Lawn Debut on Libas Now’s Radar
Lawn Season has always been a very big deal for us women in Pakistan and this year it’s no different, even amidst a pandemic, designers have upped their game and launched larger than life lawn collections. While some collections succeeded, others did not do so well due having repetitive prints and designs. Amongst this all there is one lawn collection that caught our eye here at Libas Now, and that is 9Lines lawn collection. With being First timers in this market, 9lines has definitely left its mark. Bringing a fresh perspective in the market it’s always a delight to see designers do something experimental with lawn rather than repeating those pastels flowers over and over again. Getting a chance to have an exclusive interview with the brains behind 9Lines; Hassan Iqbal and Saad Shahid, we got to know all that went down behind their first ever lawn collection.
Describe your collection in one word?
Your favourite piece from your collection
Hassan: It’s hard to just choose one! Every piece was made with love inspired from tropical elements and wildscapes of the jungle! But if I narrow it down to just one, it would definitely be ‘Manila Express’. My personal favourite, I feel like its polka dots and fruitful elements really popped out the collection!
Saad: As Hassan said, choosing just one would be difficult, but to answer, I would filter it down to two of the articles I ended up obsessing over; ‘Lush Bengal’ and ‘Brazilian Fantasy’ really did the trick to showcase the collection the way we wanted to, a perfect portrayal of entering into the wild!
A lawn no – no would be for you?
Hassan: All over Embroidery and trying to make lawn look expensive which defies the purpose of the fabric.
Saad: Going basic with prints and to compensate for that by adding a million other embroidery pieces and making it a jigsaw puzzle.
What’s your perfect summer outfit?
Hassan: easy, breezy and with pops of colour. For South Asian men and women, we are blessed with amazing skin tone that can flaunt most of the brightest hues in colour spectrum.
Saad: Functional; easy to wear, easy on the eyes and affordable on the pocket.
Your aesthetics are very quirky and young spirited how do you imagine lawn aunties carrying your pieces?
“Making a fashion statement is always unique.”
Hassan: Making a fashion statement is always unique. These designs are specially designed for the woman who is young at heart. Having that said, age does not define a certain process or way to how women can style these colourful numbers! Everyone has their unique way of styling and we would love to see how they do it!
Saad: We’re at the providing end; these designs are canvases with which woman can play around with and come up with something they feel does the trick for them! Going for silhouettes they feel comfortable in and feeling themselves when they adorn these fervent designs is what we imagine!
How has the market treated you since you’re a first timer in lawn?
Hassan: Our debut lawn collection was made for our largest audience. People who knew our aesthetic knew what this collection would encompass, and that’s exactly what happened! We were overwhelmed with the amazing response our customers gave because to carter to a segment which falls under the category of not being afraid to experiment with their looks, it was amazing for a first timer for sure!
Saad: The response has been prodigious. The collection was exactly what our patrons and the market had imagined. Where there was a lot of expression of admiration, we also heard a lot about how the prints were busy and the palette was too much for some. Well, to answer that, we have always gone with our instinct and what’s a brand which doesn’t embody their true aesthetic in one of their most coveted debut collection!
9lines has been releasing ready to wear collection but this jump to lawn must be risky business. What was the motivation behind it? Why Lawn?
Hassan: It was of course risky business as the market right now is overflowing with competitors, every day we see a new brand launching lawn but then again stating that catering to a lot who already has a liking for the flavour that we produce; Something so wild, so different, the people who wanted it already knew it. For the longest time, we had planned to add an unstitched line to our 9Lines product family as it was demanded in excessively.
Saad: It would be an understatement to say that is wasn’t! But at the same time, it wasn’t as difficult as it would have been for an average lawn designer entering the new market because we already had identified our customers and did not aim to target new ones with experiment. We choose lawn as it was one of the most anticipated addition to our product portfolio, our patrons would love our prints from the previous RTW collections and would send in queries on whether they could get the prints and as an unstitched fabric to get it stitched as per their likings. From there we knew we had to reciprocate to our customers by providing them with they asked for!
“It had to speak for itself in terms of being unapologetically sassy and all things frisky”
What was your inspiration behind this collection?
Hassan: When we first created a mood board, it was gigantic, it was all the wild things you could imagine but we had to tone it down to associate with the brand itself and for a collection that was to be catered to all aged brackets! 9Lines staying true to its roots just had to go to the next mile and achieve a massive print saga showcasing all things sultry, tropical and bold! So, we used all the elements that appeal to the eye of a customer who loves colour and isn’t afraid to show it!
Saad: 9Lines Lawn had to be loud! It had to speak for itself in terms of being unapologetically sassy and all things frisky and flirtatious and we glad that we achieved it in the most fun way possible! As the ethos of the brand is to be fully out there, channelling your inner poise in the most uplifting way possible, we wanted to create something that wasn’t already present in the market, something our patron would wear and feel unattainable.
What do you think, now that you’re in this business, is designer lawn collections a passion project or necessary evil?
Hassan: It’s definitely a passion project for us. But if you’re churning out filler collections every other month with no aspirations and repeated designs then of course we don’t want to go that evil route.
Saad: A bit of both. If it isn’t passion, it will never translate
What are you working on next? Do we see an Eid collection coming anytime soon?
Hassan: We hope that you like surprises!
Saad: Well, maybe something is cooking, who knows!
Are you going to back next year with another collection?
Hassan: The amount of love and effort we put in our debut collection has definitely shown us favourable results. The amazing response that we’ve had with our collection, we would definitely come back to cater to the customers who demand for something other than just floral blooms and prints you can find in every other brand.
Saad: Of course! 9Lines has officially added the unstitched line to its product range and we as a brand completely invest in innovation and a process which has a new take on our existing aesthetic! We adore our patrons for liking what we did and we would want to create something unique for them to keep coming back for more!
Apart from your own collection, which lawn collection are eyeing right now?
Hassan: There is hardly any collection that you can differentiate from each other so I’m going strategically for those brands that have created their own niche and you can tell from first glance which brand it is: Zara Shahjahan and Ali Xeeshan.
Saad: It is difficult to say because 9Lines sets itself apart from all others in the industry with its unique sense of design and is never too afraid to stand out. But if I had to then I would call out on Cross Stitch and Crimson.
Who is your style icon?
Hassan: It’s a mix between Victoria Beckham, Iris Apfel & Frida Kahlo
Saad: It’s a mix between Quaid-e-Azam, Richard Biedul and Cody Fern.
Who’s that one person living or dead you would want to see in your lawn Jora?
Saad: Lady Gaga
Lawn fever will always have a strong grip on our nation
What do you think, is this lawn fever ever going end for Pakistani woman?
Hassan: Lawn fever will always have a strong grip on our nation. There are so many different forms and varieties when it comes to Lawn that it automatically becomes the ultimate necessity for women. The summer heat of Pakistan is, as we know one it its own kind. So, I don’t think we should mind women who want to look their best while they fight the humid season!
Saad: Lawn is a Pakistani woman’s favourite fabric! It’s easy, it’s light and now they have so much to choose from! Many brands have come up with ways to carter to the women by making their lawn outfits a combination of versatility with the latest trends. And who could blame them! One outfit serves for so many occasions!
What is that one thing you’re tired of seeing other designers do that you would never do with your lawn collection.
Hassan: Being predictable and churning out same looking lawn collection every other year.
Saad: Not being experimental enough with the fear of losing out on numbers because it doesn’t serve the masses.