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GT Interview

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Ayesha, with a background in fine arts, operates a home-based cake company, “ Little Pleasures Artisan Cakes”, where she crafts the most scrumptious, breathtaking and intricately designed cakes that are almost surreal in their beauty.

What sparked your interest in baking and decorating cakes, especially themed ones?

As a fine arts student my whole life, I wanted to bring something new to Pakistan. When I launched Little Pleasures in 2012, now almost 12 years old, the concept of artistic and themed cakes was relatively unknown in Pakistan. My goal was to popularize this idea and make it a trend, which I successfully achieved.

Can you describe the most challenging cake you’ve ever made? What was the theme, and how did you approach it?

The most challenging cake was the Nun’s head on a rod cake. It was an hyper-realistic chopped off nun’s head on a iron rod. I know, even its description seems jaw-dropping.

How do you stay updated with current trends in cake design and baking techniques?

I have been on a hunt for new techniques and recipes developing and I have been around the world meeting and learning from new cake artists. I have built a community of some very talented artists from dubai, France, India and Russia. Keeping up with them and their art helps me stay updated with trends and happenings in the Cake business around the world.

Walk me through your creative process when designing a themed cake. Where do you draw inspiration from?

Something I firmly believe in not doing is copying other artists work. So when a customer comes to me with reference picture of a cake they want, I ask them to add customisation or let me design their cake with personalised elements. That is how I start designing every cake and end up with something artistic, personalised and unique.

What ingredients or tools do you find indispensable when creating your cakes?

Sugar and an off set spatula. I just cannot work without these two products.

Can you share a memorable story about a cake you’ve made for a special occasion or event?

Made this fully customised cake for a returning customer for his wife. He requested to carve their wedding vows on the cake and it turned out to be so beautiful and magical.

What techniques do you use to ensure the structural integrity of your cakes, especially when dealing with intricate designs?

Our work hours are from 12-5pm. As a home based business, we take our work hours extremely seriously, and that is how we manage orders.

What is your favorite part of the cake-making process, and why?

My favorite part of the cake-making process is definitely the final result. Achieving that perfect cake is incredibly satisfying and rewarding for me.

How do you approach customer requests for custom-themed cakes? How do you ensure their vision is realized?

We sketch out their orders, select colour palette and elements. We respect all of their requests, whether it’s easy to incorporate in one cake or not. We make sure we find a way to add everything they are asking for.

Have you ever experimented with unconventional ingredients or designs in your cakes? What was the result?

Acrylic cake was a success, we made this glass shine cake using gelatin sheet technique and it ended up looking like an artificial glass jar. It was beautiful and looked surreal.

Where do you see yourself in your baking career in the next 5 years?

In a cake shop, of course!

Cured Olive is a culinary haven where the art of charcuterie reaches new heights. With a dedication to crafting diverse and exquisite offerings on a board, they’ve mastered the delicate balance of flavors and textures. Now, expanding their expertise to catered events, they ensure every occasion is elevated with their culinary creations.

Can you describe your journey into the world of charcuterie and catering? What sparked your interest in this culinary specialty?

My journey into the world of catering and hospitality business began after my return from university in California in 2010. My family had recently launched a business focused on wedding halls and I dove right in, overseeing events and managing everything from food preparations to layout for gatherings of up to 1000 guests. Through this hands-on experience and my food tasting skills, I have picked up on the art of layouts and catering spreads. Food has always been central to our family life, and together, we’ve explored various culinary techniques, setting the stage for my venture into charcuterie and catering. It wasn’t until a few years later, while organizing my sister’s party, that I discovered my passion for food styling and creating visually delectable charcuterie boards. The positive feedback from that event, coupled with the encouragement of family and friends, helped me officially launch my own charcuterie and catering business.

What sets your charcuterie boards apart from others? Could you walk us through your creative process when crafting a board?

Our charcuterie boards are distinguished by attention to detail and a unique presentation style. We prioritize locally sourced ingredients, always aiming for preservative-free and natural options whenever possible. Whether it’s a standard or customized platter, our creative process begins by understanding the client’s preferences. If it’s a gift, we pay extra attention from the point of order taking until they are delivered, at every step guiding our clients through. For events, we consider factors like the theme and design the table accordingly. We offer a wide selection of cheeses, homemade dips, a variety of meats, and pair them with the freshest seasonal fruits, flavorsome nuts, and our homemade crackers and breads. Each element is thoughtfully arranged to achieve a harmonious balance of flavors and textures, resulting in a visually stunning and delicious board that leaves a lasting impression.

How do you select and source your ingredients for your charcuterie creations?

We prioritize sourcing fresh, locally sourced ingredients from trusted local suppliers whenever possible. Our cheese selection includes both locally sourced options and imported varieties, which at times, can be costly, but still allow us curate unique and aesthetically pleasing boards. We value the efforts of our local cheese producers, whose products enable us to create wonderful and diverse offerings while keeping costs reasonable. In addition to cheeses, we have been carefully working in our homemade dips, artisan crackers and breads, and also offer a variety of meats, and other accompaniments that complement each other and provide a diverse taste

What are some key considerations you keep in mind when designing a charcuterie board for a specific event or occasion?

When designing a charcuterie board for a specific event or occasion, we consider the theme, the preferences of the client, example: any dietary restrictions. We aim to create a balance of flavors, colors, and textures that will appeal to everyone. We also give priority to the presentation of the board and how it can enhance the overall aesthetic of the event for our client.

Could you share a memorable catering experience where your charcuterie offerings were a highlight?

One of our most memorable catering experiences was a dholak event where we created a desi grazing table consisting of charcuterie and canapé food items. The bride, who was from England, had high expectations, and it was a bit challenging to fuse together the two cultures. For the table decoration, we incorporated traditional flowers like gainda, motia, and nargis to keep it in-line with the theme of the event. Some of our dessert items were particularly unique, showcasing the union of the two cultures. For instance, we created ‘artisan white chocolate jalebi barks’ and ‘rasmalai tres leche’ dessert shots. The bride shared her heartfelt appreciation, making us grateful for the opportunity to make her important day special.

How do you stay updated with current trends and techniques in the world of charcuterie and catering?

Staying updated with current trends in anything, including charcuterie, is best done through social media. We keep an eye on international trends set by industry professionals and adapt them using locally available resources, with our own personal touch. For instance, we were amongst the first locally to introduce the “pepperoni roses” concept to our charcuterie boards. Initially, people were hesitant to include them on their boards, often requesting more of another item instead. However, now we find everyone asking for them, even when offered other meat options. This trend seems to have solidified its place. We’ve also noticed those who have been around for longer, incorporating this feature into their offerings. It’s rewarding to see the trends we introduced, inspired by international markets, gaining recognition and making an impact locally. I believe in mutual inspiration to continuously improve and bring the latest trends to the local market.

Additionally, I recently completed professional kitchen certification from Scafa, Lahore this year, which is a level 2 programme about French cuisine, world cuisines, desserts, and much more. Such an experience was invaluable, learning from teachers like Chef Rob and my amazing group! I look forward to incorporating many of my learnings from Scafa into our future plans.

Can you discuss any challenges you’ve faced in your career and how you’ve overcome them?

One of the challenges we faced was managing logistics. In the beginning, it was often difficult to explain to customers that a platter cannot be transported on a bike because the setting would be affected. Over time, we established systems to inform customers about these issues effectively and now offer reliable delivery options.

