Monica Paracha Exclusive Interview with Fashion Central

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Monica entered in partnership with Fashion-Enter in summer 2007. She has also exhibited recently on the ramp at Pakistan festival in Washington DC.

1. We understand that you run a workshop that specializes in designing, cutting and stitching and caters for hand embroidery. Can you dwell on the production aspect and how the facility enables you to produce trendy stuff?

Designs I do on my own. The workshop is where they are brought to life and it is not easy. Getting the cuts right and quality in finishing requires hard work and training. Sustained quality production is quite challenging. Staff turnover can be problematic since one can only train on the job. Power cuts are not helping either. Price escalation is squeezing small businesses and making it hard to compete internationally. Trained manpower would be ideal to produce trendy stuff for the international market; we need to invest in that.

2. Your hand embroidery reflects a sub continental touch. How have you managed to get this accepted?

Fusion is what I love to create. As long as the cuts are right and the client is a little adventurous.  There is a big market for ethnic and fusion in the West. Quality is important and needs to be maintained.

3. You have been a part of many fashion shows in such places as Washington, Birmingham, Bahrain and Delhi but not that many in Pakistan. Why?

It just turned out that way. I guess they are more accommodating of new talent!

4. What material do you like to work with? Do you like Pakistani stuff?

I use silk, chiffons, cottons, Swarovski, etc. I love and prefer to use Pakistani stuff but can’t compromise on quality.

5. Please share with us the highs and lows of your commercial career.

I am just getting into the market.  It is slow and steady. That is better than a roller-coaster ride!

6. What thrills you?

New places!

7. Pakistan made textiles; do you accept the quality of the cloth?

I would not say all, but yes quite to an extent, it is acceptable.

PERSONAL

1. Family life, is it a blessing?

Kids are the biggest blessing I have

2. Your competitors in business, are they a threat?

Competition is good for business and keeps one going.

3. Any heroes that you adore?

Not really.

4. Your days must be filled with work; how do you relax and unwind yourself?

Having nice cup of herbal tea and feet soaked in foot spa with Lavender aroma.

5. Ever consider changing your line of business?

Yes, there are some bad days, when I think about it.

6. Are you training people eager to learn?

Yes, certainly.  It is an ongoing process.

FUTURE

1. What are your plans for 2010?

Show in Paris; a Fashion Model Hunt Judge and Mentor invite; and IIFW in December so far.

2. How do you see your work, five years from now?

Established and flourishing inshallah.  

3. The current state of economy, Is it bothering your plans?

Not in a big way but there are issues.

4. Pakistan’s image abroad, certainly top designers like you can help to improve it.

My objective is to create a softer image of Pakistan abroad.  We all need to work for that.

Monica entered in partnership with Fashion-Enter in summer 2007. She has also exhibited recently on the ramp at Pakistan festival in Washington DC.

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