British Asia News Network
London: An award-winning international fashion and technical expert, founder and executive producer of www.SMGlobalCatwalk.com and a philanthropist who is at peace only after she's helped those around her – that’s Samina Mughal for you. A global fashion icon with a golden heart. The born-and-bred Birmingham lady calls Dallas her home now but has left her foot-prints across most fashion capitals of the world; London, Paris, New York, Dallas with Milan and Dubai coming up in September this year. British Asia News Network met with this amazing designer at the London Fashion Week 2019.
"I do fashion shows all over the world now," said the busy and energetic Samina. "My motto is that I want to take over the world - one fashion capital at a time. I live in the US now and New York Fashion Week is my staple. That's where I started. I was born and raised in Birmingham. So England's my home too."
"I always wanted to come back. This is the first season with London Fashion Week. After that we go to Paris and we did a big gala in Dallas too... next I want to go to Dubai, Milan in September.
Having started her career young, and in the fashion industry in Birmingham, fashion is a way of life for this beautiful Asian icon. The initial years in the industry gave her key insights into the requirements of the industry where fashion caters to different budgets and sizes. And that is a true reflection in her global collections.
"I've worked in the industry all my life and cater to all sizes. Everyone is not a size 0 to 4, the average women are from size 0 to 22, so this is my collection. I'm making it for everybody.
“I started with dresses and gowns. Then I wanted to make something that's a little more affordable. I call it affordable luxury. I came up with the Lux collection, which is still beautiful dresses and gowns but lower price points and then went into tunics and loungewear," said Samina.
The SMGLobal catwalk at the London Fashion Week saw an exceptional men's collection this time. "I relaunched my men's collection in this show, which I am really excited about," she said in the interview.
Samina's years in the industry and her Asian roots gives her collection a uniqueness that's practical and beautiful, but distinctly carries her signature. I personally found the collection extremely wearable, grounded and yet exclusive.
Samina explains why. "I've lived in the industry my whole life. I live and breathe fashion. I started at a very young age and my very first job was in a manufacturing industry in Birmingham. We used to manufacture outerwear for Burberrys', NEXT, C&A."
"That's where I really got my roots into the industry and really learnt about product development, pattern making, garment development and buying and selling the trends in the fabrics. then I moved to the US 25 years ago, worked for Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klien, did a lot of their outerwear... being Asian, I am always proud of who I am, and I love bling.
"I've always loved bling. When I was a young girl, I used to put rhinestone on everything, make my own jewellery with leather. You'd see me with boxes of different rhinestones, and you'll see me gluing them on shoes, my earrings... it's basically my signature. I am a bling girl," chuckles Samina.
Samina has everything it takes to shine in the extremely cut-throat and competitive industry. Her path to a successful business brand has been through her rigorous and strong design background, coupled with patternmaking, construction and technical proficiency. What marks her out in the industry is her strong client-focused, leadership, team building skills, which she weaves beautifully with her philanthropist ideologies through mentoring, training, communication, process improvement and organizational skills.
"I want to rule the world. I want to do everything I've always dreamed of. I try and help as many people along the way. It makes me feel good, so philanthropy is very important. I'm giving opportunities to people that I wish I had when I was a young girl. I think that if I give back, it gives me satisfaction and helps me to grow even further," she said.
The back-stage professionals, hair-dressers, makeup artists, models, choreographers, event managers, anchors and even her marketing and sales supporters endorse this aspect of her personality. She acknowledged them all at the show and they ratified how she is to work with – someone who mentors, gives room for growth, individuality and performance in a thoroughly professional manner.
For anyone looking to work in the fashion industry, Samina does have the best of brands and product lines under her belt. She's been involved with Burberry (Outerwear); Sears/Kmart (Outerwear & Men’s Swim, Plus Women’s RTW & Outerwear); Polo Ralph Lauren (Men’s Knits); Chico’s (Missy Knits & Woven’s); Gap Body(Women’s Sleepwear & Nursing); Pretty Power (Women’s Sport); AND 1 (Boys knits & woven’s) to name a few.
Samina's mantra in life is: Don't give up until you die
"There are many careers that Asians think they shouldn't get into and I was told the same thing. But if there's anything that you want to do, it's possible. Just do it - just follow your dreams."
Her family is a great support and motivation for her to aim for the sky. "I want to leave a legacy for my kids," said Samina. My husband Asif has supported me my whole life. I have three kids - 18-year-old, Aamir and 10-year-old twins Rehaan and Damani. Honestly, they support me to the end. I do so much travel and they handle everything at home," she said proudly.
Her concluding lines for the aspiring designers were "If you love fashion, just follow your dreams. Don't ever give up on your passion. When I first started out in the industry, everyone tried to tell me that there wasn't really a career in fashion and I proved them wrong because I was determined and didn't want to give up and even now, there's always ups and downs and failures, but never give up!" - a perfect summary to this tale of success.