Another improvement we made was streamlining our platter arrangements by creating standard settings and categorizing them into different sizes. We realized that not everyone wants a customized arrangement, which can be more time-consuming and expensive. This change has saved time for both our clients and us, as we previously offered only customized settings for every order. Now, clients can easily pick what they would like to order from the menu description, knowing exactly what they’ll receive. Additionally, we frequently seek feedback from our clients to continuously improve our quality and ensure customer satisfaction.

What advice would you give to someone looking to enter the field of charcuterie and catering professionally?*

My ad vice would be to start with a passion for food and creativity. Take the time to learn about different ingredients and presentation techniques. Building a good rapport with the new clients and seeking feedback from them can also help improve your offerings. Most importantly, stay open to new trends and ideas!

In your opinion, what are the essential elements of a successful charcuterie board?

The important elements of a successful charcuterie board should have a mix of flavors, colors, and textures so that many further flavors are buildable from the mixed options available on the board. The more options of ingredients, the more fun the clients will have building their own bites based on their taste preferences. The next important aspect is that it looks appetizing and inviting with its colors and presentation. Finally, if there are any dietary restrictions from the client’s end, those must be carefully taken into consideration and worked around.

How do you balance flavors, textures, and visual appeal when creating your charcuterie boards?

Balancing flavors, textures, and visual appeal involves selecting a diverse range of ingredients that work well together. We provide a wide variety of cheeses, dips, and meats to choose from, each offering different textures and flavors, and pair them with fresh seasonal fruits, freshly baked crackers and breads, various flavors of nuts, and other accompaniments. As for the visual aspect, we arrange the ingredients in a way that creates a tapestry of flavors and visual delight to be discovered, ensuring that the board is as visually appealing as it is delicious.

Fatima Shaheen is a Barrister by training. She holds a degree of Bachelor in Law from University of London & was called to the Bar in England & Wales at The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn.

Fatima has diverse work experience from that ranging to hard core litigation to corporate advisory work; from human rights advocacy to influencing law/policy making. Additionally, her TV career spans to around 13 years where she has worked with various private TV Channels hosting different genre of shows. She joined PTV in 2012 with her show ‘Qanoon Bolta Hai’, a popular show recognised by the Pakistani Government to help it fulfill its’ international obligations as per Pakistan’s Periodic Report on compliance with CEDAW in 2017.

Since 2019, Fatima has also been hosting a social issues based English talk show ‘The Society’ at PTV World. Fatima was nominated as ‘Ponds Miracle Woman’ of the Year 2018 & her work has been officially recognised & acknowledged by Pakistan’s first ever ‘Women in Law’ Publication too.

Fatima, you are recognized as one of the most influential women in Pakistan, could you share a bit about yourself and your educational journey?

I did my O & A Levels from Lahore Grammar School after which I completed my University of London, LLB Honours Degree. Then I went to London for my BAR and studied the Bar Vocational Course at Inns of Court School of Law (now City Law School).

A lot of people don’t know this but I don’t come from either a legal or a media background—rather I come from a family of doctors!

From receiving professional education in Law to building your career in media, tell us about the transition.  What compelled you to change your field?

People often ask me that question. A lot of people do not know but in addition to conducting my TV shows, I have been teaching law….furthermore I am also working as an independent legal consultant. Hence it would be wrong to say that I have changed my field completely.

Earlier on in my career, I have worked with top notch lawyers like Asma Jahangir, Justice Ayesha Malik (now sitting a Supreme Court Judge). I always wanted to make most of my practical experience of the profession. I wanted to share my knowledge through media ,and TV allowed me to do just that. I used media to translate all my practical knowledge/ experience of the legal profession for the betterment of the Pakistani masses.

What is the ultimate goal that you want to achieve by spreading awareness and giving life to real taboo issues in Pakistan?

I am a strong believer of the fact that awareness is empowerment for all,especially for women/vulnerable segments of the Pakistani society. Those who are unaware of their rights cannot claim them. Hence my ultimate aim in conducting informative shows is to ‘empower’ the Pakistani society at large.

Debate & discussion about real taboo issues be it child rape, honour killings or domestic abuse etc definitely sensitizes the society about the same. It helps shape societal attitudes in developing zero tolerance for such crimes. Media, as we all know, has a strong role in making & breaking stereotypes &/or in changing perceptions—I (in my limited capacity) try to use my television shows to do just the same.

We know TV Anchor Fatima Shaheen. Tell us something personal about yourself, something which we don’t know?

I am glad I am a principled and secure person, I do not believe we need the opinions or pronouncements of others to feel validated or feel we have self-worth. I believe the most subversive thing a woman can do is be happy with herself. I surround myself with a group of likeminded friends, who I know I can trust fully.  But I must also admit a weak spot of mine—I am notoriously impatient, especially if I sense a weak or flawed argument. If you want to win me over, you either have to be genuinely kind or you have to bribe me to dessert. I’m big on sweets!

What stimulates you to come up with new ideas for your shows?

Several things shape the scope and direction of each show. I actively follow news and latest developments to ensure my shows are up to date and topical, I like to deepen people’s knowledge and information regarding what is happening all around them. I also quite like meeting new people of diverse backgrounds and differing experiences, this helps me deepen my own understanding and offer fresh perspectives on television. As they say, everybody has a story to tell and I have met hundreds of people with stories worth telling.

How do you manage time for yourself in such a busy routine?

To be honest, this has always remained a struggle. I am always striving to be better at time management, which I find easier on the weekends when I am “off” but as we all know, the news never sleeps! I also am quite nocturnal, something I am actively working on changing. But of course the success of a person is based on how diligent they are to their priorities. I work hard to ensure I give time to my work and of course, make time for the most important people in my life too.

Your love for fashion speaks for itself! Who are your favorite designers nationally & internationally?

Sania Maskatiya, Bunto Kazmi & Fahad Hussayn top my list of favorites in Pakistan. Love Coco Chanel’s statement pieces & her distinct signature style, which reflects clearly in all her pieces. Big fan of Elie Saab & the attention he gives to detail in his line. My list would be incomplete without Manish Malhotra & Sabyasachi Mukerjee; both of whom I love for their feminine, exquisite yet balanced designs.

What are the social challenges faced by women in Pakistan’s media Industry? Especially when dealing with sensitive topics?

It isn’t easy being a woman in media anywhere in the world. I would say there is general pressure on a wide variety of issues. First is the painful salary gap between female and male individuals, everyone knows it’s true and yet we are still stuck with this injustice. Yet woman must always work thrice as hard to be seen as credible as their male colleagues. I recall in my early days I was refused a show because I looked too young to be talking about challenges such as domestic violence, divorce, etc. People will flock to hire a young girl if she comes across as a dumb blonde, and seat her next to a smart enough middle-aged or higher male counterpart, showing that gender discrimination is alive and well in our society. Yet I believe these challenges produce real stars because women are tenacious and determined. That is why you have several fantastic female anchors and reporters worthy of admiration.

We know your love for travelling! Which countryyou visited left a lasting impact on you?

I went to Rio De Janeiro, Brazil a few years ago and I must say it was one place which left a lasting impact on me. Brazilians’ ability to smile on everything that came their way, their positive energy and infectious vibes and their zest to celebrate today, likethere is no tomorrow definitely left me thinking…why  it is  so important to celebrate life even when its isn’t good! I met ‘real’ people in Brazil and that is what made the trip so memorable for me!

