In just one year, Nada Shah has gone from taking the helm in the Pakistani competitive fashion industry with her Luxury Pret and Semi Formal brand, to coming out with not one, not two but FOUR collections. On the eve of her one year anniversary, Nada talks to Edition about creating fashion with high end aesthetics at a good price.
Tell us a little about Nada Shah Designs, the brand.
Nada Shah Designs is a luxury pret brand that I launched in August 2018. Our collection currently consists of semi formals and pret wear with items that are fun, versatile and affordable. We have limited edition items which bring the exclusivity factor into play and focus on producing original designs with luxurious fabrics and unique details. Our goal is to offer a high end, luxurious aesthetic that appeal to various tastes at affordable prices .
What is your design philosophy?
“Less is more”. I always make sure each piece is elegant, understated and timeless, with each design being relevant for years to come. I feel that sometimes having too much going on can ruin an outfit and I like to keep that as my design philosophy so that the clothes are something classy for women of all ages. The pieces are such that can be worn on different types of occasions and can be dressed up or down when paired with the right accessories.
Where do you find inspiration?
I think once you open your mind you can find inspiration in almost all of your experiences. For me this has come from travelling to different places, exploring the history of fashion, and of course learning about our own rich cultural heritage.
If you could create pieces for one famous person who would it be and why?
Definitely Queen Rania! Not only is she a strong voice for women in the Middle East and an inspiring leader, but is also one of the most stylish royals-always always looking elegant and regal.
Winter Festive Collection
Are your collections thematic?
Yes they are- so far I launched three collections per year- one for each Eid and then one festive collection for the winter season. I find that a theme really gives each collection personality, whether its pastels or florals or more traditional style clothes- Even though each collection is thematic, each piece is unique and special in its own way. As any designer will tell you, each collection has a lot of hard work, sleepless nights and true dedication behind it.
Tell us about your new collection:
My most recent collection by the name of ‘LANA’ launched in July for Eid Ul Adha. This collection brought something new and fresh to the table. It is feminine and delicate, with a super fun pallet for summer. It includes pastels and some brighter colours as well- again focusing on understated elegance and sophistication. It was made on soft cotton nets, with soft pearl and lace accents- outfits that can be styled several different ways.
In a competitive market of clothing, what was your experience?
In this highly competitive field, I feel originality, creativity and client satisfaction is everything. One can only stay competitive if they have a good quality product out the door at a good price- something a client is truly satisfied with. A satisfied customer will always come back if they find your work to be value for money and of course to stand out with your unique design and aesthetic which is what attracted customers to you in the first place.
What advice would you give those entering the same business?
It is easy to be disheartened with the tonne of competition out there- but if you stay focused on your vision and why you started the brand in the first place, high chances are you will be successful. Having a clothing line is a lot of hard work- it requires great attention to detail. One should be prepared that this is not easy, but persistence is just as important as passion. You need to be able to sell your vision, as well as create and curate at the same time.