Building an impressive infrastructure over a well-laid base is not as difficult as establishing the base and dealing with hard ground realities on daily basis. Amir Adnan ventured into the world of fashion at a time when Pakistani fashion industry was a premature infant, and moreover, he entered with unconventional mind set. He wanted to revamp and create a distinct brand instead of localising international designs. After his graduation in business, he decided to pursue his passion and trained himself without ado. He added zing to accessories like ties and life to ethnic wear of yesteryear like sherwanis. Let’s see what this larger than life designer has to say to Cherry Cross about his life, work and himself
Let’s start with a brief info about your family, personal life and education?
I am a family oriented person and love to spend time with my children. I have three – Shafae, Parishae and Nichae. My favorite time is when I get to watch cartoons with my kids. Other than that, I am happily married to Huma. Besides that, I got my masters degree in Business Administration from IBA.
What were you like as a boy, from your perspective?
I was an independent and self-contained. I always like building something from nothing.
Are you surprised by your life?
No, not really. I have always enjoyed changes and experiments. It makes life interesting.
When you first caught the public’s attention, you began to transform fashion’s relationship to the body. Do you feel that your concept actually changed the way people look physically?
Yes it did. Men became conscious about their appearance and took it seriously. They now spend money and evaluate themselves before going out. They understand the importance of looking good and work for it as well.
Can fashion in clothing actually change the fashion of human body?
It definitely does. Some clothes look good on a certain type of body frame and that drives people to maintain themselves. On a general level, fashion actually gives people a reason to take care of their bodies as clothes look good when your body is in shape. Other than that, some fabrics are flattering whereas others make certain body part stand out. Clothing can change a person’s appearance drastically and people who know what suits them always manage to look good despite the event or time.
Do you think of an outfit in terms of linearity, geometry, or movement?
I incorporate all these elements. I aim for a balanced outfit that contains all these three aspects in perfect proportion.
Your business and men’s collection took the world of fashion by storm not only locally but internationally as well-how was the experience while designing this particular collection?
It was definitely interesting. When you design for your local market, it is like being in your comfort zone. You know the people, you know their likes and dislikes, you know what do they want and need, so there is no uncertainty while designing for them. International scenario is entirely different. You don’t know the people nor can you predict their reactions. But when your designs and collections are accepted and appreciated there, it feels really good.
What were the challenges you had to face while climbing up the ladder of success?
Personal growth was one challenge that I had to face and conquer to be successful. I had to accept challenges that were hurled my way and go beyond them, even if they were larger than life. I had to lead people and climb the ladder with my team. I frequently questioned myself if I am capable of leading people and ensuring growth.
Have you ever been bothered by the restrictions that are imposed on men in terms of how they are dressed?
Men around the world are subject to many restrictions in terms of their attire and colour choices. We are stereotyped only the basis of what colour do we wear. Masculinity is seriously fragile in this case. But it doesn’t bother me personally at all. I do not endorse these restrictions at all.
What have been the most-interesting moments for fashion, in general?
The power of fashion fads-the fact that it creates a massive frenzy and you see almost everyone adapting to them. And then a new fad emerges and the same cycle continues.
You have managed to stay current over decades. Many of your peers have taken a less active role, or even taken themselves out of the business, yet it’s hard for us to envision Amir Adnan without Amir Adnan at the helm. Can you envision that?
I hope no one can envision such a thing!
With all your products, you have created a lifestyle beyond just clothing. Is this your goal? Do you feel like you’re something beyond a fashion designer?
My goal is to pass on hope, dreams and an opportunity to feel good about themselves. You buy clothes or accessories to look good, and that what I want.
Has the time come to rethink certain aspects of the fashion world? What position do you take in mediating the direction society is taking?
Change is the only constant one can have and adapting to it requires adjustment of perception. We need to adjust to them immediately to cater to specific consumer needs. For example, during this time for recession, people are changing their spending patterns and want to get best value for their money. So as designers, we need to adjust to include this demand as well.
What can we look forward to in your upcoming collection?
Since the world has become a multicultural village, my upcoming collection will also reflect colour, fabric and techniques from all around the world.
If you were a time traveler and could visit another time and place to immerse yourself in its style and culture, what would be the time and what would be the place?
Karachi in 3020
If you weren’t a designer you would be ——–and why?
In child entertainment business as I really wanted to do it.
The celebrity you would love to design clothes for?
Muhammad Ali Jinnah
‘Amir Adnan’ in one word, will be?
What is fashion?
We saw your last collection in hues of skin and white, what is the role of colour in fashion for you?
Colour is a very important element that needs to be in line with weather and time of the year.
How has recession affected the fashion industry especially the label Amir Adnan?
It has affected every sphere of life. Expensive clothes are less in demand and vice versa.
One thing, which the world doesn’t know about you?
I live in rags