If you could have coffee with any celebrity/public/historical figure, who would you choose?

I would have coffee with Princess Diana—I am a die hard fan of the late Princess; her looks, her style, her love for humanity, and her kindness will always make her a source of fascination for me. I would like to ask her one question—how did she gain the courage to speak up for what she believed in….against ALL odds?!

In an age of social media and instant access to public figures, how do you manage to maintain an aura of mystery around you?

I think its’ because I am selective about what I share online—I post to keep my followers and fans interested, but not to bore them with every tiny detail of my life. Your aura is established from the tone you set for yourself, the access you give others into your personal space—be spontaneous, but do not let them see everything!

Who has influenced your decisions the most—whether it is in real life or your career?

My mother and my best friend…both. They are two people I always turn to for advice and support. Both of them have always encouraged me to do things—I might just not have done staying in my comfort zone. Later on, these things have turned out to be the perhaps the best decisions of my life!

Your message to your fans?

Love yourself first & everything else will then fall into line!

Photography by: Marib Shahid Alvi

Makeup by: Layla Belal

Wardrobe by: Noreen & Neelam

Zunaira is the owner of Pakistan’s first medical spa, Picture Perfect. She is a licensed and certified permanent makeup and microblading artist with 6 years of experience. Trained in Dubai with PhiBrowsTM and BioTouchtm, she offers microblading, lash services, permanent makeup, and more to enhance your natural beauty and leave you feeling confident and radiant.

So Semi-Permanent makeup, that means we have to put less makeup on in the morning right? What inspired you to become a semi-permanent makeup artist?

Yes, semi-permanent makeup can definitely save time in the morning since it’s designed to last for an extended period. As for what inspired me to become a semi-permanent makeup artist, I’ve always been passionate about enhancing natural beauty and helping people feel confident in their own skin. The idea of providing a long-lasting solution that simplifies daily routines appealed to me, prompting me to pursue this career path.

Tell us a bit about your journey from learning, practicing and then introducing a medical spa in Pakistan.

My journey began as a certified SPMU artist trained by Biotouch and Phibrows UAE. I started by practicing my craft diligently, building my skills and reputation. As demand grew, I transitioned from a home-based studio to establishing a medical spa in Pakistan. It’s been a fulfilling journey of learning, growth, and realizing my entrepreneurial dreams.

Zunaira tell our readers what actually is a medical spa and What treatments are offered at your med spa?

A med spa is a facility that offers medical-grade cosmetic treatments and procedures in a spa-like environment. At Picture Perfect, we specialize in advanced aesthetic treatments like microblading, micropigmentation, facial rejuvenation, injectables, laser hair removal, and skin tightening. Our focus is on enhancing natural beauty and rejuvenating skin in a safe, personalized, and professional environment.

What’s the difference between a MedSpa and a salon?

A med spa offers medical-grade cosmetic treatments supervised by healthcare professionals, while a salon primarily provides hair, nail, and basic skincare services without medical oversight.

What are the four most in demand treatments at your salon?

At our clinic, the four most in-demand treatments are microblading, permanent hair extensions, laser hair removal, and injectables such as Botox and dermal fillers.

As we get to experience a very humid summer season tell us about 3 important treatments we all should go for?

In preparation for humid summers, consider three key treatments: BB glow for radiant skin, especially beneficial as it provides a semi-permanent foundation-like coverage, perfect for days when traditional foundation may not fare well in the humidity. Aqua Gold facial to minimize pores and rejuvenate, and Hair Botox for sleek, frizz-free hair. These treatments ensure skin and hair stay hydrated, radiant, and resilient in humid conditions.

How do you think acceptance has grown towards these procedures and semi permanent makeup in Pakistan?

Acceptance of semi-permanent makeup in Pakistan has surged due to global beauty trends, increased visibility on social media platforms, and the availability of skilled professionals offering these services. This growing acceptance reflects a broader understanding of the benefits these procedures offer in enhancing appearance and boosting confidence among individuals in Pakistan.

What is the difference between BOTOX®? and fillers?

Botox relaxes muscles to smooth out wrinkles caused by facial movements like smiling or frowning, while fillers plump up areas to reduce wrinkles from aging and volume loss.

Are MedSpa services expensive?

MedSpa services may have a higher price point due to the use of advanced technology, medical-grade products, and expertise involved. However, clients often find value in the quality and effectiveness of the treatments.

What are permanent cosmetics?

Permanent cosmetics involve implanting pigment into the skin to enhance facial features like eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips, mimicking the look of makeup for long-lasting results.

Tell us about two most important facials that brides and bridesmaids must get from your salon?

For brides and bridesmaids, our salon offers the HydraFacial and Glow Facial. The HydraFacial deeply hydrates and nourishes, while the Glow Facial exfoliates and brightens for a radiant complexion on the big day. These treatments ensure everyone looks stunning for the special occasion.

What are your future plans and do you plan to introduce some more services at your salon?

Our future plans for the med spa are quite exciting! We’re aiming to expand our services by introducing an Operating Theater (OT) for more intricate procedures. Additionally, we’re looking to collaborate with a plastic surgeon to offer a wider range of aesthetic treatments. Every new innovation in the field of beauty and aesthetics will find its place in our med spa !!!

Zahra, I truly appreciate your agreeing to do this interview. Tell me a bit about your career so far, how did you become a fashion stylist?

Since a very young age I used to admire people for how they dressed. I’ve always believed that the way you dress yourself is a silent language & it introduces you before you introduce yourself to anyone else.

Thus I was always way too opinionated about what my mother dressed my sister & I in, & later I carried my opinions to dress those around me.

Till the age of 23 I wasn’t even aware of ‘fashion styling’ being a career option, I witnessed Maryam Raja a dear colleague styling fashion models at a shoot which I was photographing & I was blown away when I found out that people get ‘paid’ to tell other people what to wear & how to wear it.

That’s when the whole concept stuck with me & I decided to pitch myself as a ‘fashion stylist’ to Saira Rizwan for her lawn campaign with Sanam Saeed. I still remember driving around the whole city, going jeweller to jeweller, collecting accessories & putting my mood-board together. I was on top of the world & the feeling hasn’t changed with every time I am chosen for a project!

What prompted you to journey into the field of being a fashion stylist?

Back when I was completing my bachelor’s in psychology at Middlesex London, I was way too unhappy with the subject I was studying. It didn’t excite me, it didn’t intrigue me, I used to find myself lurking outside fashion exhibitions & shows, mesmerised by the world of fashion.

That’s when I started my photography blog & I started photographing street style in London. Back then I believed that photography was my passion but I was wrong, I was actually smitten by how people put together the most basic of pieces to create a look that one could never think of, it was like art to me.

It was the grit that led me to my career as a ‘fashion stylist’, I refused to give up on my passion & perseverance for a career in fashion. My refusal to settle down for a career that gave me no excitement & motivation to wake up in the morning, led me to where I am today.

Who have been some of your inspirations, mentors, or role models?

Clothes are just clothes at the end of the day, I know it’s weird of me to say that considering my career revolves around them. But I don’t think I’ve ever made someone my role model in life on the basis of how they dress.

You can be dressing yourself up in the most glamorous of outfits but if you don’t know how to dress yourself in humility, kindness & generosity, I don’t think there is anything that can save you.

