1.What sparked your interest in fashion?
I wanted to be fashion designer since childhood, the interest sparked during my barbie days where I wanted to dress my Barbie up and dad would tell me to do well in school and then he would buy me. Instead of waiting for dad to buy me, I would design my own clothes for my Barbie dolls, learning to sew was a hobby from a young age, the needle and thread then became my passion, and that’s when I decided I wanted to be a fashion designer in life. So after my bachelors in India, I pursued my passion for Fashion designing, I just love dressing up!
2.Are you self-taught or did you study Fashion Designing?
During my university days, my friends always had a keen interest in my fashion sense, and would always ask me to style them, this made me more confident for my passion of fashion designing. Just to see how it goes as a startup, I took a short course in Fashion Designing in Mumbai and here I knew for sure fashion designing was what I really wanted. I then pursued and did an advanced course in Milan, Italy in 2004 for a year and a half and learned to design and creating my portfolio
3. When was your brand established?
L’mane was established in 2013, before going official and getting a license I used to work from home, doing all the groundwork before deciding to go, official.
4. How has your work evolved ever since your brand got established?
There was a lot of struggle during the early stages of my brand, Fashion designing looks very fancy and glamorous for people out there but in reality, it’s not, there’s a lot
of struggle involved, it’s not about money it’s about making your mark. When there are high-end brands such as Gucci, Versace and Dolce Gabbana, why would people want to spend a lot on purchasing my clothes, its to be able to convince them I’m good enough and for them to trust my brand.
It’s not about money its about making your mark. – Lina Mane
I also deal with celebrities from Bollywood but when people inquire on the price of these outfits and I tell them, they just don’t understand the work and effort being put behind each outfit, to convince them was a struggle, but now thankfully I’ve overcome to this struggling phrase and settling well, where now stylists contact me for my using my outfits whereas in the past I used to hunt for stylists, there are also celebrities contacting me and interested in my designs.
My Growth has just started, since 2013 I have been working very hard, and now people are recognizing and admiring my work. there was a lot of hard work involved
being married and raising 2 kids whilst pursuing my passion for fashion designing has not been an easy ride, I also work with my husband who’s into business consultancy,
there’s a lot of juggling around. But I am happy to see how things are settling for my brand Lmane, where it has reached a point of people recognizing my work, and how my
name has now established a brand.
5. How is your work received internationally?
I’m more into Pret collection and European wear at the moment, I haven’t started designing for Indian wears yet, but now as you can see Bollywood is growing and getting
popular globally, fashion designers from all over want to style Bollywood stars, and Bollywood stars these days dress more with an international appeal such as
Sonam Kapoor, who dresses ravishingly for the Cannes and other events.
My interest and specialty are to do with vintage designs, I like mixing contemporary and classic designs for my outfits. Due to this,s I have a good presence
in Bollywood as well as Dubai.
6. What influences the design details in your collection? whats the inspiration behind each of those designs?
As I mentioned earlier I love vintage designs, I keep these designs as my prime and baseline design, I love designing the classic style, where designers before used
to start off by draping the material to the mannequin, similar to that I drop my materials onto my mannequin and do all my cuts and styling on the material, I like adding
external design elements such as Swarovski, hand paintings etc. My aim now is to have my own custom prints for my materials and to have my own textile printing.
7. What is the biggest lesson you learned, and what have you learned since your brand was established?
I learned a lot in life ever since my brand was established, initially, I had no clue on what the production should be for my designs now how I should approach buyers,
how would I approach multi-brand stores. Since I was not interested to own a boutique at the early stages of my brand, I first wanted to my brand to be recognized and well known, only then was I going to own a boutique. I had to clue how I could get my brand into the market.
So I started off doing my own fashion show, which ended up costing a fortune. I overcame all this with the support of my family. As a designer its hard to fulfill
everyone’s taste in fashion. Things were very hard the first year, and this was demotivating at the beginning and was at the point of losing hope. But I was lucky to have a strong pillar of support from my husband and family, convincing me it wasn’t the end of my road and there’s still so much ahead of my life. No one becomes successful
overnight, you need to struggle, you need to fail so you can learn to succeed.
That’s when I realized I had to learn more about the fashion industry locally, so I decided to join the London College of Fashion in Dubai Design District, and that’s where I learned a lot from the basics to realizing what my actual skill was in fashion and much more. Most of the mistakes I’ve done was a path to learning and I’m grateful that I was guided to take the professional path and learn my way through.
8.what advise would you give to young fashion designers out there?
I would suggest aspiring fashion designers get professional guidance as a base to plan their path ahead and to work as an intern with a fashion designer for atleast
3 months just to get an idea and an insight into the fashion world. try to discover what your specialty is in fashion and work on it and stick to your style no matter
what even if the trends change, stick to your style so that by looking at your outfits people can recognize your brand. Also start slow and start small and then grow gradually
9. Do you support modest fashion? what is your opinion about modest fashion?
I support modest fashion, infact I wear modest clothing, and thats definitely an area I will be focusing in future since there’s a big growth in this area locally as well.
Modest Fashion for me is all about comfort and you can carry yourself glamorously in a modest outfit.
10. Your motto in life?
Never Give up! No matter what happens or what struggle you go through, never give up! You may not succeed in the beginning, but when you keep trying you will