T-Diaries: Erum Kamal

A glimpse into the world of Pakistani powerhouses


January 27, 2015
Travelling through Paris.

What sparked your interest in the fashion industry?

I had always been passionate about fashion but when I joined my husband in his business, the resources available in our production house fascinated me. Soon, we started retail stores that carry the best quality products, affordable to the masses.

What is the most important thing you keep in mind when designing?

Our customers, of course! Who I’m designing for.

How was your experience working with mainstream designers like Zara Shahjahan & Elan?

We launched our lawn collection in conjunction with Elan and also Zara Shahjahan. They are both extremely talented and progressive designers and I am very fond of them.

How do you feel about the new talent coming into the industry these days?

I find it very refreshing to see more people joining this industry and bringing in new ideas. I support new kids coming from universities wholeheartedly. In fact, most of the members of my design team joined as fresh graduates and I really enjoy working with them.

How is the textile industry different from the fashion industry?

When we talk about the textile industry, fashion comes as a part of it. They are both integrated and can’t be separated.

What is the most difficult part about working in fashion and retail?

The most difficult part is probably the unstable situation in the country. People want to work peacefully but it often gets too tough to manage with personal resources. There is also barely any energy and power or support provided to the textile industry by the government.

How do you transform your inspiration to reality?

At work, we make a mood board and our ideas start to take shape from there. I believe it is very important to be in tune with the people you work with. I like to work with people who can understand me and my ideas.

What is the simplest design you think could be in for all seasons?

I think it would be the Indian paisley. Everyone just loves those designs and can never seem to get enough of them.

Do you try to keep up with current trends or prefer to make your own?

I’m very moody about my outfits. I won’t decide what I’m going to wear till I actually walk into my closet. Then I just dress up as I feel at that point in time.

Any advice to young women aspiring to become designers?

Keep your mind open to change as that is what makes the world beautiful. We all need to change with time so that we may continue learning.

Erum Kamal

Designer and CEO at SoKamal

Published in The Express Tribune, Ms T, January 25th, 2015.

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