Ayesha F. Hashwani is an acclaimed designer who has been designing since 2005, with the launch of her eponymous label, AFH. Her design aesthetic is coveted for her ability to experiment with cut, colour and silhouette creating flattering and unique styles and drapes. Indeed the AFH brand is also renowned for their signature introduction of the jeweled encrusted neckline across both prêt a porter and formal wear in Pakistan and for their acclaimed ability to engage minimal embellishment to create understated and graceful fashion pieces. Here designer Ayesha F Hashwani speaks to Fashion Central exclusively about her beginnings, the fashion industry and her label.
1. What is the quintessential AFH label fashion philosophy?
Infusing each garment with a characteristic attention to detail. From luxurious silks and chiffons to the intricate hand-beading, embroidery, stone and sequin embellishments – all have become trademarks of the AFH design philosophy. Pieces are designed to be timeless and versatile and ultimately to flatter, creating clothes to treasure that will last a lifetime.
2. Tell us more about each line under the AFH design label?
Currently there are 2 lines. One is hosted just by exhibitions which is the AFH- Cotton Collection. This takes place twice a year. Then there is the Pret line that is available at the Flagship store throughout the week. The prêt line consists of smart casual and formal evening wear.
3. How has fashion inspired you?
It’s the clothes and not the show that makes fashion hot. Putting it on the ramp is one thing but I love how it can make you feel different each time. You can wear certain styles depending on your mood and I love that about fashion.
4. In pursuing your goals as a designer what difficulties have you come across both from the angle of technology and resources?
Up to date I have not faced any difficulties in regards to technology or resources. Our team works with what is available to us.
5. Do you feel that fashion can help impact the international image of Pakistan?
I really do hope we have a positive impact eventually as it’s horrible to have successful events and then being highlighted for delayed and rescheduled events due to security issues in the country. From a fashion perspective, there has been little international impact for now as the focus is drawn more towards the circumstances under which the events are held.
6. Do you feel a designer’s personal sense of style is reflected within their labels aesthetic?
Absolutely. Every piece that I have designed up to date has been a piece that I would like to wear to a certain occasion. I would not sell or alter a design that does not reflect my style.
7. Who would you most like to dress nationally and internationally?
Locally: Nabila. She’s absolutely stunning. Internationally: Jennifer Lopez.
8. Do you have any plans of taking the AFH label to the mass market what with the current designer Lawn hype across Pakistan?
Currently it is a bit over whelming to see how many local designers are coming out with their lawn prints. Mass marketing is not something that interests me at this stage of my career.
9. Do you feel that fashion weeks in Pakistan can help institutionalise and professionalise the business of fashion in Pakistan?
Yes I do believe so. This is how it is done internationally and I think we are on the right path.
10. You are known to balance your work and personal life with grace and finesse. Do share advice with our readers on how you have achieved this?
It’s all about time management. I try not to bring my work home. You have to have control over the hours you work and build more activities into your schedule that are important to you.
Ayesha F. Hashwani is an acclaimed designer who has been designing since 2005, with the launch of her eponymous label, AFH.