Numerous brands enter the industry but only a few manage to create a name that stands apart from its competition.
Usually these are brands that figure out what their aesthetic is and stick by it; surpassing trends and instead create, a niche of their own.
The latest brand to officially enter the industry with an understanding of this mantra is Anna Aziz, a brand that is focused on creating vintage, timeless pieces in a market that is shifting towards the contemporary.
This week we chatted with the mother-daughter duo behind Anna Aziz, Quratulain and Maham to learn more about their up and coming brand and how they are focusing on reintroducing traditional craft into the modern industry.
1. Anna Aziz is a new brand in the industry. When did you start and who is part of the team?
Anna Aziz has been a small scale design house for almost 20 years. It was started by Quratulain, more fondly known as Anna, who is extremely passionate about the art of needlework and wanted to bring back traditional Kashmiri designs that she had grown up amongst.
When friends saw her designs, the requests started to roll in and not one to say no, Anna started unwittingly working on her future label.
Recently, her daughter Mahum has joined the brand with the aim of bringing a modern twist to the traditional craftsmanship that defines the brand.
2. How would Anna Aziz, the design house, be described and what does it embody?
Our brand reflects the traditions and crafts of the subcontinent. Back in the day, our mothers wore the simplest outfits on their own weddings – focusing more on the quality of the fabric and needlework, rather than the heavy embellishments we see today. We ultimately, design for those that appreciate the finesse and hardwork of a completely handmade product.
3. What inspires your designing process?
Quratulain: I love to play with traditional Islamic motifs – these could be Persian, Turkish, Kashmiri or a mix of all… there are no rules!
4. With your old school aesthetic how do you manage to cater to the modern bride?
Today’s bride is a more practical woman – while she’s still a little girl inside who wants to look and feel like a princess, she also wants to get maximum use out of her attire and not have it hanging in the back of a closet.
Hence, we work on individual pieces that can be styled together but can also look equally beautiful on their own- such as a bridal dupatta than can be converted into a sari. Our details are classic, our cuts timeless and our embellishments will shine through decades.
5. With so much competition in the industry how are you managing to stand apart?
In a sea of ubiquitous bridal wear, our work speaks for itself. Its real couture- handmade , one of a kind and yet, affordable.
6. What are three details you love to incorporate in your designs
Colour, threadwork and some asymmetry.
7. Do you follow trends at all? If yes, what are three trends you’d like to incorporate in your coming collection?
We look at trends and think, ‘How can we be different? What’s next? How can we get there first whilst still staying true to our brand ethos?’
8. What is your biggest ‘Don’t’ when it comes to fashion?
Don’t be afraid to be different. Fashion is a personal choice.
9. What is the colour palette people should opt for in the coming bridal season?
This winter, we’d say, opt for bright and lively colours. Our personal favourites are pomegranate red, fuchsia and emerald green.
10. What are your plans for Anna Aziz in the future?
While our focus has always been on eastern evening wear and bridals (we’ll continue to expand that), I want to introduce a line of delicately worked western wear in the near future as well