Exclusive Interview of Sammy K with Fashion Central

Saman Khalid started off on a small scale by designing clothes for her friends and family. Her enthusiasm for originality pushed her further; hence she then decided to launch her own brand by the name of ‘Sammy K’ to cater to individuals who believe in simplicity yet stylishness.

Sammy K’s three lines, Pret wear, semi-formal and formal wear depict the sort of comfort and style that would be easy to pick and wear for any occasion. All litter and quality fabrics are used in designing; the designer is very particular about the quality of fabric used.

Her target market is women/girls from all walks of life, from a housewife to a working professional. Moreover, the pricing strategy Saman Khalid opts for is market penetration strategy. The dresses are pretty much affordable to buy varies from Rs. 3,000 to Rs. 25,000/- max. Her focus is mainly designing trendy, chic and sophisticated clothes for average Pakistani females. Sammy K believes in catering to the masses over a niche clientele.

The range includes outfits with mostly subtle colours for everyday wear. In her semi-formal/ party wear pure silks n chiffons are mainly used with an unusual blend of multiple fabrics and eye catching colours. Embellished nets, pure chiffons, silks, and jamawar fabrics are used in the formal line with all delicacy and grace.

Her determination towards catering to masses leads her to customized clothes for her clients as well, on their provided budget. The outfits can be designed keeping in mind the client’s affordability and choice. Orders should be placed one month prior to the occasion.

1. How did you get started in design?

Started on a small scale, I used to designer clothes for family and friends. Got a lot of encouragement since the demand increased and a number of people wanted to buy my stuff. So one fine day, I thought of starting my own label and opening up a flagship store.

2. What does fashion mean to you?

I believe, fashion is the expression of your style and it reflects your personality. It has the power to transform an image and make a social statement. So fashion defines who you are.

3. For our readers please share your career profile with us?

I have done my bachelors in Journalism and have been in the retail business since 15 years. We had a franchise of a very well-known clothing label for years. And then after doing my post graduate diploma in apparel design I started designing clothes professionally in 2011 and  opened my first flagship store in Karachi in 2012. Further, I have done weddings weeks for numerous morning shows and also stocking in Dubai and Lahore.

4. Tell us about your new collection 2014?

My new Spring/Summer 2014 collection is all about trendy and chic cuts with shorter hemlines. Embellished lace kurtas, floral and digital prints in tunics have also been used in the range along with cropped and cigarette pants with traditional block and screen printing.  I am introducing Kashmiri embroidery on jumpsuits with jackets as well; a latest trend of blending the eastern and western trends together.

5. Which fabric you have used the most in your collection and why?

I have used different types of lace since lace is always an elegant and classy fabric to use for an outfit. Chiffon and Silks for party wears. Screen printed and blocks printed lawn for the casual wears since summers in Pakistan are extremely hot and people prefer wearing light fabrics.

6. Who is your inspiration? Your mentor?

My inspiration is Yves Saint Laurent. There are multiple reasons for having him as my mentor. My label is all about ready to wear stuff. And YSL’s most important fashion legacy is ‘ready to wear’ fashion clothing. He also introduced power dressing for women which also meant that he believed in empowering women. From couture to ready to wear, he was a master in all.  His creativity in redesigning the clothes considered to be masculine into beautiful, feminine wardrobe for women makes him stand out for the rest of the legends.

7. You play with different fabrics, what are your views for Pakistani fabric or textile?

Pakistani textile industry is the largest manufacturing industry in Pakistan. And we supply fabrics all over the world. Pakistani lawn and cotton is considered to be one of the best and our fabrics last longer than most of the others. As compared to our neighboring country, our fabrics have a huge variety and much better quality.

8. Where do you see your fashion label in future?

I see my fashion label having its own flagship stores in all the major cities of Pakistan. Also stocking and exhibiting in more parts of the world and participating in fashion weeks to reach a larger number of audiences. Also intend to bring about a change in Pakistanis Street fashion.

9. Which model would you take for your shoot?

There are many models in the Pakistan fashion industry who have earned lots of fame and constant love from the fans, amongst all I would like to feature Hira Tareen in my upcoming shoot. She is a very confident and a versatile girl and I think she will be the perfect face for the next shoot.

10. Which brand, you like the most?

I like Roberto Cavalli an Italian fashion designer from Florence. He is my mentor. I really followed designing sense and aesthetic taste for fashion, the exotic prints and for creating the sand-blasted look for jeans.  The reason for liking this designer is that he is much inspired by the flamboyant, rock, and animal print collections. As a young boy, he was fascinated by textile and prints which later transcended to his studies.

11. Any advice for emerging fashion designers?

I would like to say for all those emerging designers to come up with something Original. Instead of copying themes, designs and features of other leading brands they should develop their own signature style. Secondly, they should start with a smaller scale and get to see the nitty-gritty.

12. Describe Sammy K in three words?

Affordable, Chic and Classic.

13. Which textures and prints do you prefer?

The prints I mostly like include floral prints, eye catchy patterns, traditional block printing, digital printing and especially designing to be made on litter comfortable fabric.

14. Share your experience with Fashion Central Multi brand Store?

My experience with Fashion central is very fabulous so far. The sales have been really good. For a designer, 3 things are very important, 1) sales, 2) promotion, 3) and marketing. And all of these promotional activities are going pretty well.

15. What collection will you be displaying on the exhibition going to be held in Fashion Central Multi brand Store?

I will be displaying shorter length Kurtis, as the trend for long kurtas has changed due to the seasonal change and customer demand for more comforting wear for springs. Secondly, jumpsuits with short jackets will be featured in my summer collection; the reason to couple short jackets with jumpsuits is the physique. Girls have different body shapes, so this combo will be a perfect fit for all those young girls. Fabric like Chiffon and silk with shorter hemlines will be mostly centered on. The blend of western and eastern both will be seen in my collection at the exhibition.

16. How do you deal when faced with criticism by consumer?

Well, I take criticism very healthy and it’s the part of the game. Nobody is perfect and there is always a room for improvement for everyone. If the criticism is valid I take that into consideration and try to improve it.

Saman Khalid, popularly known by her brand Sammy K, is one of the very versatile designers in Pakistan. Saman shared her passion for fashion designing in an exclusive interview with Fashion Central.

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