His name spells class, sophistication and design magic. Considered to be one of the foremost Pakistani designers today, Asim Jofa’s seamless marriage of western sensibilities with traditional craftsmanship has earned him lots of fans in the fashion and jewellery design worlds. His sheer diligence, hard work and astuteness as an entrepreneur have ensured the huge success of his brand. In our chat-a-thon with the talented designer, we discovered a man who is passionate about all things creative and who is poised to take Pakistani fashion to new heights.
When did you decide that you wanted to pursue designing as a career?
At a very young age, I realised that I wanted to be a designer. I lived and breathed design partially due to the exposure I had because of my family background and largely due to my own inherent passion for it.
Were you born and raised in Pakistan? What are your earliest memories of growing up there?
Yes, I was born and raised in Karachi. I have had the privilege of having very rich childhood experiences that have had a strong hand in shaping my personality. My family has always been into jewellery design; in a way I was born into it! As a child I remember tagging along with my father to his workplace and soaking in the culture and heritage that was present in every nook and corner. I guess, that was where I got the design bug!
How would you describe your experience of learning jewellery designing in the US?
My design experience in the US was immensely satisfying. It ingrained in me, a work ethic and an overall style of work that was very different from what was happening in Pakistan. I was able to study the Western aesthetic in great detail which, coupled with my extensive knowledge of the Eastern craft, helped me grow as a designer and as a human being.
Who were your design inspirations while growing up and have they changed now?
My earliest design inspirations began from home and the work surrounding me. Interestingly, as I’ve grown older, I’ve realised that very little has changed in this aspect!
How did the transition to becoming a couturier happen?
The transition happened very naturally. A few years after I entered the design field, my friends requested that I design for them.
My work was appreciated and that’s when I realised that designing clothes came naturally to me. It was the next obvious step. I am all for exploration and experimentation so something like this was bound to happen and I am glad that it did!
How would you describe the woman who wears an outfit or jewellery by Asim Jofa?
The Asim Jofa woman is a fearless entity who is not squeamish about breaking barriers and abolishing stereotypes. She is very fashion conscious and loves to dress up.
What do you think is the future of Pakistani fashion?
The future of Pakistani fashion is bright and it is headed in the right direction. There is a lot of young talent coming up and they are gradually establishing themselves and leaving a mark on the scene. I wouldn’t compare us with anyone yet as there is still a long way to go but the outlook is very promising.
What do you do when you are not designing?
I love to travel so whenever I have any free time on my hands I pack my bags and just jet off.
Who do you credit your incredible success to?
I happen to be a very grounded person. And it’s only because of the love and support of my family and friends who have been extremely loyal and supportive, that I have made it so far. They have been my pillars of strength during the most turbulent times of my life.
Can you name five women in the world who would want to dress? Why do you want to do so?
I would like to dress Emma Stone and Evan Rachel Wood because they carry themselves with such poise and grace. I am also a great fan of Lady Gaga and the late Amy Winehouse. Both have and had, respectively, great potential to look fantastic and lady-like.
Of late, Olivia Wilde has caught my attention; I would love to design for her.
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