What a tremendous year 2013 has been for Pakistani Fashion! After the decades-long efforts and struggles by those involved in the business of fashion, 2013 was surely the year when Pakistani Fashion truly evolved as an industry ready to stand on its own feet.
Pakistani designers have moved beyond Defence and Zamzama and some selected clientele’ and consumers too have moved beyond just buying Designer Lawn with Prêt or Ready to Wear being the buzzwords of the past year.
The shopping experience has never been so good! One ventures to shopping malls and feels like picking up everything. Unlike only couple of years ago when one would prefer to break loose one’s credit card and hop on a flight to shop in Dubai or London.
There were times when a designer would show a collection perhaps once a year at some Fashion Week. Now they are likely to showcase Spring/ Summer and Autumn/Winter Fashion Week collections as well as myriad other solo shows and exhibitions. Good times, certainly good times!
You all well know that UMAIRICA apart from just critiquing believes in celebrating our growing Fashion Industry and its talented populace involved within it. These are the artisans who put their heart and soul into their jobs and have truly represented Pakistan like, say any sports legend, philanthropist, singer or actor working in an international project.
But it’s sad that one doesn’t hear in the media much about fashionistas being recognized. You don’t get to hear much about our designers impressing the world; whether they are invited to showcase their collections at the world’s leading fashion events; or when they open their stores in fashion capitals; or when International celebrities wear our Pakistani designers’ clothes; when one of our event management companies is ranked one of world’s best; or when one of our designers is nominated for the International Woolmark Prize. Nor do we hear much buzz when our models, stylists, make-up artists are a part of International campaigns or the most prestigious beauty pageants, or even when one of our designers is a part of costume designing team of an Oscar nominated movie!
Like last year, UMAIRICA asked the Pakistan’s Fashion Stars, which events in 2013 made it a memorable year for them, not merely professionally but also on personal note. I hope you enjoy it! But before that I would like to say that how humbled and honored I feel that all you fashionistas were so cooperative and shared your stories with me and UMAIRICA’s super cool readers 🙂
Ayesha Farooq Hashwani – Designer
Personally and professionally, the year 2013 was a very special for me. I celebrated my big 4.0 with all my close friends and family, launched my online store and finally opening my own store! I feel like I’ve spent the whole year planning these events and trying to meet targets I had set out earlier this year and luckily have managed to do so. It’s been very tiring and super busy but a fruitful year for me. Feeling blessed as 2013 comes to an end. Time to celebrate!
Emraan Rajput – Designer
2013 has been a turning point in my life as professionally my collection Denimology was a great success . Also recently I opened my outlet and of course the biggest achievement winning best emerging talent award at FPW spring/summer 2013. On a personal level I have been blessed by a beautiful daughter Iman and my whole world revolves around her.
Shahid Malik – Photographer
For me 2013 was all about travelling. I fell in love with Turkey, Rumi’s city of Divine love and Sufism, Istanbul. Shot the first international campaign for The Pinktree Company. My work got published in Vogue India & the opening of KHAADI in my city, London, a proud moment for any Pakistani.
Fariha Rashed – CEO – Pitch Media Inc. PR & Ink Magazine
On a personal level 2013 was a memorable year for me because I finally began my weight loss program which had been pending for a year – since I began, it has done wonders for me physically [still a long way to go though], mentally and spiritually!. On a professional level 2013 was a memorable year for me because my PR agency took off with a bang and we now have some of the best clients one could possibly hope for, MashAllah.
Deepak Perwani – Designer
This year I have seen many ups our new spanking kick ass store at Dolmen Mall launching Freida Kahlo from Kharadar to Defence . The iznik collection at BCW sold out in Lahore and Islamabad . Our collaboration with Orient Textile Mills comes to an end and we move on to greener pastures with the Origins group for spring summer 2014 . This is just the beginning of many more exciting things that will happen in 2014 . Oh and “Afcourse” I finally turned 40 🙂
Huma Adnan – Designer
This year has been an exhilarating year personally n professionally.My kids did exceptionally well in their O n A levels.My 17 year old daughter topped at the IBA test which made me really proud.We then had the best vacation together to celebrate her success which was a memorable trip to Vegas n San Francisco. I had one of my best shows in Belasco Hollywood where the audience was mostly American Celebrities and a lot of Congressmen.
