Time for a one-woman show
the fashion designer revealed why she opened the store. “I’ve been designing clothes for years and, for the longest time, it was under the label Slate. It’s time for me to stand on my feet,” she said. “Many clients repeatedly request for easy access to my capsule and made-to-order collections. So, I just felt it was the right time to take a step forward,” she added.
Explaining how the prêt store culture in Pakistan is gaining relevance, Saleha stated, “Prêt isn’t a new thing anymore, so consumers are spoilt due to a wide variety available. That has raised the bar high for younger designers like me.” She further said, “It’s the need of the hour to capitalise on the changing market trends across Pakistan, where women are looking for stylish, affordable clothes without any hassle. Saleha (the brand) offers exclusivity, where [you will find] unique yet affordable hand-painted pieces.”
Having previously run a label with Rabia, Saleha shared she thoroughly enjoyed and learnt from the process of working in a partnership. “Responsibilities were shared and two creative minds worked together. I don’t think I’ve ‘gone solo’ now, as that way I wouldn’t be recognising the ambitious and talented team I’m currently working with,” she noted. “For me, personally, it is a different journey with new challenges and avenues to explore, which is scary and fun at the same time. I’m just enjoying the ride for now.”
While many other designers have explored the realm of bridal-wear and couture, Saleha remains true to her signature style. “Prêt has been my forte ever since I started my career and I’m very comfortable in this space right now.” Saleha, who is a mother of three, said her children are her priority, which makes her want to focus on her personal strengths on the work front. “Prêt makes it easier for me to juggle between work and family,” she said.
Saleha shared that she’ll focus on strengthening her market presence and re-establishing her client base in Karachi for the next six months. Her immediate focus is on bringing out new stock in the store on a regular basis and is currently working on her Eid collection. In Lahore, her brand is available at Ensemble. “I’d like to grow organically and love to establish presence in the form of retail outlets in other cities,” shared the designer.