Thus I’ve picked up inspiration from different people in my life – my mother & sister for one – for their hard work & resilience – from my khala (aunt) for how she balances her work life & family. From my father – who places nothing above his value system & has taught me the art of ‘giving’. From my brother – who is passionate about providing for himself & never asking anyone for anything. My husband who is one of the smartest businessmen – he inspires me to be confident with who I am & what I can do.

Tell us all about Glamgency and how do you feel being the founder of Pakistan’s first styling agency?

Back when I was getting married in 2022 – I really struggle to explain my vision for my bridal looks to those around me. Yes I was surrounded by a sea of opinions but I longed for a professional support system. Even for me, someone who dresses models up on daily basis & leads designers ‘how’ to style their fashion campaigns, I was overwhelmed with my own bridal journey.

That’s when I decided that I will open up Pakistans first styling agency & extend my services & professional knowledge to brides to be. Back then no one thought I’d be able to establish ‘bridal styling’ as a service in Pakistan but it was in a matter of months that the response I received was so brilliant! In the past 2 years we’ve styled over 50 brides from every corner of the world.

The best part about ‘Glamgency’ is that I’ve managed to ‘Pakistani Couture’ to every part of the world!

Describe your style in 3 words.

Experimental, flamboyant & modest!

Who are your style icons?

Zendaya is the undisputed queen for me!

How was your experience styling the top icons of the fashion industry for HSY’s 30 years celebration?

I am someone who performs her best under pressure – while working I make sure to push myself beyond my capacity & potential.

I am never happy or satisfied with the work I put out there – I always feel like I can do more! Thus I was constantly driving myself crazy – until a night before the show I broke down in front of Hassan & told him that I simply wasn’t happy with the work I’ve put out. That’s when he reassured me that he thought what I had put together was fabulous & that I was being too hard on myself.

I’d be lying if I told you that changed anything for me – I still grilled myself through the show day – I didn’t get a chance to breathe or process anything – all that I cared about was not letting him or myself down.

At the time of the show my team dragged me to the front of the ramp – forcing me to witness what I had put together & now I feel like had I not done that – I would’ve never felt the storm of emotions that rushed through me in those 4 minutes & 10 seconds.

To style icons – the actual people that blessed Pakistan with fashion & have left their mark in our fashion bibles is something that is truly irreplaceable!

As a celebrity stylist, what are some opportunities you have been blessed to get your hands into?

I am grateful for every single opportunity that has walked my way! Even the ones that broke me down & made me doubt my profession as a ‘fashion stylist’!

You don’t lose when you have a bad day at work & when someone makes you feel like you’re not good enough – you lose when you believe them & give up!

I am more than thankful to Allah Mian for blessing me with resilience, for letting my sensitive little heart take so much in, for making my body strong enough to take more load than I thought it was capable of!

You create opportunities for yourself, by putting yourself out there, by being through the grind, by being on a constant look out!

What challenges do you face as a stylist?

Style is something very subjective! I may love something & you may hate it! It’s not math, there is no right or wrong!

It’s extremely important for you to earn the trust of those you’re working with! If the person you’re styling doesn’t trust you a 1000% person there is no way that you can get the job done!

Also I am always surrounded by a sea of opinions while styling fashion models, the model has her own opinion, so does the makeup artist so does the designer so does the photographer! Every time I’ve surrendered to those opinions – I’ve regretted it!

What are a few tips you would like for people to remember concerning overall self-care and beauty?

You’re just as beautiful on the outside as you are from the inside! I know you might think this is cliche for me to say! But I really can’t stress on it enough!

Looking glamorous is all fun & games – please don’t prioritise this worldly aspect above the actual reason for why we are here.

Who are some of your go-to designers for styling now?

Our designers are doing a fabulous job but they still need that push to come out of the lehnga choli bubble!

Bridal fashion is the only ‘fashion’ that exists in Pakistan! We need to push beyond our boundaries more – we need to go international – we need to designing for a larger audience & bringing more attention to Pakistani Couture!

I love what HSY has done with his Resort Collection – designers need to push themselves to think more internationally!

What styling advice would you give other women?

Never be scared to experiment – never be scared to make mistakes – it’s in all the looks that go wrong that you’ll find the right!

And you don’t need brands ladies – you are the brand!

Heartiest congratulations, Hassan on achieving the significant milestone of thirty years in the fashion industry. This remarkable accomplishment undoubtedly merits commendation. How do you reflect upon this momentous achievement?

I am deeply moved and gratified by this milestone. Beyond merely completing three decades as a fashion designer, these years have been marked by profound growth and diverse accomplishments, including directing fashion shows and venturing into acting.

The presence of my sister and niece, who walked the ramp for me, imbued the celebration with personal significance. The overwhelming support and attendance of all who came to show their love and support underscored the immense value of familial and professional relationships. Despite facing unforeseen challenges, the unwavering commitment to persevere and ensure the show’s success was emblematic of resilience and dedication.

Hassan you have always been very creative with your fashion shows, and this 30 years celebration was just magnificent. Tell us about all the challenges that you had to face in bringing this huge show together?

The undertaking of this grand celebration presented a myriad of challenges, each demanding meticulous attention and unwavering resolve. Fashion showcases of such magnitude are a rarity in Pakistan, amplifying the complexity of the endeavor. Yet, I am profoundly grateful for the steadfast support and dedication of all involved, driven by their unwavering allegiance to our shared vision.

The journey was marked by countless sleepless nights and formidable obstacles, yet it epitomized the resilience and collective effort of an unwavering team. From orchestrating the intricacies of venue planning and adornment to orchestrating the participation of esteemed international luminaries and distinguished local models, every aspect demanded meticulous attention.

Our team left no stone unturned in imbuing the event with the quintessential essence of HSY’s aesthetic, from the meticulous studio embellishment to the seamless orchestration of the runway. Even the culinary offerings were thoughtfully curated to harmonize with the overarching ambiance of the celebration.

Despite the inherent challenges and moments of fatigue, the overwhelming outpouring of affection and acclaim from all quarters served as a potent antidote to any tribulations encountered. It is this resolute support and the resounding triumph of the event that truly overshadow any adversities encountered along the way.

Hassan, your reputation as the king of Couture precedes you, and your bridal creations, particularly in the rich hues of red, have garnered widespread admiration. However, why do you consistently opt for white as the theme for your celebratory events?

The choice of white as the thematic cornerstone for celebratory events symbolizes unity and inclusivity. It serves to transcend societal differences and foster an environment of harmony and togetherness, where all individuals feel welcomed and embraced. By embodying purity and elegance, white creates a canvas upon which diverse attendees can converge and celebrate collectively, irrespective of social or status distinctions.

Can you mention the names of the distinguished international guests who adorned the ramp for HSY, imparting an aura of global allure to the event?

For our ‘HSY Resort’ collection we had

  • Afshan Samee
  • Anushe Samee
  • Waleed Khalid
  • Maheen Kardar
  • Shehryar Taseer
  • Jalal Babar
  • Rema Taseer
  • Asif Rehman

For our ‘HSY Trousseau’ collection we had

  • Daniel Lee
  • Shoa Caan
  • Haseeb Ahmed Shah
  • Adhrita Nowrin
  • Hormigo Valldeperez
  • Kunwal Safdar
  • Khaled Jamal Mustafa Sharan
  • Nina Filippa Noshin Zandnia
  • Mohamed Labib Rafiq Alborno
  • Sufeena Hussain
  • Ayman Ahmed Fakoussa

Our final segment ‘HSY Couture’ featured:

  • Vaneeza
  • Mehreen Syed
  • Focus Aman
  • Amna ilyas
  • Aimal khan
  • Amna baber
  • Rizwan jaffery
  • Hasnain lehri

The fashion industry of Pakistan has witnessed a fusion of both digital and live elements within a single fashion show for the first time. What was your inspiration behind this?

