You’re an Economics professor by profession, so why design?
Before being an economist and a professor, I am a woman and I love being one. Ever since I can remember, I’ve had a fascination with fashion and everything related to it and as I grew older, this fondness developed and matured into ideas and creativity and I found myself being drawn towards designing my own clothes. I immensely enjoyed the experience. While there were a few sporadic orders that I took on whimsically and completely to the clients’ satisfaction, it was never meant to turn into a proper platform – until now. I am a firm believer in doing amazing work and looking even better when doing it. Of course, my professional background also helps the entrepreneurial aspect and guides me in the economics of running a business.
How did the idea for M3 come about?
M3 is a collaborative effort and jointly run by my mother, Meena, my younger sister, Maheen and myself. The name M3 alludes to our initials – the 3 Ms. M3, as a creative initiative, has been discussed at our house for a very long time and for some reason or another, it never materialized up until now. It is a collective endeavor by the three of us and it reflects our combined interest and passion for clothes. We are lucky that while we have a similar sense of fashion and style, we do bring our unique input to designing concepts that complement the final product.
A style icon today, in your opinion?
For me, a stylish individual is one whose style depicts her personality and state of mind. It can be innate or cultivated through surroundings and circumstances, but it will embody your persona and will be yours. Style cannot be purchased. For me, Victoria Beckham is an icon in the fashion world with oodles of style. She is always well turned out and no matter what she is doing, or where she is, she looks fabulously groomed.
What is your idea of comfort clothing? What would we find you in on a day off?
I am comfortable in clothes that I know suit me, complement my style and look good on me. Having said that, looking good doesn’t necessarily mean dressing up. You can be comfortable and look smart and chic. On a day off, I would enjoy flowy culottes and a crop top as a break from structured trousers and tunics.
Do you have a collection coming? Or do you design on the basis of demand?
We do both, actually! We have an outlet in Pakistan, where we have customers walking in and placing orders on our sample pieces on display, as we keep adding new stuff. Moreover, we just finished our Fall 2016 collection, that we are displaying at an exhibition here in Dubai.
Is there someone you would love to design for?
It would have to be Amal Clooney. She is a classic combination of beauty and brains. For me, a complete woman balances both her professional and personal life. It’s about having substance. Amal justifies her position in society as a public figure, not just as George Clooney’s wife, but also an expert in her own field.
Your take on Dubai and its fashion scene.
Dubai fashion is brimming and buzzing with ideas and concepts that are constantly evolving. There is never a dearth of buyers or markets. People are fond of clothes and dressing up. The Dubai lifestyle contributes to that, with the expat social scene being so vibrant and busy, where women are eager to get their hands on all the new trends that hit the market.
The city offers a great platform to designers from across the globe to showcase their talent in the form of new markets and countless fashion shows organized in the city. There is awareness and appreciation for such displays by the people of Dubai and that reinforces the fashion quotient of this wonderful city.
There is an eclecticism attached to fashion here, which coupled with the ethnic diversity, results in a blend of fashion concepts and styles. This also makes Dubai more open to and accepting of different styles and people wear whatever works for them.
Flash forward a decade, where do you see yourself and the label?
We just want to focus on doing good work and enjoying it. Right now, I am really enjoying this phase of life. M3 is exciting with unending prospects and the best part is that we get to decide which way to steer the brand. We aspire and aim to make M3 a trendy, yet classy concept, synonymous with elegance, beauty and womanhood – clothes, which when worn by women, give them confidence and a sense of style they are proud to flaunt.
As for the future, who knows? New markets maybe. New ventures and collaborations that will allow the brand to grow internationally. All these are very likely possibilities. Our online portal is functioning already and orders are being shipped to countries as far as the United States of America and Kenya.
Mahvish Gul, an Economics professor at American University of Dubai and one of our contributing writers, is a woman of many talents. In addition to all the things she already does, she is also the face of M3 – a clothing line based in Pakistan that is now starting to create a name for itself in the Dubai market. We speak to her about how she got started and more.
In conversation with Nupur Jaisinghani