Dua Zaidi speaks to


He introduces the richness of Pakistani patterns to Western fashion houses.

By DUA ZAIDI | December 2022

Acoupleweeks after his Uzbekistan-inspired fashion show in Whitehall on the 23rd of September, I met with the Vogue-affirmed British Pakistani designer for tea in the Royal Overseas Club.

For Mansoor, this was an interesting aspect of the garment sector and thus, since childhood, he knew he wanted to design clothes.

Mansoor’s textile background aided his entrance into the industry. His incorporation of Pakistani designs into his unique works made the designers grateful for his heritage: “I toned the Pakistani blingy designs down, making them minimalist and catered the designs to Western cuts and a Western audience. It does not look over the top, is wearable and attractive.”


Over the course of the interview, Mansoor highlighted the importance of brand commerciality and incorporation of a cultural environment to surpass cultural barriers. Omar Mansoor’s designs are predominantly a fusion between sophisticated modest Western style and Asian designs. Pakistani embroidery “Coradubca” covers the front of Mansoor’s dresses – something that is limited in Pakistan: “Sellers will say come next month because they have to make it special, There is just no demand for that.” His recent fashion show was an ode to Uzbek designs from a small town called Margilan. Even when describing this work, Mansoor discusses the cultural differentiation: “The Uzbeks will make two/three-piece suits from the fabric but I tailor the dress to an English audience; only incorporated Uzbek trimmings on all-black dresses. Why be stubborn and incorporate the entire fabric when the audience won’t wear it.”

Fusion, in every industry, is a consequence of globalisation. “When I started in 2008 some 14 or 15 years ago, the world was not a global village, like it is now. You were born into the Facebook generation. In my time, globalisation had not happened. Then, nobody knew one day, on Google, you could see the Pakistan flood relief live. Not everyone had smartphones – I had a smartphone.”

The humble designer laughed at this point, going on to describe the case of fusion in Pakistan, “When a Pakistani girl walks out in denim tops and smaller kameez, that is not our Punjabi shalwar-kameez, but at the same time it is not a crop top. It still caters to local modest tastes.”

This is applicable to materials and other sectors of the fashion industry. Mansoor found that he also had to consider the material he made his clothes with because Pakistani sequins and materials are disliked by British dry-cleaners. For reference, Mansoor describes Pakistani jewellery as “OTT: in the West, comparing it to designs found in Cartier – “too heavy, too shiny and too blingy.”


The first step in Mansoor’s designing process is trend forecasting. “What is going on in the market? What is the demand? Mix those up and most importantly, add my own signature to it.”

The designer needs to create a unique product, keeping in mind commercial viability. “For example, I use more wearable designs; there are only a few jumpsuits – the less wearable. My clothes are even quite modest.”

Mansoor discussed his pre-fall collection. Given the trends in 2023, the designer wants to incorporate denim into his work – “I am playing with the chiffon patterns and seeing whether they are able to be copied on to denim.”

Although simplistic, Mansoor’s designs focus on the fall and beauty of specific materials, making him famous with his clients. His clients often create an attachment with the designer “I am quite memorable with my clients – frank and truthful. A supreme court judge sometimes comes to me. She is very stubborn on what she wants from an outfit, a ‘girl boss’ look. That is great but when I joke with her, she often doesn’t know what I am talking about.”

“In any industry, there are so many aspects to consider when running a successful business. I can’t just make a pretty studio and sit in it. My brand needs to cater to my environment and everything that it entails.”