The integration of digital and live elements within the fashion show reflects a commitment to innovation and redefining industry standards. Inspired by the evolving landscape of fashion showcases globally, the decision to incorporate these elements was driven by a desire to create immersive and unforgettable experiences for our audience. This visionary approach not only captivated attendees but also set a precedent for future fashion events, heralding a new era of experiential excellence.

Revisiting the presence of all the supermodels on the ramp must have evoked nostalgic sentiments. I would be delighted if you could share your most memorable moments with Vaneeza, Mehreen, Fouzia, Hasnain, Waleed, and Aimal.

The reunion with esteemed supermodels evoked deeply nostalgic sentiments, underscoring the profound bonds forged over the years. Each individual holds a special place in my heart, with memories of collaborative endeavors and shared triumphs. Mehreen’s presence particularly moved me, evoking tears of gratitude and reflection. Mehreen was and will always remain the face of HSY.

As for Vaneeza, Fouzia, Hasnain, Waleed, and Aimal, their contributions to the fashion industry have been invaluable, and our collective journey has been marked by moments of immense pride and camaraderie.

Why did you choose Ever New Studios for your 30 years celebration?

The choice of Ever New Studios for the 30 years celebration holds significant sentimental value. It was where my journey in the fashion industry began, accompanying my sister to a commercial shoot. The studio served as a nexus for industry connections and friendships, marking the inception of my career as a fashion designer. Thus, selecting it as the venue for this milestone celebration was a heartfelt tribute to the place where it all began.

Tell us a bit about ‘Trousseau’ and your design philosophy behind it.

Trousseau embodies our commitment to democratizing luxury fashion, offering opulent designs at accessible price points. Our design philosophy revolves around creating exquisite pieces that resonate with individuals worldwide, ensuring that the elegance and sophistication synonymous with HSY’s creations are accessible to a broader audience. Plans for international expansion underscore our ambition to bring the allure of couture to diverse global markets.

Which segment was your favorite from the show & why?

Each segment held profound significance, representing the culmination of meticulous craftsmanship and creative ingenuity. From the intricate designs to the seamless choreography, each segment epitomized the essence of HSY’s artistic vision. It would be remiss to single out a favorite, as each held its own importance and contributed to the overall success of the show.

There was just magic & love in the air on the show

Esteemed fashion designer and cultural icon, Hassan Sheheryar Yasin, widely known as HSY, marked a significant milestone on Friday, April 26th, 2024, commemorating three decades of unparalleled contribution to the fashion industry. The grand celebration, held in Lahore, Pakistan, underscored HSY’s steadfast dedication to innovation and sartorial distinction.

The event, a first of its kind in Pakistan, witnessed the convergence of digital fashion and live show presentation, setting a new standard in the realm of couture. For three decades, HSY has been at the forefront of directing hundreds of shows and fashion weeks, and his latest endeavor highlighted his pioneering spirit by seamlessly integrating both live and digital experiences for a global audience, thus advancing the “Made in Pakistan” brand.

In recognition of his profound influence and eminence within the fashion fraternity, HSY extended invitations to an illustrious cadre of international fashion luminaries, each distinguished in their respective domains. Noteworthy attendees included Shoa Caan, Head of BURBERRY Middle East; Ayman Ahmed Fakoussa, Co-founder of The Qode, LVMH; Daniel Lee, a revered Creative Director who has done shows with mega icons like Beyonce, Nicki Minaj and Mariah Carey; Sufeena Khan, Vice President at IAM Entertainment representing the likes of AP Dillon and Mariah Carey; Kunwal Safdar, Celebrity Chef and founder of Moreish by K; Enrique Hormingo, Founder of MONTROI; UAE Celebrity Nina Zandnia; Haseeb Ahmed Shah and Khaled Sharan, Co-Founders of Creative Clinic; and Adhrita Nowrin, entrepreneur & investor with expertise spanning DeepTech, Fintech, Startups, Investments, Fashion, and Real Estate. Their esteemed presence underscored HSY’s pivotal role in elevating Pakistani fashion onto the global stage, solidifying its status as an epitome of creativity and refinement.

The event also featured prominent Pakistani luminaries, including Vaneeza Ahmed, Hasnain Lehri, Fouzia Aman, and Mehreen Saeed, who graced the runway alongside their international counterparts, culminating in an unforgettable spectacle of grace and sophistication.

Reflecting on the significance of the occasion, HSY has expressed his profound gratitude for the unwavering support and camaraderie that have accompanied his illustrious journey over the past three decades. “I am deeply honored and truly grateful for everyone here and for the opportunity to transcend boundaries, exceed expectations, and showcase the best of Pakistani fashion to a global audience,” remarked HSY.

As the curtains descended on HSY’s 30-year commemoration, attendees were left awestruck by the magnificence of the spectacle they had witnessed. Through his visionary leadership and unyielding commitment to excellence, HSY continues to inspire generations, leaving an indelible imprint on the global fashion landscape.

Event Partner: @jbnjaws

Gifting Partner: @_bigbash @cookieauntypk

Digital Show Director: @nusairrahman.photography

Special Thanks to Evernew Studios & @sajjadgul114

HSY Lounge Setup by: @mahinareki @khizerdurraniofficial

Airline Partner: @flyjinnah

Hospitality Partner: @the_nishat

Social Media Team: @happastudios

PR Team: @phsolutions

Styling by: @zahrasarfraz @glamgencyy @mamoontariq

Hair & Makeup Partner: @nabila_salon @ngents.lahore

Special Thanks to: @khojiiii

Jewellery Partners: @hanifjewellers @dhola.aa

AV Creative Director: @amarali.film

Food & Catering Partners: @sweet_affairs_official

@cravethecaterers

Neeshay tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background.

I am an Architect by profession with a passion to keep exploring. I completed my graduation from BNU in 2019. I have worked with various architectural design firms as an architect and interior designer, until recently when I decided to embark on a journey of my own practice. I was part of a residency in 2021, which was a turning point in my journey of self-exploration as a creative and set a base for me to develop my photography practice, which I have been passionately pursuing, from there on.

Describe your architectural journey so far and what led you to exploring the artistic side of it?

I believe, my architectural journey is beginning, just now. Initially, I was solely focused on architectural design, but along the way, my aspirations have evolved towards becoming a creative. While I still cherish designing spaces, it’s not confined to just that. To me, architecture is a form of art, that represents an expansive canvas for creative expression and has the ability to manifest itself ranging from grand structures to intricate products; akin artworks, each reflecting the architect’s essence and vision. I intend to delve deeper into this realm and explore as a creative. This perspective has propelled me towards exploring the artistic dimensions of architecture.

How would you describe your art style?

My art style is in a state of constant evolution. I try to not confine myself to a singular medium rather implement my architectural knowledge and experience to whatever medium I intend to explore. Central to my creative identity is the artistic exploration of space through reflections, which adds a unique dimension to my work and a visual experience for all who engage with my work.

Neeshay you are a versatile aspiring artist. What medium of art has grabbed your interest?

