: Fascination for sketches, drawings and designs since childhood took an army official’s daughter from Leh to National Institute of Fashion Technology for formal training in designs. Bilal Handoo reports how Kaniz Fatima emerged the first among the equals in her training institute, rubbed shoulders with the best in the business in fashion industry and then returned her home in the cold desert only to start her own venture
She seems a soft-spoken. More than her words, her actions speak loud. But the dove-eyed Kaniz Fatima, 25, of Leh isn’t any other girl in this hilly area to setup her business venture in handicrafts and designs. She is professionally trained in her endeavour. And in a very short span of time, she has earned a reputation of somebody, who meticulously works on accessories before unveiling them for sale on her shop in old road, Leh. She is, what many call, a girl on the mission to redefine the way Leh dresses and adorns itself.
But much before she made an ambition out of her design devotion, Kaniz was any other girl studying in Imamia Mission School (Leh). After her class 10th, she went to Jammu where she studied up to class 12th. Once done with schooling, she refused to join college to study the traditional courses. But instead went to Chennai where she did one year diploma course in Fashion Designing from Annamalai University. Her acumen for designs was only flourished in the university. And soon, her consistent and creatively crafted designs paid off. Towards the end of her course, she was adjudged as the best performer of the year. “It was a nice feeling to get felicitated for something you are so passionate about,” Kaniz says, beaming jolly looks.
Then on the suggestion of her teachers, she prepared for the National Institute of Fashion Designing (NIFT) exam which she successfully qualified. She opted for textile design in NIFT Chennai. “I had to select one subject for specialization,” she says. “So, I zeroed in on textile designs as I was naturally attracted to fabrics and outfits.” Besides, she says, she had done a lot of work on textiles designs during her one year diploma at Annamalai University.
At NIFT, Kaniz kept participating in regular fashion exhibitions. After sensing depth in her works, her faculty at the campus motivated her to go for accessory designs, which she did.