Exclusive Interview With Mohsin Naveed Ranjha (MNR Designs)
Tell us something about yourself?
I am a fashion designer originating from the historic city of Gujranwala, a place synonymous with culture and heritage. Fashion is my life-line which makes me a thorough devotee of arts, design, and traditions. Being so fashion conscious led me to open my very own design house by the name of MNR Designs. My mantra is to make everyone who is devoted to fashion a walking work of art and to keep on creating gorgeous apparel for men and women of every age and varying tastes.
Do you have any educational training in fashion
I was born with an unquenchable thirst for fashion and realizing that a sound know-how of textile and design was the need of the hour I decided to pursue a degree in fashion and textile design.
When did you decide that a career in fashion was for you?
I was always passionate about fashion, but it was not until I turned 20 that I felt this growing fervor and obsession for it. Despite my keenness towards fashion, it still took me quite a while to devote myself completely and making it into a mode of life. Once I was enrolled in a renowned fashion institute I was awestruck by design, silhouettes, the human anatomy and everything that is quintessentially design related and aesthetically pleasing. I guess it was just about waiting for the right moment of epiphany; the need to explore different aspects and get inspired by just about anything that I could transform into a stunning visual.
What are the hurdles that young fashion designers that want to make it big face?
Being a Pakistani means you are forced to be a certain way, be slightly liberal yet have a conservative outlook towards life, and for a man the career choices are restricted to being a doctor or an engineer. In such dire circumstances, it comes as no surprise that your credentials are only a replica of your degree, however what matters more is the intellect and passion to pursue your dream , come what may. The fashion industry in Pakistan is going through a boom, this means there is an influx of new designers every other day, the competition is crazy and it gets very tiresome to make your own name in such a demanding field. Nevertheless, if you have your own vision, your individualistic style and ideas that are out-of-the-box and refreshing then yes, you can make it big in the fashion world. The key point is extreme patience and determination.
What skills are mandatory for a successful fashion designers?
From the experiences I have had, and however much I have learnt in this field so far, I know one thing for a fact; fashion designers are trend-setters. What they envision, turns into a piece of art. According to me, a fashion designer must be edgy, extremely creative (needless to say) and they should be confident enough to speak their mind through their designs, however controversial it might be. Since time immemorial fashion has been a mode of escape for 56 every artistic soul, whatever turmoil a soul or society is going through, or however happy times are, designers can incorporate their thoughts into visually appealing array of designs. Moreover, for me a successful fashion designer should not be afraid to take risks, and should always have distinctiveness that makes their designs stand out from the other works.
What is your design philosophy?
I am a lover of nature and celebrate its beauty and splendor through my designs. My muse is all the awe-inspiring things of beauty, and fusing them into my embroidery makes it a joy forever. I am obsessed with birds, flowers and animals that can be used heavily to accentuate African accents inspired attire. Moreover I like to focus more on sensuous and ultra feminine flairs and silhouettes.
Who inspires you the most in fashion?
It has to be Sabyasachi Mukherjee hands down.
What kind of research goes into your collection?
Well, that really depends on what kind of collection you are planning to launch. Market and international trends are obviously taken into consideration. However, the main aspect is to create a unique collection with a distinct identity and design philosophy to make it stand out from the rest of the works. You have to make sure that you are not just following the pied piper theory and doing what everyone else is. That way every collection looks the same, for instance this season the silhouettes have become shorter, however the mantra behind MNR Design is to infuse their own style into every collection so that the contemporary look still remains while the distinct MNR Design philosophy speaks out too.
Do you see yourself introducing a prêt line ready to wear couture?
MNR Design is launching its prêt line this summer 2015. Hopefully the response will be as well received as the one I got after the launch of my men’s wear and bridal collection.
How do you balance the creative side of your work with the commercial side?
Being a fashion designer and businessman simultaneously means I have to strike the perfect balance between the creative side and the commercial side. In this regard, I have an extremely efficient team working for me under the MNR design label. Designing is my passion and dealing with the commercial aspect requires having a sound know-how of the latest trends, the competitors in the market, and adopting ways that would make my label stand out from the rest through careful planning and marketing.
It is certainly not an easy task, but yes, a man has to do what he has to do!!!