Lizna Kabani fell in love with fashion at her grandfather’s textile factory in Pakistan. As a young girl, she was mesmerized by the rolls of printed garment and fabrics. From then on, she was certain that design was her passion.
Later, after growing up in Montreal, Canada and studying design at LaSalle College, she met her husband and made the move to Dallas. Here, she got a job in HR at Neiman Marcus, but fashion was always on her mind.
After her daughter was born, she stayed home to care for her and between bibs, bottles and blow-outs decided to start her own business: LIZNA, a women’s contemporary apparel brand based in Dallas. Since launching LIZNA in 2016, her pieces have been spotted on The Real Housewives of Dallas, at New York Fashion Week 2017 and her collection has been reviewed by fashion icon, Nina Garcia who described LIZNA as “the perfect look for the art lover” and personally adores her bodysuit.
Montreal has been a big inspiration. “It’s the New York of Canada,” she says. “Definitely a fashion hub.” She recalls how everyone just wears whatever they want, that there aren’t really trends like there are in the U.S.
Travel is another source of inspiration. In Madrid, a painting called Positioning of Mobile Graphic Elements by Frances Kupka sparked an idea for her upcoming Spring/Summer/Resort collection. “The colors were so vibrant. I took the colors and worked with the textile designer to do bold stripes,” she says. Then came “a lot of cut outs and focus on trend to bring the pieces together.” The SS18 collection is available for pre-order at lizna.com and will be on display at the Fashion X fashion show at Austin Fashion Week on April 5.
Lizna looks up to CEO and creative director of Alice + Olivia, Stacey Bendet. “Her story is one to tell and be motivated by. She stays true to the core of what she wanted to create.” Staying true to oneself is one of Lizna’s core values. Her favorite piece of fashion advice is: “Just be yourself. If you think it’s fashionable and you love it, rock it.”
She also has a passion for supporting other women business owners. LIZNA is certified by The Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC), which is the most widely recognized and respected women’s certification in the United States. She first heard about the organization when she was taking business courses when she first started out and got certified with the Women’s Business Council- Southwest in August 2017. She loves having a “network of women that own businesses that can help each other.”
Owning a business can have its ups and downs, but for Lizna, the design aspect of her job makes it all worth it. Her favorite thing is picking out the fabrics and getting to see the prints she acquires from U.S. manufacturers and local vendors. She says “the ultimate dream is to have her own shop and factory in Dallas where she can manufacture the garments herself.” Like grandfather, like granddaughter. She eventually wants to be able to control the process from start to end, from design to pattern-making to producing and shipping directly to her customers.
When she’s not working as a designer and CEO, Lizna spends every free moment with her kids and husband. Her favorite place to take her 4-month-old son and 4-year-old daughter is the Perot Museum in Downtown Dallas. They’ve also made it a family tradition to try a new restaurant every Friday night.
Each garment—100 percent “made in America”—is designed for a day to night look and her passion is making clothes that are flattering and timeless. “I want to create classic garments that can still be worn 10 years from now. I want the trend to be everlasting.”
For a sneak peek at the LIZNA style, check out images from the lookbook below.
Like what you see? To browse the LIZNA catalog, click here.