Women’s Own team reached out to Misha Shikoh Khan to get some interesting insights about her clothing line ‘Rania’. Let’s see what she has to say about her brand.
Tell us something about yourself. When did you decide to become a fashion designer and what aspects of your job do you enjoy the most?
I am a dedicated mother, entrepreneur, and a hard worker, with a strong passion for style! Creativity and design run in my blood – having grown up in an advertising house-hold, with my father being one of the pioneers in creative and production in the advertising industry in Pakistan for more than 35 years, and my mother having run a successful boutique fashion brand for an equal amount of time, I was naturally geared towards capitalizing on the strong genes! More recently, I felt there is a huge supply gap of good quality and bespoke western fashion outlets in Pakistan – with everyone resorting to the likes of Zara, Mango, H&M, etc, and I felt it was the right time for me to enter with a brand like Rania to ignite a home grown brand in the respective space.
I enjoy the freedom to create and design from scratch, develop the recognition for a home-grown brand in the local and international markets, discover high quality materials (no wonder foreigners are astounded when they enter the kapra and lace markets in the country!), and the flexibility of time (my beautiful 3 year is my number one priority). And of course, catering to my beautiful clients’ and making them feel as special as they truly deserve!
Your clothing brand is receiving a positive feedback from the public and is known for casual and semi-formal wear both. Tell us about your latest collection and response it is been getting so far?
This is currently in the works and to be launched in Fall, we at Rania are very excited! Looking forward to the support and interest Rania has received so far!
We are interested to know about your source of inspiration when you are in a process of creating a new collection. How do you go about it?
Travelling, Fashion Shows, TV; I am often in different cities, mainly Europe, Middle East, and the Americas – you would be surprised at the flow of ideas that run through your mind just grabbing a coffee and sitting in the middle of a public crowd watching people around you, each with her own traditions, fashion, and style. Same is with fashion shows and TV. Once an idea sticks, I blend it with my own creativity, knowledge and style to generate something new!
Do you think the way you design has evolved since you embarked your career in the field of fashion designing?
Of course! Client is Queen. And my goal is always to customize and tailor my ideas and designs to the requirements and trends of my audience.
Competition has increased these days and designers have the pressure of coming out with exquisite collection every season. How do you manage this pressure and ensure that your designs meet expectations of your clientele?
Competition is always healthy! Pakistan is instilled with so much talent across the board, each designer / entrepreneur catering to a separate niche and audience. As far as fashion is concerned, there can never be enough competition; look at the brilliant brands across the world. For me it is catering my design / style to the correct audience, maintaining a high quality of material and service, and of-course mastering the art of cutting, stitching and tailoring, which I feel is the biggest differentiator between brands!
How does it feel to be a fashion designer in Pakistan? Tell us about the challenges you face on a regular basis and how you deal with them?
Feels amazing to be a part of such a talented, creative and growing industry in Pakistan, with such brilliant individuals all around! Challenges are always fun, you just need to know that you will over-come them eventually and keep a cool mind. The biggest challenge in Pakistan is establishing a trust worthy, reliable and hard-working team – this is usually the most difficult part of setting up and maintaining shop in Pakistan as any fall-outs / changes can create a disruption in direction and energy! For me my team is key, and I go out of my way to make sure they are motivated to stay for the long run.
Where do you see your brand in 5 years and any plans of launching at an international platform?
My goal is to serve and continuously satisfy the fashion needs of a select clientele, since my clothes are highly bespoke and custom tailored for each of my clients. And of course, I already have considerable clients abroad, and with the power of social media platforms and tools at hand in this day and age, the world is your oyster and there is absolutely no geographical limit! So definitely the international direction is there!
One piece of advice for starters in fashion designing?
Always explore your passions, work hard, stick to your strengths and niche, and never give up. Just as any businesses there will be challenges and obstacles, but it is your ability to stand back up and be resilient in difficult times which define your success!
Any message for Women’s Own readers?
I am truly honoured and privileged to share my experiences on this forum. I have always been an avid reader of the magazine, and it is remarkable to see how the winds have changed for women in the country, and I am absolutely thrilled and excited to be a part of this journey in Pakistan and around the globe!