For 27-year-old Meera Barlas, designing handbags and clutches was a love affair that began at home. During her years at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM), where Barlas pursued an undergraduate degree in Economics and Finance, she would design bags as a hobby. “I started by brand Patina about seven years back,” she says. “But these bags have increasingly become popular known as Meera Barlas bags!”
After she graduated, she worked in a banking firm and subsequently, a multi-national company. “I have always loved to be a part of the corporate world — it completes me,” she says, adding that designing bags is a creative outlet but admits that she is still very much a part of the business world.
She operates from home, with a four-member team operating from the workshop in Korangi. “I operate from home, but I take massive orders online, all the way from UK to Dubai,” she says.
Her collection for summer 2013, which she plans to exhibit on August 6 at her residence in Phase 4 in DHA, is trendy. “The collection consists of bags which have been embellished with kat dana and beads, as well as some embroidery,” she says. “It’s more of a fusion, where Eastern embellishment meets Western style.”
The collection comprises of handbags, shoulder bags and evening clutches. The envelope clutches have intricate patterns in beautiful watermelon-coloured kat daana with silver; some have appliquéd owls in a floral print. Her oversized tan totes are also the perfect accessory for those who wish to carry a laptop or iPad around during the day.
“The theme is floral, with lots of birds, bird cages, owls and floral prints — this is how one depicts summer. The collection is something trendy that you haven’t seen anywhere else.”
With a fan following on Facebook, she says, “Social media has played a very significant role in establishing my business. Even though I am still not doing it commercially, I get to see my talent greatly appreciated.”
While Barlas has experimented with just bags for seven years, she said that she hopes to delve into making scarves also in the near future.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2013.
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