For three opulent decades, Shamaeel Ansari — more fittingly known by her sobriquet, the Czarina of Style — is among a handful of pioneering designers who continue to forge South Asian fashion’s esprit de corp.
Shamaeel’s signature couture collections are possessed with a quality of luxury and grandeur that trace their provenance, through her background and ancestral heritage, to the Tiger of Mysore, Tipu Sultan. Contrast that with Shamaeel’s seasonal prêt collections where the quality and spirit of the brand is presented to clients in a more value-conscious way.
Shamaeel made fashion and history in the 1990’s with a series of shows that were performed on location against historical backgrounds. These include the resplendently intricate Hindu Gymkhana, and, possibly the best remembered and most imitated show to date, The Orient Express, held at the City Station, Karachi.
Shamaeel pioneered the designer lawn market in Pakistan through her collaboration with the Crescent Group of Industries. From 2009-2012, she was a leader in the lawn industry for the international supply of Mass Apparel Fabric (Shamaeel-Sitara Premium Lawn), and was ranked for three consecutive years among the Top 5 in the lawn market.
Shamaeel is also the only designer in Pakistan to have chartered international markets and resources. She has worked across a network of international trade fares such as Market Week NYC, Heimtex Germany, and Magic U.S.A which led her to bring Donna Karen to Pakistan while developing products for companies such as Club Monaco, Canada and Eddie Bauer. These, among other associations, continue to catapult her brand both as a highly exportable product and, for countless international clients, a highly revered occasion.
Winner of the Lux Style Award 2011 for Achievement in Fashion, Shamaeel’s reign has evolved from the regal to the truly iconic. In her role as a mentor, Shamaeel serves on the board of directors of the Asian Institute of Fashion Design and Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design where she conducts lectures on technology of fashion and the business of fashion merchandizing.
A graduate in finance and corporate law from the University of California in Berkeley, Shamaeel was the Chairperson of the Fashion Pakistan Council from 2010 -2013 and is now the advisor where she continues to cultivate the national narrative on fashion.