You have been in the fashion industry for decades and are respected immensely for your distinguished style and impeccable taste. Tell us about FnkAsia and why did you decide to call it that? Branching forth from my husband’s label Amir Adnan, I stepped into fashion designing in 2005 utilising Amir Adnan brands overruns and layering them with colours, textures and prints to run my own fashion-label by the name of FnkAsia. Hence I was the first to start sustainable fashion. Stemming from an inspirational trip to Florence, Italy where street fashion can be seen at its very best, I launched FnkAsia with the determination to give Asian women a brand that could represent urban chic ready to wear. Mixing traditional crafts with contemporary cuts, FnkAsia rose as a name that became synonymous with colour, craft and style. The name was conceived on the roads of Florence to make it a fun / funky brand coming from Asia hence FnkAsia. FnkAsia was the first fashion brand in Pakistan to have picked up a massive following via flagship stores in all major cities. Its popularity eventually spilled over to UAE, UK, USA and India. The brand proudly claims to be the first ever fusion label in Pakistan in 2005. My creations have been embraced by free-spirited and confident women who are drawn to the brand’s unique signature aesthetic that juxtaposes between vintage and modern, reserved and unrestrained, traditional and innovative. Hence it was a natural progression into my signature line Huma Adnan bringing forth inspiration from world culture, arts and global tailoring techniques tweaked around to fit hip-lifestyles. From its beautifully crafted clothing to ethnic-handmade accessories, I created the whole look for those who believe in sustainable cultures. Today the label also caters to a private celebrity clientele worldwide. What are you currently working on? I am working on my collection for Who’s Next Paris at the moment and taking stories of our cultures in the form of embroidered accessories. I am also invited to speak at their prestigious platform about working with inclusive communities in Pakistan and including them in design creation. Besides, I am also invited by Indus Arts Council Houston to showcase the latest collection in line with Pakistani culture and sensibilities. That is the next thing I will be working on besides my solo show in December. Tell us in detail about Craft Stories. The brand Huma Adnan has always been invested in working with indigenous craft and artisans. Being a philanthropist at heart, I started working with women from rural areas as well as Afghan refugee women living in Pakistan to help create jobs and make these communities a part of a sustainable economic cycle. This brought about Craft Stories – a socially conscious brand to give a voice to inclusive communities in Pakistan. After working with UNHCR as a livelihood collaborator, I also trained and engaged women in Ghizer Valley to create job opportunities for them. Craft Stories is a movement, a journey of repair, care and creativity. Karachi is a hotspot for fashion and designers. The market is now saturated with so many of them. Why do you think you have been able to retain your clients and become stronger as a brand day by day? Every brand needs an identity and a purpose to have followers. It’s very easy to copy and hire designers but without an identity, the brand cannot go too far. I have a huge fan following from people who have seen the brand branching out and progress. How would you describe your personal fashion statement? I believe in mindful creations with a free spirited unrestricted look. Anything that brings positive impact into fashion is my go to fashion statement. You are not just a designer but a social and environmental activist. You are also a livelihood collaborator with UNHCR. Tell us about that. My very first project with refugee women was in collaboration with UNHCR. It was a very successful project in which we created about 600 jewellery designs with 50 Afghan women at the camps. We had a very good response from both local and international customers. This created jobs for the refugee women and onwards we trained another set of 50 of them in Quetta during COVID. Livelihood opportunities for refugees in any country are just as important as they are for the citizens. This training created a positive impact and upwards to responsible fashion. Mindful creations always make one acknowledge the many hands that crafted the creation. You are one of our most favourite fashion designers in the country. Who are some of yours? I respect all designers who have an identity and whose work can be spotted from far. For me, designing with a purpose is the utmost important thing, especially when the world is going through so much chaos. It’s time we recognize our craft and artisans. Generating solidarity across craft communities and empowering the womencraft makers by valuing their skills makes it conscious fashion. Despite your phenomenal success, you are one of the humblest and down to earth people we’ve met. What ethos do you bring with your work? Believe in yourself. Recognise the makers of your craft who are the real trailblazers – How well has the refugee-made jewellery under Craft Stories been received in the market? It’s been an overwhelming response. The jewellery has been taken very well locally and globally and thanks to my customers who believe in responsible fashion and positive impact. All my customers have gone through the journey of exploring the stories of women who have made it. Whose professional advice and suggestions do you trust the most? My go-to person for any professional advice is Amir Adnan who also happens to be the CEO of the company that I work with. What according to you has been your biggest achievement so far? I believe in crafting a future for inclusive communities and my biggest achievement so far is creating jobs for them. You are one of the most influential people in the country. Who influenced you to pursue your current line of work? I have always been very passionate about indigenous craft which brings empathy and compassion in the work I do. My childhood was spent meeting the village people every summer at our ancestral home near Faisalabad. And now my work with refugee women and women in Ghizer Valley, Hunza are my biggest influencers.