Frieha Altaf – CEO , Catwalk Events / Catalyst PR
Chaotic! launched the Sunsilk designer bottles which was a huge success. Got voted top 100 in the country. Styled Pakistan Idol. I turned 50 this year, a huge milestone so wanted to reinvent, redo much in my life. Loved every moment at LSA. Loved my summer vacations and decided that I must stop running! but haven’t!
Maria B – Designer
2013 was memorable for me because it was a year where I discovered more about myself than ever before… I did an Umrah and found peace and answers to a lot of questions that had haunted me all my life… so all in all it was a year of self discovery and correction for me personally. Professionally, 2013 has been one of the most successful one my company has seen to date.. We started 4 new brands… crossed our highest targets of turnovers for the company and started our India project.. so let’s just say we crossed various milestones in this year.
Rizwan Beyg – Designer
2013 was great because I showed a collection in Pakistan after 2 years involving local craftsmen . The use of truck art on garments and accessories made it possible for international exposure of the genre and due to the nature of its ethical practice and sustainability, caught the interest of the Royal family of Sharjah who have now recruited me to spearhead a similar movement in the Emirates involving their own local craft, thus setting the stage for a global ethical fashion movement involving MENASEA. Due to the constant ethical nature of producing garments, I have been invited to collaborate with the ethical council in Paris as well as participate in Karnataka fashion week in Bangalore in Jan and Colombia Fashion Week in Feb .The truck art collection is going digital to make it affordable export oriented as we have had inquiries from Japan, UK, USA and Australia as well as India. 2014 will be a challenging year ahead.
Nadir Firoz Khan & Maha Burney – NFK Photograpghy
2013 was the 1st year of Lawn for us! We’re really proud of the work we have done this year and how much NFK Photography has grown. We’ve worked with some amazing brands and personalities; it was a successful and challenging year work wise
We’ve gotten to travel a lot this year as well. Lots of trips to Thailand for work, a trip ‘home’ to New York for me and some trips to Dubai too. We went to the desert in Al Ain for the Sania Maskatiya lawn shoot; that was definitely my favorite. It was so surreal and quietly beautiful, a truly awe inspiring experience.
Nadir Firoz adds,
2013 was also the year we started our work with Bonanza, with Sanam Chaudhri and Maheen Karim’s capsule collection shoots culminating with our Satrangi by Bonanza campaign. We’ve really tried to push the boundaries of our work technically, creatively & stylistically and have been happy with the results.
2013 has so many other memorable moments. We walked the ramp as Toni & Guy Style Collective members, we were nominated second year in a row for LSA, and put some amazing TV-Ads/Videos under our belt like Color Professional Studio ,’Soigne’ by Shehla Chatoor and ‘Satrangi’ by Bonanza. Hopefully 2014 will be as fruitful and creatively challenging as 2013 was.
Mehvash Amin – Editor in Chief , Hello! Pakistan
Well, it was nice to wake up on the 1st of January 2013 and realize that the Mayans were wrong about Doomsday – but there was much more. I write poetry, and one of my poems, titled Karachi, published in the Missing Slate in 2013, was nominated for the prestigious Pushcart Award. I visited Cordoba, amongst other places in Spain, and felt the tinge of pride and sadness that the effervescent architecture of the Alhambra evokes; I stuck to my New Year’s resolution and lost 20 pounds; I decided to let go of negative people and not give a hoot about what they say – at the end of the year, I am a happier, fitter person.
Professionally, Hello!, in its second year, continued to enable me to meet fabulous, positive, talented people who confirm my very optimistic belief that my countrymen are amazing people who just need opportunity and belief to take things to the next level. As editor of the magazine, it has been my avowed mission to dig out new talent while giving a nod to the established lot. The magazine has reached the point where people call me because they want to be in it – a long cry from the inception, when I was making all the calls!
Sania Maskatiya – Designer
The year 2013 has been quite eventful and was all about new ventures and exploring new territories. Our calendar was marked with one event after the other; we started the year with the launch of our first ever lawn collection in collaboration with Sapphire Group, opened two new Sania Maskatiya stores (one in Lahore and another in Karachi), did back to back collections for FPW and PFDC fashion weeks. Alongside that we also did capsule collections for both Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha. This year was also memorable as we showcased our bridal collection at PLBW for the first time ever. Along with doing lots of work, it was flattering to be nominated for two LSA’s this year, being honored with the AllWord networks Pakistan 100 award, being named as the ‘Inspiring Designer’ by Hello Pakistan and Umair and myself making it to the “Hot 100” list by Hello! Pakistan.