I’ve worked with various mediums, including writing, photography, and more recently, ceramics. It’s the concept of each project that dictates the medium for effective communication. Although Photography has been a significant part of my work, particularly in reflection and narrative-based forms. I thoroughly enjoy the medium. It was my undergrad thesis that gave me the courage to pursue it professionally. Looking back, I realize photography chose me, not the other way round-it’s always been my way of expressing myself. Lately, I’ve been experimenting with ceramics, and I’m really enjoying that too.

We’ve seen your particular interest in reflection photography. Tell us a bit more about the medium and what draws you to it?

I’ve always been captivated by reflections. It’s a fascinating phenomenon, creating surreal visual experiences where two planes overlap, resembling artworks in their own right. It’s a beautiful dialogue between the tangible and intangible. Its artistically rewarding exploring space through reflection-an almost intangible dimension, a third dimension. What I find most enjoyable about this art style is how the visual unfolds naturally, often beyond one’s control. All it takes is a keen eye to capture it, and photography serves as a wonderful medium to communicate and capture such artistry.

Any collaboration or exhibition that is very close to your heart and why?

The Residency at Tasweerghar in 2021, marked a pivotal moment in my journey, helping me take a step in the direction that has now become my vision. It stands out as one of my most cherished experiences, reflecting on how it influenced my path forward. Additionally, I had the privilege of being a part of the Design summit held at Lahore Fort from March to April 2024. Coordinating the segment of Pavilions; Materiality as Design was a great learning experience as I worked with some extremely talented individuals and got to witnessed their creative processes unfold through remarkable works. This experience inspired me to pursue my aspirations with renewed hope.

Are there any interesting projects that you are currently working on?

I’ve recently launched my latest collection, “Déjà vu,” for an exhibition at Lakir Art Gallery. In this particular series of photographs, I aim to transcend the boundaries of reality, offering a glimpse into a world that mirrors the surreal landscapes of dreams or memories.  I had the most fun making it and excited for you all to see it.

Additionally, I’m exploring ceramics. I am blending forms to see how they respond to one another in vase-like structures. It’s an attempt to create visually striking art pieces. Take a peek at the pictures for a preview.

Also, I’m in the early stages of conceptualizing an art show based on my vision. Slightly nervous but more excited to see how it turns out.

Looking towards the future, what are your aspirations and vision?

I aspire to keep having fun while exploring architecture on my own terms. My vision is simply to free the concept of architecture from the confines of designing spaces to “DESIGNING” in every form and medium. To scale it down from massive structures to smaller art pieces/products and have it valued as any other form of art.

Henna your salon, The Cutting Edge has marked its name in the beauty industry of both Pakistan and Dubai. How do you feel about it today?

The success of my brand brings a feeling of satisfaction, pride, and accomplishment.  There is a sense of validation and recognition for all the hard work and dedication of the past 17 years. It drives me to work harder and do better.  I’m  grateful for the overwhelming response from the UAE market.  It’s been a rewarding yet challenging experience so far and my aim is to make a mark amongst the top hairstylists of the world.

It has been a great learning experience to work out of my comfort zone and work in an extremely competitive market in Dubai.

What inspired you to become a hair and makeup artist?

Playing with hair has always intrigued me.

I was a 5-year-old when I first noticed that dolls’ hair could be coiffed. This hobby extended to my sisters and I would spend hours playing with their hair;

braiding it, brushing and trying different hairstyles.

Growing up I would go through my mother’s magazines and notice how impactful the hair is in a picture. I believe 70% of your look is how your hair is done. The first thing that grabs my attention is the hair, the colour, the style and everything related to it.

My mother opened her first salon when I was 19 years old and that’s how I got a platform to pursue my passion.

A brief overview of your experience as a hair stylist, including any specialized training or certifications you have received?

I started training in 2009 and have been working since then. Over the years, I  have taken multiple courses from Toni and Guy, Singapore to  learn different haircut techniques.

I started my colour training with Loreal Paris and I go there every year to learn new techniques and colour trends. I have also taken training from famous hair dressers like Mounir and Catherine Boden.

How do you stay up-to-date on the latest hair trends, styles, and techniques?

I am constantly studying and attending trainings(virtual and in person) to keep myself updated with the latest trends and techniques. I take courses every 2/3 months with different beauty academies and hair and makeup trainers.

Tell us about a challenging hairstyle or color request you have successfully executed? What made it challenging, and how did you achieve the desired result?

Oh Gosh! There are soo many but there  is this one that I recall right now, a client came to me with repetitively box dyed ginger (orange) hair and requested for an ash shade. This is sometimes impossible to achieve in one sitting without damaging the hair. I managed to do it in one sitting without any damage and it took almost 6 hours to achieve the result.

Explain how you’d advise a young girl going for a makeup & hair look that’s both trendy and parent-approved

Please take care of your hair health and skin.

Invest in good hair and skin products. Trust me- healthy skin and hair doesn’t require a lot of makeup or hairstyling.

Tell me about three hair & makeup trends you’re a fan of.

  • Korean lips. It gives a very raw tint to the lips, accentuating the pout.
  • Curtain bangs are just soo much fun.  Depending on your face shape and hair type, they contour your face and add that oomph factor.
  • Feathered eyebrows- they add softness to your face

Which hair trend you think will be trending this summer’s season?

Copper gingers and very vibrant shades of rose copper are definitely back. Whether is a blend, balayage or highlights, the fiery shades are definitely the IT look for this summer.

Natasha, you have a decade of experience in advertising, communication and digital and social media; tell us a bit about yourself & your educational background.

Hi, I’m Natasha Durrani, Chief Operating Officer at Media Matters Communications, which is one of the leading PR and digital agencies of Pakistan. I’m a mother of two grown kids. My daughter is studying in UK and my son is in his last year of A Levels. I started my journey into the world of advertising and communications with an MBA degree from IoBM. I actually got admission in a medical college but at the last minute ditched it and decided to study marketing. I guess it was destiny as I found my true calling in this field.

What inspired you to step into the digital world of PR & advertising?

My husband has been into media and advertising for around 2 decades now and it was but a natural step to join the family business. When I stepped in the business, there was a revamp as I instigated the shift towards the digital side. Today, we are a 360-degree agency which caters to print, electronic, digital advertising and PR.

How did Media Matters came  into being and what is your work philosophy?

Media Matters is a group company of Media Pulse which was founded by my husband in 2004. Media Pulse was a core media buying house but we felt that there was a gap in the market in terms of good PR agencies. Hence, Media Matters came into being in 2015. Our philosophy is to be adaptable, innovative, and forward-thinking, ensuring our strategies are as dynamic as the landscapes in which we operate. Our goal is to foster trust and admiration for our clients, turning their vision into compelling stories that engage, inform, and inspire.

What skills or qualities do you feel helped you build a digital marketing agency?

I believe several key skills have been instrumental in building our digital marketing agency. Adaptability and agility are crucial in the fast-paced world of digital marketing, allowing us to respond quickly to industry trends and client needs. Effective communication skills have enabled us to articulate our vision clearly to clients and team members, fostering strong relationships and collaboration. Creativity and innovation drive our approach, ensuring we stay ahead of the curve and deliver impactful campaigns. Finally, a strong focus on data analysis and insights allows us to make informed decisions and optimize our strategies for maximum results. I am very passionate about digital and social media. There is so much you can achieve through it.

Outside of your professional/work area, what hobbies or interests do you have?

