Tell us about your foray into the field of fashion. How did it all begin for you? The field of fashion encourages me to channel my innovativeness. At Sania Maskatiya, we have a vision where creativity can flourish through bespoke artisanship, traditional handwork and modern silhouettes. Do you think it is necessary to study fashion professionally for one to be a successful designer?To be a fashion designer, there are certain skill sets that are required which can be obtained through a formal education. One could have the natural tendencies to take inspiration from anything and everything. Be ready to explore options, be research oriented and have the passion and to carve a niche. Creativity and the capacity to think out of the box is necessary. You have had the honour of showcasing your collections at prestigious and coveted fashion weeks, exhibitions and shows all over the world. Where have you received the most positive response?I am extremely grateful to have been able to take part in the prestigious New York Fashion Week as this has been a very big accomplishment for the brand. I’ve received a lot of love and encouragement from my people. How different are international fashion weeks from Pakistan’s in terms of professionalism, work process and technicalities. What were some of your take home learning?The professionalism of people around you at events is very inspiring and the way these platforms are organised and managed is praiseworthy. Everything is on time and there’s an emphasis on punctuality.What are you currently working on?I’m currently working on my bridal wear collection for the Pakistan Fashion Design Council L’Oreal Paris Bridal Week for September 2019.You have designed for many celebrities and high-profile people throughout your career. Is there someone who you admire so much that you wish to design for them?I’ve been very impressed with New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. She’s the world’s youngest female head of government and only the second head of state to give birth while in office. Besides being an amazing role model for women all over the world, her compassion and decisiveness and brilliant leadership in the aftermath of the Christchurch mosque shootings blew me away. It would be an honour to design something exclusively for her.What are some of the rules you live by in the industry for survival?I think it’s very important for a brand to have an open mind to allow for aesthetic to evolve. As the brand grows, we critique ourselves to see the direction we’re going which causes us to evolve and become the best version of ourselves.There are a number of recognised fashion weeks that take place in the country every year. Which do you find the most credible and important?In my opinion, every fashion week is as credible and important as the next as they all require hard work and dedication both from the designer into the collection and the organiser into the event.How should summer brides be dressing up this year?I always tell my brides that it’s extremely important to wear something that’s true to your personality, style and sensibility, and at the same time factor, it’s both classic and modern. Fabric’s a really important factor for summer brides and hence the unifying principle of my collection is the use of the international silhouette: clean simple lines with the finest quality fabrics and craftsmanship. I would suggest light, flowy fabrics for summer weddings that’ll keep the bride relatively cool. Organza, cotton net and tulle are some excellent options for summer.How do you deal with unhappy clients?Whenever we encounter an unhappy client, we tackle the problem by trying to address the issue through our services departments and offering a solution to the problem. We always want our clients to have the best possible experience.I am extremely grateful to have been able to take part in the prestigious New York Fashion Week as this has been a very big accomplishment for the brand. I’ve received a lot of love and encouragement from my peopleWhat motivates you to excel no matter what?Hard work, commitment and having a shared vision with our team to set dreams into motion.You are a proud recipient of many awards for your work and craft. What according to you is your biggest achievement so far?God has been extremely kind to us. We’re proud and humbled of each and every one of our accomplishments. My primary aim is to deliver a high quality product and focus on the innovations and I believe that is my achievement.What is your vision for Pakistan and what does it mean to be Pakistani for you?The Pakistani dream, whatever we perceive it to be, can be achieved if we just play our parts with sincerity and loyalty. I think Pakistan has a promising future ahead of us. Our people, our culture, aesthetics, creativity and our resilience as a nation is remarkable and I feel proud to call this my homeWe, at Daily Times, consider you one of our national heroes. Who are some of yours?Abdul Sattar Edhi, father to all parentless children. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy bagged Oscars for Pakistan and made us all very proud Pakistanis.AchievementsHONOURED AT HOMESania Maskatiya has raked in many awards and laurels in her home country. Her dynamic design sensibility continues to be lauded by the industry, with the brand having been honoured with four prestigious Lux Style Awards, most recently for Achievement in Luxury Prêt in 2018 and also the Designer of the Year Award – Bridal in September 2018 at Hum Style Awards. In April 2018, Sania Maskatiya was named as the Creative Guru of the Year for Hello Magazine Awards.MAKING HER PRESENCE FELTSania Maskatiya has consistently showcased at all the leading fashion weeks in Pakistan, including her critically acclaimed ramp showcase of her Samarkand collection at PLBW 2017 and luxury prêt collections showcases at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2018 with Colour Dash and Hum Showcase 2018 with Sahvar. Even in 2019, she remained highly active and made her presence felt in all the leading fashion weeks, so far held. The brand was also the official wardrobe partner for the film ‘7 Din Mohabbat In’. The brand continues to expand nationally. In Pakistan, the brand boasts four stand-alone stores each of which is located in prime shopping locations both in Karachi and Lahore. The brand is further available at select national stockists.INTERNATIONAL STARMaskatiya’s runway shows are eagerly anticipated by critics and patrons alike in India, Europe and the United States. She has showcased at Lakme Fashion Week in India as well. The brand showcased at the prestigious Swarovski Sparkling Couture Infinity Exhibit in Dubai in 2017. In 2018, she presented her dedicated western wear line Sania Studio’s Spring/Summer 2019 Collection at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) Showcase, which was a first for a Pakistani designer. She was featured on the cover of Regard magazine with the American supermodel and Hollywood actress Quinn James of ‘One Tree Hill’, Shantel VanSanten. Internationally, the brand continues to develop regional and global presence; to that end Maskatiya was shortlisted for the coveted International Woolmark Prize and is one of the first brands from Pakistan to have staged a solo showcase at the LFW. In terms of retail and global accessibility, the brand is further available worldwide through a dedicated e-commerce store, in the Middle East through a stand-alone retail space in Dubai and in Europe, the US, Singapore and India through a series of stockists.CELEBRITY’S FAVOURITEBollywood star Sonam Kapoor wore Sania Maskatiya on the cover of Cosmopolitan. Popular among Pakistan’s stars and celebrities, the brand counts Oscar winner Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and film sensation Mahira Khan among its long time patrons.