An Interview with HSY: “My Design Philosophy is Timeless, I Make Clothes That Shall Remain Beautiful Forever”

When we think of Hassan Sheheryar Yasin aka HSY the instant association is larger-than-life. His work, whether the stars he dresses or for the runway, has been genre-defining. His creations are synonymous with all things glitz and glamour. The ace designer, who completes 28 years of his journey in the industry has become a brand in himself. In an exclusive interview with Fashion Times Magazine, HSY talks about his love for design, his design philosophy, his relationship with celebs, his personal style, his transition to acting and how he manages to stay relevant in today’s competitive space. Read on…

 

Fashion Times Magazine (FTM): Starting as a fashion choreographer to launching your fashion label to becoming an entrepreneur across jewelry and perfumes, what inspires you to keep innovating? 

Hassan Sheheryar Yasin (HSY): What inspires me to keep innovating is what inspires me to keep living. No one is going to remember if I was an entrepreneur, jewelry designer or perfume maker, etc. The only thing people will remember is me. How do I make them feel? If I made them feel good about themselves or was I a good person to them. My aim is not about living my life for a certain title. Life is a process of tons of experiences and that’s why I have ventured into all the things I do. Be it designing, acting, directing, motivational speaking, philanthropy, or teaching; I am enjoying this phase of my journey to the fullest.

 

FTM: You’ve completed 28 years in the industry. How do you manage to stay relevant in a competitive space?

HSY: One has to keep reinventing, not just for the critics but for yourself. One has to keep things fresh and new and I love doing that for myself. I make sure that I have something exciting to do and to live for, most importantly to learn. I feel when you stop learning you stop being relevant, and that’s when it’s over. Life is not about power, fame, or success, it’s about experiences. And, I want to add as much as I can. Maybe that’s why I am as relevant as I am today. It’s not a joke to be around for 28 years and still hold your position. I don’t want to make big claims but by the grace of God, every single thing I have done, I have done it well. How? Because my heart does it with all honesty and dedication. This will eventually help me grow and enable me to stay relevant for the next 28 years.

 

 

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FTM: What excites you about fashion? What is your design philosophy?

HSY: I get excited about everyday things. I like getting up and living up to do something that will make me happy. But most importantly, I am a peoples’ person. I like communicating with them to find out what they want.  To be a good designer, you have to keep your finger on the pulse of what people want. Not what the critics want. If you can understand that along with the things of beauty, proper training & knowledge and what you want to achieve, then you will surely do well. My design philosophy is timeless and classic, I like making clothes that are beautiful today and will be beautiful 30 years later. I am not a sensational designer; I don’t make things to get the audience happy for a short span.  My audience is aware of the fact that they will find a classic design even if they visit my studio 20 years later.

 

FTM: What were the initial challenges of the fashion industry when you started? 

 HSY: Well, there were many. The challenges at that time were different and unique because there was no industry at that time. There wasn’t much financial assistance, we have literally built this industry step by step, forming a space when fashion wasn’t considered the right business.  I don’t have any regrets; I am happy that I got to do things that I did and I am vocal about it on many platforms as I can. Today, Technology is growing at a rapid pace. Artificial intelligence is going to be taking over so rapidly, that I don’t think we are even prepared for it. I believe one thing it cannot take from us is our original idea of entrepreneurship. Therefore, from TED Talks to schools, I talk about the entrepreneurial spirit that we need to evoke in our children as they are the future. I feel our future is bright, our young generation is full of new ideas and we will surely witness some great innovations in the future.

 

 

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FTM: Name one model and one actress whom you think looks best in your creations.

HSY:I can’t name any one, I wish it was so easy. Everyone is beautiful. I like making clothes for some people more, only because of how nice they are to me, and how loving they are. I like making clothes for the ultimate star Reema. She is an old friend of mine and I have great respect for her. As far as female models are concerned, I like them all but Mehreen Syed is a dear friend and someone who I have always designed for. I know what looks good on her.

 

 

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FTM: You dress many celebrities. What is your personal style like?

HSY: My personal style is very relaxed, and timeless. I usually wear blues, blacks, and greys. I am into doing so many things. I run my company HSY, a creative agency HSY Productions. I help with schools, I work out two hours a day, and I have to look after my parents. One thing I don’t have time for is to think about what do I have to wear. Having said that, in my position, I need to look good. So, my closet is full of classic stuff like blazers, striped t-shirts, dark jeans, dark shoes, nice watches, etc.

 

 

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FTM: Now people know you as HSY the ‘actor’. What is the biggest compliment, you have received about your acting projects?

 HSY:I did theatre, at a young age and learnt acting; that is why I am able to pull of complex roles now. I have to give credit to Navid Shahzad who was my acting teacher during my teenage. I feel like a chameleon, I can shape shift into different avatars. Human beings are limitless. We just put limits on ourselves. I am not a superman or super talented or have a super edge over anyone else. I am living proof that you can do whatever you want to do and be the best at it. Talking of compliments, it feels nice when people tell me that they watched my play and came to theatres to watch my film because I was in it. With just two acting projects under my belt and getting such an overwhelming response really boosts my confidence.

 

FTM: Any advice for aspiring fashion designers?

HSY: They should learn the craft first and practice it. I went to fashion school and learned. Education is important in everything you do; before you decide to jump to the main stage, do smaller projects first. Get yourself involved in understanding how the actions and reactions work. Confidence is a good thing, but experience is incredibly important.

 

FTM: What sort of growth opportunities do you see in the international market?

HSY: They are limitless! To work on a fashion product involves solely your sense of color, embroidery, craft, and culture. If packaged properly people will come for it. We don’t necessarily need to ape the west. We don’t need to make clothes that they can make better. We need to fine-tune what we do and do it the best we can. I am a big believer in understanding of   what your strengths are, just work on them. For acting, our dramas and films are getting better and better. More and more people are watching. The world has also opened up due to digital streaming. I think this is the beginning of a great era. I am super excited to be a part of it.

 

FTM: Lastly, can you tell us about your future projects as a designer and actor?

HSY:As a designer, I am working on my solo show and a new surprise collection. As an actor, I have signed my next project in a lead role with one of the biggest heroines in the country. The project is written by Faiza Iftikhar and Ahmed Bhatti is directing it. Abdullah Seja is the producer; you’ll find out more about it soon.

 

 

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