Meet The Maker / / Nasiba Hafiz
Nasiba Hafiz has always had a passion for fashion since she was 10. With parents who always had an extravagant wardrobe, fashion ran through her blood. Though she didn’t get accepted into a fashion design in womenswear program, she didn’t let that stop her. It was only the beginning of her road to success.
Q: Did you always want to be a fashion designer?
A: Yes I was always passionate since I was 10-11 years old. I was also influenced by my parents who were very stylish and creative. It actually started when I was working as a sales assistant at Blumarine on Bond Street, just before University in London. It was a beautiful shop, an Italian brand. This is really where my journey began.
Q: You applied for a course in womenswear at Central Saint Martin's, but didn't get in. Were you upset about this?
A: Yes! I was devastated. This industry is very competitive, but I got in to London College of Fashion’s Fashion Photography and Styling course, which I loved and learned so much in.. It's something that I worked in and until now I love styling. it’s one of my favorite things. I accepted being rejected although of course it is upsetting, I had advisors that helped me and guided me into looking at the next best thing. I made the best out of the next course that I did, and then I forgot about Fashion Design, I was like you know maybe it’s just not for me. But it’s so interesting that this is the road that led me to come back to it and be where I am today.
Q: How did you land back at fashion design?
I took a short course in Dubai at London College of Fashion in Fashion Design and How to start your own fashion label, and started my first collection during the course. These short courses really helped me and pushed me to finishing the first collection. Then I launched my first collection in Ramadan, it was 2013.
Q: How did you launch?
A: I started with a Ramadan Collection at Dadu store, and then I did a pop-up at the Saudi Art Council’s Space after 21,39 art exhibition. I’m not so big on paying rent and getting my own shop. The main thing for me was to minimize my spending and how to make the line perfect. So that’s where the pop-up concept started, I decided to just do 3-4 days of opening a shop, and then closing it. I love that exclusive feeling to the collection. I loved my first pop up, it was one of the best experiences ever honestly.
Q: Do you think sustainability in fashion is important?
A: Yes very. Especially with everything happening today, it’s more important than ever. It’s a global issue and it’s us all getting together and being responsible to the world, to mother earth.I never throw our leftover fabrics or samples. I always find a way to use them like I did with my re-usable totes and masks.
Q: Can you tell us about the difference between slow fashion and fast fashion?
Q: How has marketing enhanced your label?
A: It’s so nice to be able to have direct communication with your customers and like minded brands. It’s definitely great to support and be supported by other brands. I think there is such a nice connection between me and my clients, and my followers. I’m active and always posting, sharing the story of a lot of the pieces . I really enjoy the marketing aspect of the business. It really does make a huge difference to be active and to show people what you’re up to.
Q: What do you see as the future of your label?
A: I would love to be more international, in the aspect of the brand. But I think more online internationally, and more pop-ups internationally, I wouldn’t want to be in those big department stores. My vision is more about meeting people and traveling the world with the brand.
Q: What did you feel was a sign of your success or a milestone you’re proud of?
A: When I launched the lipstick and the candle. That was one of my proudest moments because it was like a dream come true; to venture into other products for my brand, not just clothing. This is where I see the future of my brand going: into more lifestyle and beauty products. Items that are more affordable.