Looking back at what I have always dreamt of doing in life, it was to start my own fashion concept. I just happened to stumble into designing jewellery, which led me to launching my debut collection some months ago and now growing my brand. It is honestly such an amazing opportunity for me to be able to showcase my heritage and childhood memories through my jewellery designs and I’m so happy to be able to share every story and step that I take with you all. Thank you for all your support and encouragement, it means so much. Watch out for the Paisley Collection and some more that I am working on currently!
I digress, let me bring it back. So my dream has always been to enter the fashion industry whilst staying true to my roots. Amongst infinite brainstorming sessions and limitless mind maps, one idea which stayed with me continuously and kept cropping up was Kashmir’s handmade Pashmina, Wool and Silk. In particular, our exquisite handmade Shawl & Stoles.
Fashion has always been quite practical for Kashmiris. Pashmina Shawls run their legacy in families, as they are handed down from generation to generation keeping hold of memories, never letting go. These handmade Shawls withstand the test of time. They are a lifetime gift that not only women but men also adore wearing. A Shawl is part of the general day-to-day life in Kashmir. One would wear a basic, plain Pashmina or Wool Shawl with/without embroidery on a daily basis in the frosty mornings or chilly evenings during the Spring/Summer days. Then there would be the more heavily embroidered ornate Shawls for occasional wear such as Weddings or Dawaths (the Kashmiri term for Parties) when the more expensive Pashmina Shawls or even Kani Shawls would be taken out to complete one’s outfit. All this was and still is so inherent in our Kashmiri culture and very close to my heart. So of course I had kept a mental note (as well as several diaries of mind maps & ideas – dating all the way back to 1999!) to make sure that I somehow bring this back into mainstream fashion and showcase this to the world.
Kashmir’s age old tradition of shawl making dates back to the 14th century, when Mir Sayyid Ali Hamadani, a Persian Sufi & Muslim Scholar, visited Kashmir. Sozni embroidery hence became a form of Sufism in itself. Looking towards Kashmir’s natural beauty for inspiration in their work, the Master Craftsmen & Women design each element of the shawl whilst being in harmony with spirituality & nature – the basic foundation of Sufism. Each piece starts off with a single fibre, which is spun by hand into a thread, becoming the foundation of a handmade masterpiece, carrying on the Sufi Legacy of our Ancestors.
‘Threads by Shereen Syed’ is my dream and effort to help sustain Kashmir’s age old handicraft. I have curated only the best pieces in Accessories, Apparel & Home, from Kashmir, to share with you. All of these pieces ooze Kashmir’s tradition, culture and heritage which will become a staple in your wardrobe and home, forever.
I hope you love my Collection of Threads as much as the love and passion that every Kashmiri Craftsman & Woman has put into weaving each piece just for you.