Exclusive Interview: Kulsoom Kazmi

Hijabtrendz Exclusive

Hijabtrendz recently interviewed Kulsoom Kazmi, a young woman who has started her own business specializing in formal Pakistani and Indian clothing targeted towards girls living in the West.

It’s called Urban Design Concepts.

Check it out:

First tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Kulsoom Kazmi and my partner’s name is Sheena Afzal. We both have formal education in design. I live in the USA and work on the marketing and sales aspect of the business. Sheena lives in Lahore, Pakistan and works with manufacturing and designing.

When did you start this business and why?
We started this business in March 2007. It’s hard to believe that we are not even two years into this business. For the last 8 years we’ve been designing jewelry and then more recently moved into designing clothing. We felt a great need for Pakistani/Indian formal wear in the West because of the lack of availability.

How did you come up with the concept?
Many people need nice Desi clothes and jewelry but it’s hard to find in terms of quality and price. We had no idea that our work would end up in such demand.  We know that people do not want to deal with the hassles of getting work done in Pakistan. There are too many issues such as electricity shortages, communicating style needs with tailors, and not to mention getting the work done in a timely manner. I think our clients like the fact that they can visit our boutique in Fairfax, Virginia and get a great variety of Pakistani clothes and at the same time avoid all the hassles. Customers also have the ability to design their own outfits.

What is your primary theme or focus with your clothing line?
We do mostly formal and party wear. We do not carry casual wear. We feel that most of our clients wear ethnic clothes to ethnic weddings and parties. In casual wear people usually wear American clothes. We do a lot of bridal collection outfits which are designed specifically to a clients need. I guess our primary theme is to provide our customers the quality and customization options of Pakistani formal wear that they will get at a designer in Pakistan but without having to travel to Pakistan for that.

Do you find certain items more popular than others?
We find formal wear to be more popular because that’s when our customers generally wear Pakistani outfits. We are also seeing trends that showcase “fusion” clothing, a mix of American and Pakistani bridal wear or formal wear. We can convert a traditional bridal outfit into more of a fusion style by the change of colors and the cut of the outfit.

You mentioned that you can customize orders, what exactly does that entail? Can someone take a short sleeve outfit and make it long sleeve?
Customization in this field is unlimited. On a basic level a customer can customize the color combination of an outfit, as well as sleeve length and we offer an option of shalwar, pants or churidar.

At a more advanced level we can design an outfit for a client from scratch. This is usually done for the bridal orders. We customize matching embellishment work for the bride and groom. We spend time in getting to know the customer’s taste, type of occasion they will wear the outfit and their body type, which in turn provides a unique product.

If someone were ordering from you for the first time, is there anything specific you would tell them to try (particularly if they’ve never worn this type of clothing or jewelry before?)
My suggestion regarding what to order will depend on my clients taste, personality, occasion and the body type. So, the answer to this question hinges on that.

And finally, do you offer worldwide shipping or is this only for U.S?
We definitely offer world wide shipping. We are very close to launching our website which will make ordering very simple. It will also have the answers to many questions. Customers will be able to place a customized order and make a payment on the site.

For more information you can contact Kulsoom Kazmi:

Kulsoom Kazmi
kulsoomkazmi at yahoo dot com

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