ON THE RISE FEAT. THE LADIES BEHIND HOUSE OF K

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Anusha Bawany chats with Nadia Khan and Mahnoor Khan, the two fashionable forces behind the hottest multi-brand exhibit in town

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TWO TO LAUNCH HOUSE OF K? I WOULD ASK WHERE THE NAME CAME FROM, BUT IT SEEMS ALL TOO FITTING!
MAHNOOR: Yes, House of K stands for House of Khan! It was initially just a platform for us to launch our individual brands, but it seemed to have the potential to be bigger than that.
NADIA: Design is something that we both knew we wanted to get into. We used to visit each other while at university and discuss future plans for our umbrella company around the dinner table.

TELL US ABOUT THE COLLECTIONS YOU EXHIBITED:
MAHNOOR: I designed my products more like art pieces, with custom hand-painted ceramic tiles, fur tables and abstract perspectives. Each piece was meant to be unique, such as the Perillas Tray collection, which was adorned with knobs exclusive to each design. It was a collection of conversation pieces rather than typical furniture.
NADIA: While still being in the midst of launching my Summer collection, I put out the first part of this at the House of K exhibit. I worked with summer casuals such as matching separates along with flowing kaftans. With the use of breezy fabrics and a pastel colour palate, individually these showed the different cuts and styles I enjoy. The second part of my Summer collection will be launching soon!
HOW WOULD YOU EACH DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL STYLE AESTHETIC?
MAHNOOR: I’m pretty experimental and drift towards what’s edgy, quirky and unique but understated. Hopefully, my pieces reflect that. I don’t want to do what everyone else is doing.
NADIA: To be honest, I’m still figuring out what I want my brand to bring to the market. My style revolves around comfort and elegance and I don’t experiment too much. I always enjoy working with block colours more than prints and I’m also not a very colourful person except where shoes are concerned. My personal style and my brand display minimalism.

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THREE MUST-HAVE ITEMS IN EVERY CLOSET FOR SUMMER 2018:
MAHNOOR: White pants, white shirts and beach casuals.
NADIA: Lots of swimsuits, white georgette shirts and statement Summer sandals.

SUMMER TRENDS TO TRY:
MAHNOOR: Ice cream colours!
They brighten up spaces and your wardrobe.
NADIA: Colourful sandals and travelling to the South East.

THREE MUST-HAVE ITEMS IN EVERY CLOSET FOR SUMMER 2018:
MAHNOOR: White pants, white shirts and beach casuals.
NADIA: Lots of swimsuits, white georgette shirts and statement Summer sandals.

SUMMER TRENDS TO TRY:
MAHNOOR: Ice cream colours! They brighten up spaces and your wardrobe.
NADIA: Colourful sandals and travelling to the South East.

MY GO-TO LOOK ON ANY GIVEN DAY IS:
MAHNOOR: Blue jeans and a white shirt is usually what I go for, but there’s nothing better than a kurti to beat the heat.
NADIA: I’m always in light cotton pants and an oversized kurta during work hours, otherwise I throw on one of my hundreds of white georgette shirts with a pair of perfectly tailored cigarette pants.

FOR YOUR FIRST EXHIBITION, HOW DID YOU DECIDE WHICH BRANDS TO HAVE ON BOARD? WAS THIS A CURATED SELECTION?
Both: We drifted towards the brands whose products we personally love! It wasn’t so curated as it was our first go, but now we have a standard and certain kind of aesthetic that we’re going to build upon.

DESIGNERS YOU WOULD LOVE TO WORK WITH:
NADIA: Our interest in our careers came from within the family. While Mahnoor’s mother is an interior designer, my grandmother used to be a fashion designer. So I think it’s safe to say we would love to work with them more than anyone!

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THE PROS AND CONS OF BEING YOUNG FEMALE ENTREPRENEURS:
MAHNOOR: Being female hasn’t really been an issue, there’s plenty who have paved the way before us, but being young often leaves me feeling like I’m not being taken seriously.
NADIA: Exactly. The problem (thankfully) is being young. Retailers and workers do not really enjoy taking instructions from a twenty four year old! However, the biggest pro is having a super fun wardrobe.
YOUR FUNNIEST CLIENT EXPERIENCE AT THE HOUSE OF K SHOWCASE:
MAHNOOR: I can’t say I had a particularly bad experience, but there were some clients who kept trying to take my show products home!
NADIA: Discount aunties! It’s crazy how persistent people can be regarding discounts.

WHEN YOU’RE NOT WORKING, WE CAN FIND YOU:
MAHNOOR: Usually at my house, ordering junk food and then making false promises to not do it again.
NADIA: At Mahnoor’s house convincing her to order junk food.

UP NEXT AT WORK, YOU ARE MOST LOOKING FORWARD TO:
BOTH: Our December show. Get ready for House of K round two!

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