Shamaeel Ansari – The Last of Her Kind

The Pakistani fashion industry is a living testament to the power of ever-changing trends, and each mushrooming brand is a proof of it. However, amidst it all, there are still those who have preserved the craft by keeping it all about research and about the intricacies of couture. Shamaeel Ansari is one such example.

Crossing three decades in the Pakistani fashion market, she has been a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the art of fashion, history, and culture, owing to her brilliance and expertise.

Now, talking about this skillset and her sartorial repertoire, Shamaeel Ansari sits down for a tête-à-tête with Diva

 

Crossing three decades in the industry. How have you managed to retain your aesthetic?

The Shamaeel brand is one of the pioneer brands of Pakistan, having crossed 3 decades. My mantra for design is putting forward that which means something. A classic inspiration a grounded textile narrative. Staying within the realm of ones passion within the process brings out the best results.


What changes have you seen in the fashion industry?

The fashion industry has now second fast moving . Shifting consumer preferences have changed the industry. The need for variety has brought forward many new designers. Collections change rapidly, and this is a positive aspect of bringing forth creativity and to keep the ball working. It is important within this period to maintain originality. Social media and online selling has expanded the exposure, but it is important for a brand to maintain its identity and unique legacy.


You are one of the few designers who is known for researching on fashion. How important do you think that is?

Research is the overall strategy one chooses to integrate different components in a coherent way. What inspires one ? What is the stream of conscience? What is the turn around aspect? It is the blue print for your design, and the ability to research rings forth knowledge that opens many doors to creativity. It works in keeping the brand’s uniqueness.


Your legacy has been enshrouded by your love for grandeur and oriental opulence. How will you continue that legacy?

Orientalism is one of my deepest passions however the brand has and will be always reflecting many sartorial odes, how the Shamaeel product is and always will be applauded us for its originality .


You have represented Pakistani craft internationally for years. What feedback have you gotten and how has that excelled your work?

My career and brand reflects my uniqueness in expression. The Shamaeel brand is the only brand that created history with maximum number of solo shows, from 1990 to date. In sartorial locations, in sync  with the collections, philosophy and theology. The Shamaeel customer stands apart as does the brands history. No limitations – my own ideology and my own expression.


 Where do you see the Shamaeel brand in this new decade?

New decades are a journey. Moving forwards with new ideas, yet standing out as being individual in the world of Shamaeel.

 

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Shahjehan Saleem
Shahjehan Saleem

The author is the Editor of Diva Online as well as a film & fashion critic. He is also a professor in the Department of Media Sciences at SZABIST, Karachi. Socio-cultural theories and geography fill up the rest of his time.

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