Having said that, I can’t thank God enough for being given the opportunity to represent Pakistan directly and indirectly on major international forums. It was a moment of pride to dress Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy for Emmys and to have received an overwhelming response at all the major international fashion shows I participated in within the USA, UK and Singapore. I hope that the year 2014 is even better than the current year and we do some extremely exciting projects.
Apart from major leaps for the brand in 2013, it was an exciting year on the personal front too.. almost all my best friends got married this year where some of them even had a destination wedding, attending which was a memorable experience. But my phupo passed away this year and it was a major loss for the family
Zahir Rahimtoola – CEO , Labels
2013 has been a truly memorable year for me professionally with the launch of Labels eStore in 2012 I am happy to see the eStore reaching great heights and being acknowledged by international online tech magazines such as Mashables and TechinAsia. On the ground level LABELS led from the front by playing host to Corto Moltedo, Pernia Qureshi and handbags by Judith Leiber; holding exhibitions by Elan-Khadijah Shah, Fashion Compassion by Ayesha Mustafa and Zara Shahjahan. Personally I was honored to be listed in the HOT 100 list by Hello! Pakistan and LABELS was rated among the top 5 stars of 2013 by Express Tribune. Hopefully we continue to roll in 2014.
Ehtesham Ansari – Stylist
Professionally I became UAE based entrepreneur, My first feature film Zinda Bhaag released this year and also started shooting for my second feature film Jalaibee. Styled Bollywood celebrities and worked for lots of international brands. On a personal note, I became mamoo for the second time :).
Sanam Chaudhri Sheikh – Designer, Chairperson- Fashion Pakistan Council
2013 was a whizz of professional and personal achievements.
A prominent professional highlight was my collaboration with Bonanza for their ready-to-wear line. It was an honour and pleasure to work with such a dedicated and professional team.
Then came along the Fashion Pakistan Chairmanship which blew me away!
These milestones were punctuated by personal achievements and realizations which I’d like to keep ‘personal’.
Happy New Year y’all!! Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2014!
Wardha Saleem – Designer, CEO – Fashion Pakistan Council
2013 was a memorable year professionally. We launched our lawn and got a great response, also showed at PFDC our pret collection which was highly appreciated. I did my first ever bridal show at L’Oreal bridal couture week, 1st ever international show in PARIS with Tapu Javeri and most importantly my new designation as the CEO of FPC which is quiet challenging.I have all the reasons to thank God for all the success achieved this year.
On the personal end I spent a lot of time with my family. Had a fantastic time with my younger brother Ayan in Italy and France. My eldest brother, my companion Nubain has finally become part of my business so we get to spend most of the time together. made some really good friends this year and how can I miss a new addition to my pet family, my French bulldog (OREO) who keeps me entertained all the time.
Selina Rashid Khan – CEO, Lotus PR & Client Management
2013 was very memorable personally because our son Faiz was born in June! It was the best year of my life.
Professionally, 2013 was memorable as I took off work for a significant amount of time while I was pregnant and then when I had my son – the first time in my life I switched off from the nitty gritties of life around me in fact! What made this time so memorable was that my wonderfully supportive team of colleagues made it possible for me to work away from office without feeling overwhelmed and managed just about everything on their own. I felt so proud of Lotus and am thankful to have a family at work!
Maheen Karim Khan – Designer
It will always remain a memorable year because I got married to my best friend and ever since then I am loving every bit of it! Work has been great, started to do a pret line for Bonanza as well. God has been kind to me and my family.
Raheel Rao – Editor in Chief , DIVA
2013 was memorable to me for several divalicious reasons… Because I ended up becoming the Editor-in-Chief of Diva – a magazine I nurtured and gave my blood and sweat for more than a decade. Because I relaunched Diva with a whole new look and a threefold cover consisting 30 major power players of Karachi fashion industry together in one frame. Because I got my own office and did our first ever Bridal Issue.
