by the patriotic track “Hum Zinda Qaum Hain Painda Qaum Hain” and, according to Hussain, revolves around the concept of “identity and ownership — that we belong to this country and this country belongs to us.” She believes that this is the spirit of tolerance we need to spread today.
Commenting on her recent collection, which consists of canvas bags, totes, clutches, make-up pouches and toiletry bags, Hussain said: “I have brought in the Noor Jehan bags yet again. I introduced them two years ago and since then, they have become the most wanted items.” Her Noor Jehan collection has images of the legendary singer pasted on the bags, along with the lyrics of a classic war song “Ae Watan Ke Sajeele Jawano”. When this collection was first introduced, it was part of her “Made in Pakistan” range that was exhibited in the same Independence Day spirit, and received great appreciation.
This time around, she will also be repeating her clutches that are shaped like Pakistani flags and also Rs100 notes. “The clutches shaped like flags will be a repetition of my previous designs as they were so popular and I will be doing smaller versions of them too,” she said. “They have a green base with shiny sequins — loud designs yet very simple.” She boasted that this particular item has become something of a style statement, as “Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy also wore it to the launch of documentary film, Ho Yaqeen’s opening night.”
Hussain said that this specific clutch has garnered a huge response and she is happy with the idea of re-launching it this year. She proudly added that these clutches have not only hypnotised Pakistani women residing in Pakistan, but also gathered an audience in Rome, Beirut and Singapore. These affordable bags are priced between Rs1,300 to Rs6,500.
Her fans will also witness the introduction of iPad covers, in her latest collection, which are especially designed for patriotic tech lovers. “You see a lot of generic iPad covers in town, but I want these to create an impact,” states Hussain. “I expect this one to become very popular with the customers.” She added that her personal favourite is the Noor Jehan iPad cover, which is priced at Rs2,500.
Judging by Hussain’s constant drive to go all out, it seems that for this designer — who started off at Khaadi and later collaborated with textile giant Nishat Linen — there is no looking back.
Her “Zinda Qaum” collection will be available throughout August at the House of Ensemble in Karachi and Lahore as well as L’atelier in Islamabad.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 14th, 2012.