Many fashion students have dreams of establishing their very own fashion label, yet 20 year-old Mana Syed from Pakistan has an international clientele way before attending university. She is a world traveller and fashion designer currently residing in San Francisco, California, pursuing a BFA in Visual Merchandising at the Academy of Art University.

Name: Mana Syed

Role: Student Designer

CollegeFashionista: Tell us a little about your company.

Mana Syed: Manaye—a play on my own name—was formed out of a hobby. Seeing my illustrations being turned into actual garments for myself and family led me to venture further into the aspect of launching a line; that’s when it all happened. I designed a line of 12 Pakistani wear designs and sent them to California for my sister to hold a small “exhibition” for her friends. The immediate sell-out of the line was the push I needed to believe it could be something bigger. Manaye then grew within months from not only Pakistani wear, but Western wear as well, gaining a local as well as overseas clientele.

CF: What is the best part about running your own company?

MS: Being able to understand different aspects of being a designer, as it was pretty much a one-man show aside from my small design team. Also, being able to have one-on-one interaction with clients and creating one of a kind pieces tailored for the individual.

CF: Talk us through the process from an order to the final product.

MS: After being contacted for a design through e-mail or phone by a client for a custom order, I would then spend a good amount of time interacting with them in order to learn more about them, their specifications, likes and dislikes. After which, the design process would begin. This involves, purchase of fabrics, colour consultations with my tailor and a trial and error process of illustrations. Once the concept was complete, it was then communicated back to the client, along with the final price, before the garment went into final production. An initial fee was required to be made before the garment went into production. As most of my clientele was based outside of Pakistan, usually several orders were placed at a time; these outfits would then be packaged and couriered to their location. The outstanding payment was then made after the client had communicated their response after receiving the outfits.

CF: What are your three essential wardrobe pieces?

MS: A pair of black pants, chambray button down and a leather jacket.

Learn More: Keep up with this star on the rise by following her on Instagram.