LAHORE - Pakistan’s fashion industry has been on the rise for quite some time. Not only that, it has given a platform for new talent to enter and grow in the industry as long as they bring something new to the table.

It was March of 2016 at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week (PSFW). All the big names were showcasing their stunning collections on the ramp. Notable celebrities were in attendance and everything was the same, including the rising talent segment where young newly-graduate designers were to display their capsule collections. It was supposed to be like any other fashion week but this was the fashion show where Hira Ali was discovered.

The young designer captured the imagination of her colleagues and fashion critics alike with her collection ‘Curiouser & Curiouser’. She was able to present something fresh, unseen and new on the ramp.

Right off the bat, you could see her sense of style was distinct, her design philosophy minimal yet bold, and with edgy yet contemporary pieces, you could see that this bold talent was remaking fashion as we know it.

In a brief encounter with The Nation, Hira talks about her success and achievements in the fashion industry.

About how she ventured into fashion industry, Hira says, “From a very young age I was taught to appreciate art.  As I grew older, I had formed a unique taste. I knew what I liked visually and wanted to curate the world around me according to my vision. Fashion became a platform to fulfill my dreams.”

Answering a question about why she didn’t launch her own brand, Hira says, “I feel there is still much to learn, I used to work at Élan, and Khadijah trained me brilliantly. We had a discussion after my capsule collection and I decided to wait before I started designing under my own name.” About her latest collection to be showcased at PLBW18 Hira says, “This collection is quintessential Hira Ali. It’s minimal, modern, and transformative and it is not for everyone. I create designs for those who push the boundaries of convention.”

Talking about the motivation behind the collection Hira says, “My inspiration for this collection is Hira Ali Woman. She is a wild, rebellious and always raising hell. She defines her own standards of beauty and isn’t going out there to please anyone but herself.”

When asked about her first bridal collection to be showcased at PLBW18, Hira says, “I’m super excited. It’s a big deal to be handpicked by Ms. Saigol to showcase my collection at biggest fashion week of Pakistan. Ms. Saigol personally, as a mentor, has always encouraged me to not be ordinary, or fall in the trap of doing what everyone else is doing. She always motivates me to create designs which are out of the box.”

Answering a question about the pressure of producing the best collection after a season, Hira says, “Every collection you create is yours’ best if you’re creating art. If you start thinking about what would work commercially, you will never be able to produce your best work.”

About her previous collection which had a social message for the fashion freaks, Hira says, “Design and activism are inseparable. The runway is a great platform for self-expression. We all have the responsibility to best use the opportunities we get. This collection, like my collections in the past, delves deeper into the nuances of culture and clothes.”