Tehmina Khaled – CEO, TAKE II Client management & PR
Year 2013 was extremely fruitful for my PR company TAKEII,we did exceptionally well and handled events and PR for reputable foreign brands like Noodle house, party fiesta, johnny rockets and Giordano, handling PR for Maria B lawn and launching NADIA KHAN lawn were exciting projects during lawn season in 2013.
On personal front my husband received Goethe merit award (an award by Germany) for his contribution to theater and producing educational content on electronic media for children in Pakistan.
Amna Ilyas – Model , Film Actress
2013 was memorable for me because I traveled a lot for both, work and vacation… I had the chance to explore the world, Europe especially and that opened new windows. I have realized how important it is to see other countries and cultures. For me it was all a part of growing up.
Zinda Bhaag got released as my debut and did really well (hopefully will make it to Oscars)
I’m getting all the attention, love and support. :). Every year brings a wave of sadness and happiness, but I am lucky enough to have just happiness around me and my great family and friends to encourage me to aim for the higher goals.
Zair Maqsood – Ceo, N-Gents
Aside from officially tying the knot with my beloved wife – Sara Shah, 2013 also brought forward the creation and existence of N-Gents. As a by-product I’I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and immersing myself in the company of countless great folk which ultimately restored my faith in this society to good extent.
Alongside good, the year has also succeeded in presenting me endless challenges of all shapes and sizes only to meta-morph as the ultimate teacher in my school of life. Heres to 2013, and I look forward to experiencing ’14.
Tabish Oza – Model
Professionally 2013 was memorable because I got couple of major campaigns and tons of hoardings this year especially in the last month of 2013. Personally, 2013 is the year when I travelled a lot but always wanted to see the northern areas of Pakistan and finally in 2013 it happened.
Nabila Maqsood – CEO, Nabila
We opened N gents in May and shifted my flagship salon next to N pro in August. Having 3 salons on the trendy and desirable E street gives us a life of its own. Also, my product line is ready to be launched soon
Shehla Chatoor – Designer
2013 has been a phenomenal year both professionally and personally, God’s been kind!
Finally moved into my new home, which we were building for the last few years. Had a fantastic holiday with my daughters and husband in Italy. Just returned from the Indian capital, Delhi after a solo show, which went remarkably well and was a great feeling to see clients across the border swooning over brand “SHEHLA.”
Most celebrities chose to be dressed in Shehla, be it at red carpet or award shows, etc. Also, did some kick ass shoots like Sara Loren for XPOZE’s cover and Dessert Rose bridal shoot for DIVA, amongst others.
Also, showed for the first time at PSFW luxury pret week in Lahore, which was well received and got good reviews.Praying 2014 is just as rocking! Inshallah.
Arsalan Iqbal – Designer
This year saw ‘The House of Arsalan Iqbal‘ dream coming true. I launched A.I Femme – my women’s wear label and brought veteran Fayez Agariah and Zurain Imam on-board to look after the entire women’s wear department and marketing of the brand. With each passing year I’m making leaps and bounds towards my ultimate dream which I in part have and I soon will (Inshallah) achieve. On the personal front, my baby was born. I am now a father! Can you imagine that? My baby brother and sister got married. I traveled extensively for ideas and inspiration, set new goals for expansion and a set a handful of major projects scheduled for early 2014 to welcome the next year with a bang. 2013 has certainly been an eventful and massively productive year for me.
Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, HSY – Designer
2013 has been a great year. It was a year of development and growth, collections and collaborations- a year filled with events and celebrations. I look forward to 2014 being a year of progression as we become bigger, better and stronger and take our fashion industry forward to new horizons.
Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer – Designers, Sana Safinaz
2013 was challenging yet exciting year. We have opened 5 Retail stores in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad and before the end of the year we hope to launch our webstore. 2013 has been very busy and exhausting.
No time for any personal exploration as its been work work work!
Abbas Jafri – Model
2013 brought me many more honours and modeling awards. But for me it was actually a pretty challenging year. As once you are labeled amongst the best in your profession, people expect even better from you. I still say that my best work is yet to come. I have worked with the best names in the Pakistan Fashion industry and would like to explore new avenues in coming years.
