Shakira Usman and Saira Faisal graduated with distinction from the prestigious Pakistan School of Fashion Design. The label SAIRA*SHAKIRA launched in 2011, created because the two friends felt a lack in the Pakistani market for the kind of clothes they wanted to wear themselves - traditional yet trendy and individualistic. Since then, the young brand has been a regular fixture at the Pakistan Fashion Design Council's (PFDC) bi-annual fashion weeks, warning rave reviews for its ability to mix edgy and alternative elements into designs that reflect a keen understanding of indigenous craft and technique.
Saira*Shakira was one of the seven designers chosen by the international crystal giant Swarovski to be the part of its collaborative showcase with PFDC in 2015, to highlight the best of Pakistani haute couture. One of the designs from the show was later displayed at the "Sparkling Couture" exhibition held in Dubai in November 2015 to celebrate Swarovski's 120th anniversary featuring the works of 40 designers from the Middle East and South Asia.
Originally working out of a small studio space, the label's increasing popularity has led to its explosion. It recently launched its own flagship store in Lahore, where its ready-to-wear and haute couture lines are available to a growing clientele. The designer duo aims to make its distinctive design philosophy - focusing primarily of sophisticated cuts and experimental silhouettes - available across Pakistan and the region, hence further expansion is on the cards in the next few years.