New Delhi: If you have Meera and Muzaffar Ali as your parents, it could be intimidating to live up to their unquestionable sense of aesthetics, says their younger daughter Sama Ali, who candidly admits that they inspire her but at the same time their thought processes are poles apart.
"Having celebrity parents has definitely given me a headstart, but such things will only help in the long run if I meet the challenges," Sama, an under-graduate student in fashion design and development at the London College of Fashion, said.
She made headlines with her contribution in her mother`s prêt line showcased under the Kotwara label at the latest edition of Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week (WIFW) last month.
"I am extremely lucky to be their daughter...I want to work for them and take Kotwara to the next level, although it means that I have a lot of expectations to live up to already. Their unquestionable sense of aesthetics can be intimidating to live up to. I can only try my best," added the young designer, who is in her first year. She had obtained a foundation degree from the same college last year.
She believes her parents inspire her a lot in designing, but their thought processes are poles apart.
"I think their aesthetics sort of fall on the same plane as I have picked that up from them. But their working styles and thought processes differ a lot," she said.
Her parents are known for their exquisite Indian ethnic designs - both for occasion and casual wear -, but this young girl says she has yet to get comfortable in making traditional designs.
The WIFW pret line was a mix of western silhouettes with Indian sensibilities. The collection comprised tunics, shirts, trousers and jackets made of wool, suede, chiffon and crepe.
"I don`t think I`ve reached that point where as a designer I am comfortable designing Indian clothes, although I prefer them. My contributions can be seen in the western aspect of the line," said Sama.
Asked why she hadn`t made an appearance at the fashion event alongside her mother, Sama said: "Other than the fact that I am currently in London, although I played a good part in the conceptualisation and design process of the collection, I wasn`t physically there and wasn`t part of the entire process. When I am in India for longer and have the opportunity to completely see through a project and contribute heavily, then people will definitely see me."
She says that from the very beginning, "I wanted to be a designer", adding: "I never gave anything else a serious thought, to be honest. I saw my parents happily working on their designs, unlike most other people who didn`t derive as much pleasure from their work."
The fashion industry already has the second generation of designers like Amrish Kumar, Nishka Lulla and Nikita Tanndon who are taking forward the legacy of their mothers Ritu Kumar, Neeta Lulla and Reynu Tandon respectively.
There has been an influx of new designers in the fashion industry, but Sama rues that many new talents are perishing for want of a proper platform.
"How many people can a fashion week possibly accommodate? Yes, it may be the case that some talented designers get left out as others may be better at positioning themselves in the right place and at the right time."
Sama also feels that the Indian fashion weeks need to think more professionally.
"I think we have a huge emerging market with expanding taste palates and varied needs. Although the industry has come a long way, it`s time to make some changes to meet the challenges with a good and much needed dose of professionalism," she said.