Sadia’s life is a Rumour

Once upon a time, Sadia Sayeed, then 17, got married to businessman Sayeed Hashim who owned Toyzone on MG Road and was also modelling on the side for such biggies as Binny’s and IBM.

Today, Sayeed, 33, is the mother of two children, but her husband is no more. And she is no unemployed mother. She is now married to Rumour, a hip store in Indiranagar for all things womenswear and accessories. Squeaky-clean lines and a coffee lounge unwind you before the merchandise does. And though she has been designing clothes since she was 19, she has come into her own only now, with a brand new address in Indiranagar, with a little help from Irfan Razack of The Prestige Group, who is married to her sister Badrunnisa (45). Spread over 1,800 square feet, her boutique is refurbished with new stock every 45 days. “It’s either new colours (bright orange, yellow, pink) or new fabrics (linen, Egyptian cotton),” says Sayeed. “We have 300 regular customers that include doctors, engineers and businesswomen.”

Custom-made goods are what Sayeed is good at. “There is very little of ready-to-wear because clients are partial to cut and fit,” says she.

The range is eclectic. You have casualwear (long gowns and salwar kurtas, churidar kurtas) in cottons and washable crepes (, wedding trousseaus (lehenga, sari) or partywear and Indo Westerns (capris, narrow pants, short tops) or westerns (power suits, trousers, shirts).

Her pastimes are as diverse. When she is not listening to ghazals by Jagjit Singh (‘Tum itna kyon muskura rahe ho’ is her all-time favourite), she is looking after her two children, Mohammed (13) and Mariam (8); reading books on design and fashion; invite friends over for a small get-together; and travel on business. “Earlier, I used to import a lot of my stuff,” she says. “But now, there’s so much diversity in Indian fabrics like Orissa silk, khadi cottons that there is no need for any synthetics… it’s too plastic except for lycra and laces, which are used sparingly to embellish the clothes. Style, cut and minimal embroidery is what you find in my creations.” Her client list says it all. From Yaseen Ali Khan, the wife of the Nawab of Rampur to serving the wives of the Nawab of Barkatpura, to supplying clothes to people in Detroit, Malaysia, Dubai and Maldives, Sayeed has a royal following. And her future plans? “To take Rumour to the international market with a label of my own.”

Check out Rumour and you will get the big picture. Not only of the store, but also of Sayeed.

(Published in City Reporter, 2003)