What Started with Childhood Hobby?
When they first start school, most toddlers just focus on finger painting. For Waheeda Hussain, founder of Rubize, it was about getting her hands on a thread and needle, “I’d watch my mother and grandmother, stitch our dresses and I knew that I would want to do that too.” A born designer, she started embroidering pillows. Waheeda found that her childhood canvas had a meaningful connection to her family, “While I would do this with my mother and grandmother, embroidering also brought me closer to my father. He was a worldly man who would constantly teach us about the places we’d travel to. He would take us too many art museums. I knew that we’d never be able to afford the paintings so I started stitching them into pillows. It was like we had brought the world into our home.”
Waheeda would make one of these pillows for her childhood friend Farhana A Rahman, Vice President of BASIS when Farhana’s father had been posted in Bogra, “I wanted her to have a momentum of our friendship no matter where we are. Coming from an army family, shifting was a constant for us.” What was once weaved into an intimate history would grow into a fashion frenzy.
“When you come into my studio, it is not about being my friend or a new face. I want to get to know you on an intimate level so we can push the boundaries while staying uniquely true to your sense,” explains Waheeda. She understood that Farhana had become a traditionalist when it came to wearing a saree because the corporate life demanded it. As she comes out in Waheeda’s vision Farhana chuckles, “Waheeda would tell me that I need to push the envelope and let the clothes speak for my work sometimes. She captured my essence with a dash of her ever-present glamour.”
It is All in the Detail
Waheeda was a bit shocked when Farhana had asked her to design a piece for the upcoming Women’s Day event, “I was extra alert because I knew Farhana’s style for ages. I accepted the challenge because this was my opportunity to convince her as a designer.” She went to the drawing board knowing that she wanted an abstract design with meaning, “I stayed true to Farhana’s taste in lighter colours but the achol would be my brain child. The jigsaw pieces were to also depict the separation of women that are scattered across the globe through the way that they remained disassembled, accentuating that women don’t have to rely on each other to
The delicate touch of flowers was Waheeda’s personal agenda, “I knew I would be pushing the envelope with Farhana; the petals were a representation of the femininity of women.”