An Exclusive Interview with Urooj Iftikhar – CEO of AIKA
Tell us something about yourself?
My name is Urooj Iftikhar and I am the CEO of Aika. Aika is a women clothing brand and we cater all kind of women starting from age 12 onwards. We cater to all kind of designs and women. We have opened an outlet recently at Zamzama Karachi. Besides this, we have private consultations where you take an appointment with me and discuss over designs.
What does your label define?
By the Grace of God, Aika has already made its mark in the industry even some people know me by the name of AIKA and sometimes even call me AIKA and I feel very proud. In fact, when I go to international exhibitions people call me AIKA. In the beginning it feels a bit awkward but then one of my friends suggests me you are doing all this of AIKA by your own and your brand name is so unique that whenever anyone remember or try to recall you unintentionally they ll say AIKA as you yourself are a brand and don’t need any marketing personals for your brand. The inspiration doesn’t come from one its a mixture of almost everything. It’s like I figure out that if someone is designing clothes why can’t me. I have it in me and then the passion to recognize by your brand name. The most important part is that people will recognize by your name as well. It doesn’t mean that by spending a huge budget to make your brand a big name instead do hard work and people will ultimately recall you by your name and work and becomes the talk of the town.
In a recent year many designers are coming, is it good for the fashion industry?
when I started working professional 2 years back. Facebook was full of new designs and new designers with different ideas and many people come in the industry and it boosts the industry as well by new people. I call it a healthy competition. I have some friends who are working in this field for many years professionally they have a big name. They gave me feedback as well I gave them feedback about their designs as well. I have faith in one thing only if anything is in your fate no one can take it from you. Jealousy is in every field. everything is in your upbringing what you think about the competition whether it’s a healthy one or is it jealousy. There is no saturation in the market its a healthy competition. It ‘ll give success to you and your competitor as well.
A dress makes a person or a person makes a dress?
if you don’t have a personality even if you wear a dress of about 2 lac rupees you ‘ll not look good. I have seen many women who don’t take good care of themselves but the dress is of 2 lac and ring of diamond of about 5 lac and they don’t look good as they don’t have any personality as compared to a female who carries herself in a very fashionable and proper manner wears a 5 thousand rupees of dress and she looks good because she carried herself very well. Personality makes a person, before going to the designer for a dress first groom yourself and manners. And most important identify your style, are you loud, sophisticated or what? but first, carry yourself in a good way and identify yourself and then go to a designer. If you say you are loud, sophisticated and have every kind of styling sense or if you say to a designer I am nothing just make something for me it is impossible. I can give a 1-hour session to you and then I ‘ll not dictate you. Dress make a personality to glow more but for that first, you need to make a strong personality as well.
Do you believe in fate? Is fate play an important part in this industry for success or high ratings?
Yes, I take fate as faith because if you have faith in your work and you are doing good work then if not today someday someone will definitely acknowledge your work and you will definitely get the result out of it. For some people, they are so lucky that whatever they put their money in it gets successful it’s very easy or I can say very lucky for them. and for some people, it is very hard but in that situation, we need to work with persistence and it will give you rewards sooner or later. Sometimes people don’t get success even after 5 years of struggle even if you work hard you have links your work is good still whenever we see some big names in fashion industry they become big after quite a time and they struggled a lot in their work and field its not like that today you start a brand and after some time you ‘ll become a big name it doesn’t work like that. It’s a complete journey behind every successful business or brand in every sector they walk through every process of struggle they have faced a hard time, financial crises as well but they show persistence whoever is in the industry they are only because of their persistence. Never lose hope and show persistence some people say its not in my fate. In my point of view, you on your own make your fate your destiny through hard work through patience and persistence. Yes, fate is a part some people are instead very very lucky but some people becomes lucky through their hard work and patience with their will power and proof themselves with persistence and Just put Faith in Almighty Allah.
Which city in the world is the best for the fashion industry and why?
If you talk about fashion countries like Italy and France is obviously on top but if you talk in terms of business then I think Karachi is the best. I have outlets and business in other cities as well but the business which is coming from Karachi is just unmatchable.