Launching her career with only £100 in her pocket, designer Aisha Naheed made her first formal outfit from her dining room. She has gone on to become a renowned name in bridalwear with a lustrous showroom in Rochdale.

Aisha is no ordinary designer and in October was named Bridalwear of the Year at the Asian Wedding Awards.

But it has not been a traditional journey.

She said, “My career actually started in Finance. I used to work in the corporate finance department at the Bank of America. I decided to give up the corporate life and pursue my passion, so I studied fashion. 

“After making my first design from home, I never looked back.

“This year we had the opportunity to dress 68 brides and took 783 orders.”

Asian Image:

Outfit: Aisha Naheed; Styling and coordination: Cactus Agency, Model: Hira Shah; Photographer: James Rudland.

Aisha Naheed’s designs are well known for their timeless quality and embellishment techniques amalgamated with modern cuts. Aisha says she draws inspiration from the Mughal era.

“Most of our collection is designed around the Mughal or Persian era and I don’t think that will ever be out of fashion.

"The dramatic touches and the intricate fine embroidery from that iconic time speaks volumes about craftsmanship and labour. It will never be outdated.”

Asian Image:

Next season’s collection, Aisha’s biggest bridal line to date, continues this theme injecting the Mughal Queen Jodha’s sartorial influence into each creation.

“I can’t stop at one collection. We bring at least four to five collections in a year. It's the buzz of creating a mood board and sketches, putting it through the production, see it come alive and then launching the campaign with our amazing shoots. It keeps the adrenaline high.

“This new collection is the biggest bridal collection I have ever done and we all are very excited to launch it. It will feature a modern twist with traditional falls and unique embroidery techniques.”

Having dressed hundreds of brides, Aisha said special requests are to be expected.

“I had a bride travel to me from Qatar. She had a very specific vision in mind. She made me sign a contract to never make that dress again or ever release any image of it, from sketch to production. It was £6000 in value with a 175 inch train.”

Whilst her creations are so intricate, Aisha revealed her own personal style is less ornate.
“I’m a very simple person. My own wedding outfit was a plain red shalwar kameez. Everyone is always shocked when they hear that!

“My day-to-day style is literally an oversized jumper, flared jeans and Uggs with a messy bun.”

Designing exquisite and romantic bridal designs was a childhood ambition of Aisha’s, one that manifested after hard work and ample family support. 

Asian Image:

Aisha (left) receiving her award at the Asian Wedding Awards from Afshan Azad

“I have always been a huge fan of Bunto Kazmi. I have seen her work since I was a child. I remember going to a wedding and saw the bride dressed in one of her designs. She was the most beautiful bride I have ever seen. Bunto Kazmi is a legend and I wish to be at that level one day. 

“I feel privileged to dress so many women on their special day. 

“My husband and I opened our factory unit in Rochdale in 2016 and our first flagship store in 2017 with another stockist launch taking place in Houston and California in 2019.

“It is so important to pursue your dreams and goals, because if you work hard, there is nothing stopping you achieving them.”

Loading

Humbled, Honoured and Grateful 🙏🙏🙏 Thankyou @asianlifemag @umbreenali for the Recognition and Featuring us on the Cover. Link to read our full article, will be available in the upcoming week. Go grab your copy next week!! A huge thankyou to the amazing team behind Aisha Naheed. From our embroiderers , managers and tailors to our lovely staff; Branch Manager @farzana9762 Stylists @uzmakauser @qayyum.saima Inhouse Tailor Shabana This is YOUR achievement!! Photo Credits @jamesrudland Makeup and Hair @makeupbymalika_official Styling @thecactusagency Model @hirashahofficial Post Production @kasumshaffi

View on Instagram

An outfit by Aisha is featured on the front page of this month's Asian Life Magazine here