Q1. Your fame in fashion was not received in day. How was the starting days in the field of fashion?
Ans) Its been MashAllah twenty years since I started. My advent in the field of fashion was a result of immense support, appreciation and encouragement of my family and friends. In those days I feel the struggle wasn’t that hard however it did take a lot of hard work, time and dedication.
Q2. After spending almost two decades in the fashion world do you feel you have accomplished it all?
Ans) Allhamdollilah I am very satisfied with my progress and success over the years. I keep setting goals for myself time and again and ultimately achieve them. However, now I feel there is too much cut-throat competition which is good and keeps us going but I feel that I have accomplished my objective and have made a place and name in the industry.
Q3. The fashion industry has seen a boom in the last few years. How do you feel about it?
Ans) As I mentioned earlier, there has been an influx of new designers over the past few years which has been beneficial for the industry as a whole as new talent has emerged and new ideas have come up. Simultaneously there is more awareness amongst the customers and demand has also gone up. This boom in our fashion industry has also put Pakistan up on the world fashion map and given Pakistani’s designers worldwide recognition.
Q4. As you have seen the Pakistani fashion industry very closely, do you think that our designers are good enough to compete internationally?
Ans) I have seen the Pakistani Fashion Industry evolve over the years and have witnessed the immense changes that have taken place. I feel that we have now matured enough to compete internationally. Our USP is our handwork and delicacy and fine finishing in our work.
Q5. According to you which female personifies Ruby Shakel as a brand?
Ans) I try to bring out the best in everyone who wear my clothes so you’ll see a reflection of Ruby Shakel’s brand in all the beautiful ladies I dress.
Q6. Who is your favorite international designer?
Ans) I like Roberto Cavalli’s work. He is novel and I like his use of animal prints like I do.
Q7. What do you have to say on the number fashion weeks that are taking place in Pakistan?
Ans) As I said I have seen the Pakistani Fashion Industry evolve over the years. Some very progressive developments have taken place over the years and Fashion Weeks are one of the highlights of them. It has bought Pakistan on the International fashion map and have put us in the limelight where media and international buyers can see our work.
Q8. We have noticed that your participation is only in selected fashion show, what is the reason behind this?
Ans) I believe in originality and quality and not quantity. That is why I always strive to do little but good work that standsout. Also over the past few years I have also tried to focus on pret and casual wear by dressing up most of the Morning Show hosts. However no doubt that my forte has always been Bridal and Haute Couture.
Q9. As you are one most sought after designer in Pakistan, what will be the trends that people should look forward to in 2013?
Ans) Bright colors would be in in 2013 with straight cuts and simple but tasteful work.
Q10. You are idealized by many upcoming designers, your word of advice for them will be?
Ans) It’s a pleasure to see so much new talent coming into the industry and doing some really good work. However, I feel its about sustaining good original work which will lead to success.
Q11. Are you working on a new collection? Please tells us a bit about it?
Ans) Yes ofcourse! I am indeed very excited about my new collection! It is a homage to my twenty years in the Pakistani fashion industry and is going to be an thrilling amalgamation of Ruby Shakel signature classics and modern haute couture!
Q12. Each year hundreds of students join the fashion industry. Do you think this will have a negative effect on the overall fashion industry?
Ans) ofcourse not! Infact it’s a sign of a growing booming industry and leads to healthy competition and innovation in the industry. All we now need is dedication and a passion to sustain good original work from them.
Q13. In recent times we have seen many designs being copied from the international stage. Don’t you think something should be done to control this?
Ans) I think that our consumers have already become so smart and aware that in a few years this copying business will stop itself they already know it all! They would be able to tell whats original and authentic.
Q14. What is that one thing that classic fashion had that modern fashion will never have?
Ans) fashion is about evolving and changing. So each era and time had its highlights.
Q15. Tell us your personal style statement?
Ans) My personal style statement is to add something in tiger or cheetah print in what I am wearing. It could be a shoe, bag, jewelry, scarf or accessory.
Q16. Which is your favorite piece of clothing that you have ever created?
Ans) Since my forte is haute couture I enjoy doing heavily worked formal clothes.
Q17. Do you think couture is more than just bridal wear?
Ans) Well I feel that in Pakistan couture is more confined to bridal wear. However, now with the upcoming fashion weeks and shows the trend is changing.
Q18. How would you describe the year 2012 for Ruby Shakel as a brand?
Ans) Year 2012 has MashAllah been a very good and productive year for our brand Ruby Shakel. We displayed our Bridal and Haute Couture collection at the Pantene Style 360 Bridal Couture Week, we added a lot of celebrities and well known media personality to our Ruby Shakel bandwagon, most of the morning show hosts and drama productions had wardrobes from Ruby Shakel, we launched Ruby Shakel in Lahore locally and Manchester and Houston internationally. Also the year 2012 saw the advent of “Ruby Shakel Juniors”an adorable line of beautiful Ruby Shakel signature dresses for pretty little girls.
Q19. What was the precious moment for you during the past year?
Ans) Everytime I was appreciated by a fan or client was a precious moment for me.
Q20. What is your resolution for this year?
Ans) My resolution for this and for many years to come has always been to be honest and dedicated to my work and to give the best to my clients and fans. Because there appreciation and encouragement has been my sole motivation.
Veteran fashion designer Ruby Shakel, known for her signature animal prints, talks about her passion for designing in an exclusive interview with Fashion Central.