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  • Writer's pictureAnnika Fernando

Ara | PR Designer

At PR, we work with a select group of handpicked designers who we feel represent strength in craft, design and quality but also crucially, reflect the PR aesthetic.

Earlier this year we came across a young designer, Arsath Furkhan whose Instagram page showcased a fresh & unique sense of style and expressed his free sized unisex styles dramatically in his inclusive campaign shoot. We asked him to come in and show us his work.

Usually, young emerging designers who debut a collection go first to our PR Rising Star rail, but we felt Ara didn't fit this programme with his retail-focussed free sized unisex garments. We were intrigued by his colour palette, design sensibility and duality and we hope you are too.

We always like to give a back story to our labels and selection, so we asked Ara to share more about his journey, with you, our community.

"I am Arsath Furkhan, the designer of the label ARA. I have an MBA and I am a Fund Accountant at HSBC Bank"

PR When did you launch Ara and what motivated you to start your own label?

Arsath I launched Ara in 2020 and it is the outcome of years of planning and dreaming, failures and continous learning. My mother is a housewife and was a full time teacher and part time dressmaker. She enjoyed the latter most. I grew up watching her sewing and pattern making and loving her time with clients.

I watched and learned and it planted a seed within me.

My finance background and the security of a full time job gave me the confidence to follow my dreams. Having focussed on my career for 6 years, I took a step and bought my first sewing machine.

I failed, experimented and learned and within a short period of time my friends, started calling me a Designer.

PR What inspires your design process?

Arsath It's the calm, the fearlessnessness, strength, vibrancy, simplicity and neutrality of nature that continues to inspire me. I've called my first collection 'Balance'. This 'balance' I believe is achieved by accepting the freedom of nature and celebrating humanity in all it's shapes, colours and forms. Clothing which makes people feel comfortable in their skin.

PR How hard is it to balance your two roles?

Arsath It is incredibly challenging to launch a label whilst having a full time job. It has also been challenging breaking the norm, to come from my finance background and step into design. However, I also feel it has been my strength. My knowledge of finance gives me a competitive advantage starting my own label and own business.

PR How do you feel about launching your label at PR?

Arsath I think the self realisation of potential success of my collection and shoot only happened when I was approached by PR. Until then, I did feel insecure about this great leap into fashion. I feel validated and empowered to have the chance to be in the company of exclusive and senior talented designers and be available for PR's exclusive clientele to experience. I feel honoured and grateful to PR for offering me this opportunity.

PR What inspired your debut campaign shoot? Tell us more about the concept and what you wanted to communicate about your label.

Arsath The backdrop of the shoot was hand painted and designed by me and intended to reflect my inspiration in nature. I wanted also to celebrate the talent and effort of artists from different fields. My featured muses are all talented and include, a make up artist, hair artist, tatoo artist, myself and then it was captured by an artist of photography and then there are all the creative people who assisted on the day of the shoot.

I want people to feel confident wearing Ara and comfortable in their diversity, but unified in their Ara garments.

PR Who is your muse?

Arsath Of course there are many I admire and am inspired by. However, my muses are everyone I come across; the diverse nature of humanity, there to be celebrated and appreciated.

Check out Ara who joins PR this March 2022.

You will be able to shop this debut label here


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