Crafting a new way forward

Designer Faraz Manan talks about venturing into a foreign market, tackling plagiarism in the fashion industry

Mehek Saeed October 28, 2015
Faraz Manan recently launched his flagship store in Dubai where he showcased his A/W 2015 collection at the fashion show. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY


Creating ripples in the fashion industry ever since he kicked off his career in 2002, Faraz Manan has taken over the spotlight with his exquisite offerings to a mass clientele. Having shot to fame particularly after the brand’s lucrative collaboration with Crescent Textiles, Manan has become one of the most sought after designers in the country. Following the launch of his flagship store in Dubai, Manan discusses his latest collection and the direction in which the brand is headed.

“We had been planning to expand to Dubai for about two years but it wasn’t easy to open a full-fledged store there because we need extensive permissions”, said Manan. Speaking of the feedback he received on opening the store, Manan added “Initially we didn’t expect much but the result has been far greater than what we expected in terms of business.”

Known for his aesthetics and innovative tailoring, it is no surprise that Manan’s designs bode well with the Dubai clientele. He launched the store with a fashion show featuring Autumn/Winter 2015 collection titled ‘Imperial’. It comprised a number of separates including skirts, tops, and jackets as well as gowns for which he experimented with materials such as silk, organza and net. For embellishments of his outfits, he opted for pearls, crystals, beads and thread work.

Going places in the fashion world

Comparing his customers in both countries, Manan said, “Purchasing power and tastes are different in both places. I’ve met people in Dubai to whom money is no object, they care about the quality of fabrics over embellishments. However, in Pakistan people want the price to be proportional to the embellishment on the outfits.”

Shedding light on the extent to which he feels comfortable in customising designs for clients, he shared “I do respect factors such as adding sleeves to the outfit or making the top longer if a client didn’t want to show their midriff or changing colors slightly. I like to meet client’s midway.”

Manan has great fondness towards pastel colours and muted shades of nudes such as peach, ivory and cream. “When I do heavier clothes I play around with pastels because I believe it gives an element of control to the outfit. If I’m doing loud colours I’d rather make a plain outfit with tone on tone embroidery,” he shared. “My signature style is my aesthetic which has to be glamorous. It can’t be understated but has to be controlled.”

The slow and steady in the fashion race

Manan features two couture collections, two lawn collections, one silk collection and one luxury pret collection every year. Currently the design team is working on the Spring/Summer 2016 lawn collection and are on their way to opening a high-street brand under Crescent. “Duties are delegated to different people. I look after the designs while the marketing aspects are taken care of by others,” noted Manan.

The design house has been fighting plagiarism for quite some time now, with duplicate copies of their lawn being sold in Pakistan and across the border. Earlier, Manan faced problems from assistant designers who worked under him initially and later began creating similar designs for other designers they worked with. “I don’t like to thrive on such issues, but the problem is that other designers are not working towards creating their own signature style. I feel the responsibility lies with fresh designers coming in, who should be the ones changing things around.”

Speaking about the designers he considers competition for him, Manan added, “I don’t feel like I have competition from any Pakistani designer because my goals are different now.  In fact, on the international front I feel like a fresh graduate.”

Published in The Express Tribune, October 29th, 2015.

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