Her passion and quest for greener pastures landed her the opportunity


Her passion and quest for greener pastures landed her the opportunity to work under the guidance of fashion heavyweights Amir Adnan and Maheen Khan, who she once aspired to be like. With years of experience under her belt, she’s now ready to go solo as a designer for her eponymous label. Speaking to The Express Tribune, Sarah talks about how she set foot in the world of fashion and her latest venture.

The designer’s present fortes are prêt and couture but she also plans on designing bridal-wear. “I’ve been designing bridal-wear for close family and friends but now, I’m taking orders from other clients as well. I hope to design a collection for next year.” Sarah will showcase her maiden collection at a two-day exhibition at her residence in Defence on June 27 and 28. She will also stock her collection at a local store. “For now, I plan on holding exhibitions regularly and will also be stocking at Ensemble from next month. I like my current set-up as it allows me to have personal interaction with my clients.”

Young designer Sarah Anees set to launch first collection after working with Amir Adnan and Maheen Khan.

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Of her target market and how she plans on making a mark amid stiff competition, she says, “I feel there’s a niche that appreciates and desires post-modern-inspired apparel in Pakistan. Most people who refer to me are looking for clothes that complement instead of overpower them, especially the young urban female, who is a rising segment of our society.” She adds, “Taking this into account, the foundation of my label has been laid on organic growth for the next five years.”

Sarah feels that “clothes carve one personality, mood and self-perception.” As she pursued art on an academic level and graduated from the Pakistan School of Fashion Design in 2008 with a Major in Women’s Western Wear Couture, she began to realise that designing clothes was the way she wanted to express her inner self. It was then that she started taking keen interest in fabrics and how one can manipulate them. “Each print has a story, each piece has a history,” she adds.

After graduation, Sarah worked with Amir Adnan for almost three years. “He helped me enter the professional world as a designer,” she shares. “I learnt that design efficiency and organisation are as important as creativity to the fashion business. He taught me to channel my aesthetics of women’s wear into other mediums, such as menswear.”

In 2012, Sarah availed the opportunity to join Maheen Khan and with that, she marked her debut in women’s couture, particularly bridal-wear. “In retrospect, my time with her felt like going back to school. She allowed me to fully discover my creative side and pushed my boundaries as a designer,” she notes. “I was able to bring more maturity and finesse to my embroideries through exposure to international costume design under her guidance,” she further says.

Sarah feels that both Amir and Maheen lent impetus to her career, as they taught her to trust her instincts and stay true to herself. She describes working with the seasoned designers at an early stage as a turning point in her career. “I’ve been extremely lucky to have these two incredible mentors, whose guidance made me grow as a designer. I’ll always be grateful to both of them,” she states.

Now, as she plans on beginning her solo career, Sarah admits it was an “extremely tough call” to make. “I was very nervous. With the experience I had gained, Maheen encouraged me to venture out alone. Had she not given me that push, the present would be a different story. My husband has also been my rock and helps me every day to make my dreams real,” she states.

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