Zurain Imam – Fashion Journalist
The year Two Thousand & Thirteen was the period of 365 days during which I experienced being “Middle-Aged” as I turned 45-years-old! Having said that, I believe my body, mind and soul were at their peak; I was the same Ibs165 I was when I was 24 years-old which made me feel quite good, so much so that I agreed to model clothed, semi-nude and nude for an Indus Valley Art student for his thesis, albeit with my face swathed in blue satin. Quite sexy if I may say so myself!
I continued to write for leading periodicals: reviewing the TDAP show for ‘Dawn Images’; helping to cover myriad Fashion Weeks and write profiles for ‘Xpoze Monthly’ and helping the team during its editor Andleeb Rana Farhan’s (too brief) maternity leave; writing my column for ‘Visage’ which took a more personal, revelatory and introspective turn; interviewing the elusive Bunto Kazmi for ‘Diva!’; styling and profiling matinee-star Alyy Khan and also writing a cheeky behind-the-fashion-show-scene expose for ‘Newsline’ amongt other articles including my first ever article during my 20 year plus career for ‘Libas International’, profiling the enigmatic Noorjehan Bilgrami.
I also officially joined menswear designer Arsalan Iqbal (formerly of Arsalan & Yahseer) at the House of Arsalan Iqbal and helped it to transition into a full-fledged design house replete with the addition of a women’s wear line spearheaded by the talented Fayez Agariah. We participated at Pantene Bridal Couture Week 2013 in Lahore and gauged the market. We have a long way to go and I am looking forward to the style journey in 2014 and beyond! I had fun helping my sister-in-law Nadine Al-Rifai Imam style her debut fashion show at Dolmen Mall at which she is the country manager. Working with Team Zinc and Team Nabila with fresh new models was well, to say the least, refreshing!
I helped celebrate my dear mother’s 70th birthday which was a milestone for me and her. I never thought I would see 45 and neither did she anticipate seeing 70. I hope she remains healthy and has a long trouble-free life ahead. My nani also turned 92. She’s a super trooper! What else can I say, except to say I love her and God bless her! I continued to bond with my five nephews especially my lovingly problem child 20-year-old Fahd, helping him to transition to university life in the United States and my nearly three-year-old habibi, Adam who is my mischievous next-door neighbour at home. Chachoo loves you!
I realized that a satisfying year and life can be achieved by giving of oneself; but it is absolutely fine to also love oneself first, because if one can be the best that one can be, then one can also contribute towards making others happy and help them to reach their full potential as well.
Wishing Umair and the readers of UMAIRICA a Glorious, Spectacularly Happy and Successful 2014 ahead!
2013 was surreal for UMAIRICA
It was a year filled with so many proud moments for me as a blogger, and almost all those proud moments made me pinch and ask myself whether all of it was really happening to me! I was pleasantly surprised when I got an exclusive invitation to attend the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in Lahore, for which I thank UNILEVER and Catalyst PR. It was truly special. I got the chance to meet and have a fun little conversation with Hilary Alexander (Fashion Director of The Daily Telegraph) and Lyse Doucet (BBC’s Chief International Correspondent). A huge thanks also to Team LOTUS for treating me and my blogger friend Owais from Karachi so well.
I always questioned myself whether I was actually doing a good job with my blogging. I readily admit the flaws that I have in my writing but keep trying to improve with the Bloggers’ community always there to help and of course Zurain Imam 🙂 One of the moments when I felt that I was not doing such a bad a job waswhen Mark Hampton, the global ambassador of Toni & Guy during his visit to launch the Hair Meet Wardrobe range tweeted about my review, and I quote: ” This is my fav review so far!!”
And something absolutely incredible happened! I was the part of Toni & Guy’s #UnlockTheLook campaign, probablythe first blogger collaboration at this level in Pakistan. It was a tutorial-based campaign that included a photoshoot and some serious action and cuts :D. It was exciting as it was a campaign that was in continuation with the Toni & Guy International Bloggers campaign, which already had taken place in the UK and Australia. (Later in the year we saw the campaign moving to India, but instead of bloggers, Malaika Arora , Soha Ali Khan and Anusha Dandekar were used as the models). The experience was simply WOW and most definitely one of a most memorable event in my life. Thanks again to UNILEVER and Lowe & Rauf for being there.
On a perosnal note, I just want to give a shout out to all the amazing and very passionate Fashion and Lifestyle bloggers of Pakistan who love what they do and are playing as important role in promoting Pakistan’s softer image and of course our fashion.