I’m a big foodie and a travel enthusiast which also made me start my own Instagram page www.instagram.com/tashathefoodietraveller where I review restaurants and travel destinations. I’m also a self-proclaimed Netflix addict.

Tell us about the collaborations or projects that have made Media Matters stand out.

The first collaboration that I’m extremely proud of is the cover page shoot with Sajjal Ali to promote our client Dubai Department of Economy and Tourism. We are also doing a travel-based YouTube series for Dubai which will be out after Ramadan. This is the first time in Pakistan that someone is making customized content to promote a travel destination.

#LoveLocalPakistan campaign was another feather in our cap which we developed for Meta to promote small businesses which started off using Meta platforms such as Facebook, WhatsApp or Instagram.

Furthermore, we are engaged in exciting and clutter-breaking campaigns for our clients Jazz, foodpanda, Daraz, Careem, Bank Alfalah, PUBG Mobile  and many more.

Where do you see the advertising industry, (its importance and influence) going in the coming years?

The importance of advertising will be there but we have to adapt to the changing landscape. The significance of influencer and social media campaigns will increase. The reason being that Gen Z are looking for more relatable, real and authentic content and they look up to influencers to make their buying decisions. TV and print readership are decreasing in this demographic, hence we need to be more creative and use platforms like Meta, TikTok, Netflix, and Spotify to communicate with this segment.

What is the benefit of hiring a PR agency and how do they help in building brands?

PR is all about image management and perception building. Hiring a PR agency can be a valuable investment in building and maintaining a strong, positive brand image. Their expertise, networks, and strategic approaches enable businesses to communicate effectively with their audience, manage their reputation, and achieve their marketing and business goals. We are in the age of boycotts and controversies and it is imperative for companies to seek out the services of a reputable PR agency to keep a clean slate.

What advice would you have for someone looking to get into digital marketing?

Success in digital marketing doesn’t happen overnight. It requires persistence, continuous learning, and adaptability. Start with a solid foundation, build practical experience, and never stop growing your skills and knowledge.

Haleema your salon, Muse is the new go to place for everyone. tell us a bit about yourself and your journey so far.

I come from a political and farming background and I have been raised as an independent strong woman. I am a mother of two children and I love to travel and explore new places to keep my adventuress spirit up-lifted. I grew up with an astounding love for arts and design. Although I have a degree in Finance and marketing but my inclination was always towards arts. Also I wanted to do something that helps people feel confident and good about themselves. The philosophy behind our name Muse is ‘Be your own muse’ ~ You see the beauty within yourself. You acknowledge it, connect to it and become passionate about who you are, and appreciate your own uniqueness. Today when I look around, what I see is a reflection of who I am. I thank those things that reflect back to me the beauty and love that I want to see, as they show me that I am beauty and love. Knowing that I am my own muse, I recognize the power within me.

What inspired you to become a makeup artist & from where did you receive your training as a makeup artist?

My mother is my biggest inspiration and support. She’s the driving force behind MUSE. She has been successfully running her salons since the 90’s. Running a salon is something I have been seeing and experiencing since the age of 7 and I couldn’t have waited longer to have my own salon and my own brand.

Explain how you’d advise a young girl going for a look that’s both trendy and parent-approved.

Muse is all about believing in yourself and making choices that makes one feel good about themselves. Coming from a family oriented background I would never opt for something that’s not parent -approved nor would I advise anyone. There’s always a smart way to work around trendy look and make it look so elegant that it’s hard for anyone to disapprove.

What do you think is the biggest challenge for makeup artists?

Firstly there’s a lot of competition, Lahore alone has numerous talented makeup artists who are crafting beautiful looks every day. So competition is one of the biggest challenge. Secondly in this down trodden economy I believe it has become rather difficult to provide quality services and yet keep the prices low so that it’s affordable for the masses also and not just for the niche market.

Tell me about three makeup trends you’re a fan of.

I’m a huge fan of minimalist makeup because it enhances one’s own features and not make them look like a different person. Using less product helps the overall makeup to not look overdone. With minimal makeup, less is more, darlings! Secondly I’m loving how SKIN CARE products are being incorporated into MAKEUP products,  how wonderful is the concept of using a concelears which help not only in concealing the dark circles but also helps in brightening Those dark circles. As I’m a big fan of minimalist makeup, I am also a big fan of  sleek hairstyles and I couldn’t be happier with customers asking for it as well. Overly done hairstyles are so over done now.

What are the three best services offered at Muse Salon?

Muse is a full-serviced salon, we have hair services, spa services, nails services along with makeup services. I’m am extremely proud of my team for it’s doing an incredible job in all departments. With immense gratitude I’m saying that we have been getting repeated customers who go home leaving amazing reviews. Apart from our makeup, Clients are raving about our facials (Jensen, Dermalogica and guinot) and our manicures and pedicures. we have in-house scrubs that have been carefully crafted to cleanse the skin thoroughly while leaving it well hydrated. People are a fan of Our voluminous blowdrys, we have clients coming from DHA phase 8 for blowdrys. Balayage and keratin are also client’s favourite at MUSE.

What are the three best services offered at Muse Salon?

Muse is a full-serviced salon, we have hair services, spa services, nails services along with makeup services. I’m am extremely proud of my team for it’s doing an incredible job in all departments. With immense gratitude I’m saying that we have been getting repeated customers who go home leaving amazing reviews. Apart from our makeup, Clients are raving about our facials (Jensen, Dermalogica and guinot) and our manicures and pedicures. we have in-house scrubs that have been carefully crafted to cleanse the skin thoroughly while leaving it well hydrated. People are a fan of Our voluminous blowdrys, we have clients coming from DHA phase 8 for blowdrys. Balayage and keratin are also client’s favourite at MUSE.

Any advice for the brides of winter and spring wedding season?

I know how stressful the wedding preparations can be but I would advise them to look after their health and skin. They should eat healthy, drink juices, follow a good skin care regime and keep the skin well hydrated. Having a good skin is very important in creating a flawless foundation. Also don’t forget to enjoy this period, it is precious.

Farah Talib Aziz is now one of the leading fashion houses, tell us a bit about your journey and what inspired you both to become fashion designers.

My mum would cut and stitch her own outfits from scratch from a very young age and realized she had a passion for creating flattering and wearable designs, for not just herself but her friends as well who would really encourage her to keep creating!!

What’s your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

Inspiring people, making women feel their best and executing ideas and bringing them to life.

What’s your greatest strength as a fashion designer?

Staying true to our aesthetic and maintaining supreme quality.

Can you describe your signature design aesthetic?

Effortlessly luxe and timeless pieces that can be passed down to generations.

What has been the most pivotal moment in your fashion career?

Opening our first international store in Houston has been the most pivotal moment for us.

How do you stay true to your design philosophy when trends change?

Keep focus on flattering silhouettes that remain classics but can be accented with trending elements.

Can you share a design or collection you are most proud of?

One of our first bridal collections that was shot by my dear friend Muzi Sufi and featured one of my favourite muses Imaan Madani

As inflation has affected everyone, how do you plan to keep your new lawn collection still affordable for the masses?

By adjusting our own profit margin and creating classic designs from premium fabrics that can be worn again and again for years to come.

Farah Talib Aziz has also marked its name in making the most stunning and traditional bridal outfits. What according to you will be the hot favourite colour palette for the spring brides?

Lavender is really taking over international markets and I feel like it should come in ours too!!

Tell us about your new upcoming collection (both bridal and lawn).

