This 25 Year Old Pakistani Designer Wants To Change The Way We All See Fashion

By Arslan Athar | 11 Sep, 2018

The Pakistan Fashion world has seen quite some major changes over the last few years. As the fashion scene began to grow in Pakistan, there was an influx of new and fresh talent. This brought with it the possibilities of changing the fashion world, breathing new life into designs and taking Pakistani fashion to a whole new realm.

One designer that is part of the new order of Pakistani fashion is Hira Ali. 

The ‘Hira Ali’ brand marries modern silhouettes and trends with the grandeur of our traditional desi designs.

After watching Hira Ali’s line at the PLBW this past week, we had the chance to sit down with the designer and talk to her about her design philosophy and her motivation for creating the looks she’s creating.

We began by talking about the very beginning of the brand. What motivated her and why she decided to start her own line? 

Initially, Hira had been working for a major fashion brand in Pakistan. During this time, she was thinking of having her own brand also, but just on the side. Then came along the Sunsilk Fashion Week.

After she showed her mini-line at the event, she started getting a lot of attention. 

The buzz around ‘Hira Ali’ started getting big and it got to a point where it was almost necessary for her to pursue her fashion brand full time. Then began the phenomenon that is Hira Ali.

The business was small, they took each day as it came. They didn’t have a lot of investment either, so they had to pull all the resources they had to continue creating, designing and, of course, paying the bills! Hira even went on to say that if they were to look at the business in terms of their future, it wouldn’t have made sense to continue the brand, but heck, they persevered and are a force to be reckoned with in the industry.

Hira caters to a largely young female audience, and she caters her designs to their millennial mindset; a thought process largely defined by ‘value for money’. 

Pakistan’s fashion industry, especially the world of bridal outfits, has been overtaken by this wave of people buying outrageously expensive clothes to wear only once. Hira wants to create clothes that can be worn over and over, clothes that allow you to dress up and dress down, depending on the occasion.

When I saw her collection at PLBW ’18, I was rather taken away by the crisp lines, modern cuts, and minimal design. A far cry from the rest of the clothes that were exhibited at the fashion week. 

Her collection at the show also showcased a major part of her brand; the need to always make a statement. Her show at PLBW was labeled ‘Snap Trapped’. The core message was to break free of the pressures placed especially on women. The pressure of looking ‘perfect’ and presenting the right image online.

Also at the core of her line was the need to celebrate individuality, outside the restrains of what society deems ‘appropriate’. She achieved this by constructing looks that relied on modern techniques, and design that was a step away from the traditional ‘heavy’ bridals.

Hira Ali bravely paid homage to equality, love and acceptance through her pride jacket.

When I asked Hira why she had a show that was so heavy in meaning, she said that for her, it was the obvious thing to do.

Business without cause, or without knowledge of what’s happening in your world is pointless, for her. Internationally, we’ve seen newer businesses take the stance; marrying the world of business with a cause close to their hearts. It’s refreshing to see someone bring this into the Pakistani sphere, especially in the sphere of fashion; an industry that has recently become exceedingly ‘superficial’ and ‘commercial’

Hira Ali represents a break away from what the fashion industry has recently become. She is, truly, a breath of fresh air, an influx of new ideas and techniques, but she’s also deeply rooted in her culture and wants to truly bring together modern design with our beautiful and vibrant culture.

I Attended My First Ever Fashion Week And This Is What I Thought Of It

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