Our Lawn collection pushes boundaries to introduce innovative techniques such as cut work appliqué, laser cut, ribbon work and stylised 3D embroideries, on PURE PREMIUM fabrics, making a lawn collection like never before

Our Bridal collection is created to be loved and cherished for generations to come. It uses traditional embroidery techniques all painstakingly intertwined on pure handwoven fabrics with modern flair.

Any advice for all the upcoming brides and aspiring designers.

Stay true to yourself and you don’t have to follow whatever is selling.

Shoaib has stunned us with his makeup transformations and has become one of the favourite makeup artist in town for both brides and fashion editorials.

Shoaib you are known for your unrealistic yet jaw dropping makeup transformations. Tell us a bit about yourself and what inspired you to become a makeup artist?

I am a very simple, friendly and fun guy. I get along with people easily and that’s probably because I was brought up in a joint family where all your elders teach you to be polite and considerate.  My inspiration of becoming a makeup artist was a wedding I attended in my childhood. When the bride arrived I almost did not recognize her though she was a very close family member. That day I knew I wanted to know what sorcery that was and I knew I wanted to become a powerful wizard.

Some of your transformation looks of late Madam Noor Jahan got a lot of attention on your social media, do you think this and may other transformation looks were a turning point in your career?

Thank you for your appreciation. I do these looks for myself to be honest. I challenge myself and then I try to live upto it and by the grace of the Almighty, I have been successful so far. I can’t say if these looks were the turning point in my career but I received a lot of recognition and love because of them.

Shoaib we saw you dancing your heart out at Ahl-e-Dil; tell us about how you ended up learning classical dance and do you plan to excel your career in this field of art as well?

I have always been into visual and performing arts. I believe that dance is a medium that connects you with your soul. I needed a platform for my connection and Ahl-e-Dil and the Colony gave me exactly that. I would like to pay my gratitude to Fatima Amjad for believing in me and encouraging me all the way. It sure is something very close to my heart but it’s not a career option for me.

Congratulations on opening up your own makeup studio. Tell us about the challenges you had to go through to reach this point and how do you feel after achieving this milestone?

Well, every startup has its challenges and excitement, mine has too but I am very thankful to Allah for all His blessings including this one. I feel grateful but at the same time I believe that “Abhi Ishq Ke Imtihan Aur Bhi Hain”.

Spring wedding season is just around the corner, what do you think will be the ‘spring makeup’ trend?

Spring is all about blossoming and embracing yourself for who you are, and so will be the makeup trend in the spring. Minimalistic makeup and pink tones.

What color palette would be trending for spring bridals and which colours should be avoided?

Pinks, hands down. pastel, subtle, shimmery; all pinks.  Avoid darker shades of lilac, maroon and browns in the spring.

Your three favourite makeup products

Three things that can be sufficient for basic makeup are probably my favorite things too. An eyebrow kit, a lash curler, and a tint for lips and cheeks.

What unique techniques do you use to enhance a client’s natural features?

The only technique that I religiously follow is minimalism. My mantra is “Less is more” and that’s what I do.

Describe a makeup look you created that received significant media attention.

The natural dewy no make look I suppose. That look got me a lot of attention on social media and 9 out of 10 clients ask me for that look.

Share an experience when you had to create a look based on specific character requirements for a film or TV show.

I have not done any TV show or film yet, however when I created my very first look of Maleficent, I worked on some specialized makeup techniques. People loved the look and then I did several more as you mention Madam Noor Jahan, Ma’am Rani, Depika Padokon, Haleema Sultan and Sohail Warraich. Yes I did a Sohail Waraich look as well.

How do you stay updated with the latest trends in the beauty industry?

I keep an eye on international makeup trends. I follow globally renowned makeup artists and I seriously rely on continuing professional development.

Any advice for all the bride-to-Be’s

Dear Brideto-be, please dont stress yourself unnecessarily, take care of your diet and go for a minimal, more natural makeup look.

Aaleen recently completed her Dressage lessons Level 1 from the Emirates Equestrian Centre in Dubai and will be continuing her training there.

“It is my dream to represent Pakistan in the Grand Prix and bring home a gold medal for my country IA. I have taken the first step towards my dream to make it come true & IA make it into a reality in the near future. Please keep me in your prayers & support me with your well wishes”

Aaleen you have the honour of being the only upcoming female dressage rider in the history of Pakistan; tell us a bit about yourself

Hi,my name is Syeda Aaleen Bokhari and I’ve been riding since the age of 5. I’m a horse enthusiast or you can say a horse fanatic. I have learn’t my basic riding from Pakistan Rangers.

My father whose my very first coach/trainer is himself a very keen horseback rider and a Tent Pegger from his school days at Aitchison College. It was he who engraved Dressage into my head and my heart as a child. Telling me stories of Royal School of Vienna which is one of the best Dressage schools out of the four pillars.

So here i am today turning my dreams into a reality Alhamdulillah with the support of my parents and both my phupho’s.

What is the concept of dressage?

The word “Dressage” means training in French. The main concept of Dressage is to make the horse move in precise movements from barely showing signals from it’s rider. It’s a next level form of trust and bond between the two.

The rider is responsible for building it’s muscles to it’s fullest potential. A Dressage rider is supposed to train his/ her horse to be calm yet confident. To be submissive yet attentive and to have a unique bond with it’s rider.

Like the famous term goes “Dressage is like a ballet on a horse back.”

What is the difference between a horse rider and a dressage rider?

The difference between a normal rider and a Dressage rider is vast i.e a dressage rider like i explained before has to build the horse from scratch and take it to it’s full potential. Dressage is the highest expression of horse training.

Where as the normal rider is supposed to have a seat ( how to sit on a horse) to learn how to hold reins and how to balance himself/ herself on a horse. From basics you go into professionalism.

Why horses? And What was your riding “career” like as a kid?

Horses, horse riding and horse breeding all run in my blood. The passion for horses was something I inherited from both my paternal and maternal side. I find horses to be such unique,elegant and beautiful beings that they captivated my heart since i was a child and still do. I was just a basic rider like everyone else as a kid and that’s how it all started.

What was your FIRST favorite horse breed – the one you loved most now and as a kid?

My most favourite breed is a Fresian. The one i love now is Mr Medici a “Thoroughbred “who is a Hong Kong derby champion and belongs to one of maternal grandmother’s.

A horse named Toofan (Half bred) at Pakistan Rangers (Punjab) was my horse whom i rode as a kid.

If you could ride with any trainer in the world, ASIDE from your current trainer, who would it be?

Ofcourse It will be Charlotte Dujardin and Patrick kittle .

Tell us about the training challenges you have to face and how do you overcome them?

Getting trained for dressage is not easy at all. I have to remember all the meters and the alphabets. It’s like doing algebra all over again mentally without a paper and pen. Everytime i feel or felt that I’m doing something wrong i would come home and draw it on a paper to memorise it. If i make one wrong move i would have to do it all over again because i have to be perfect with the alphabets and the meters. There is absolutely no room for mistakes.

Tell us about your favourite horse and your relationship with it

Mr Medici (medo) i can go on and on about him. He is my love at first sight. I even have a tattoo of him on my arm haha.  He is my rottweiler in a horse’s body as he is so possessive and protective about me. He is my Break through after the bad fall i had as a child and i completely stopped riding. He trusted me before i trusted him. He made me realise that i shouldn’t let my fears get into my way. I treat him as my child. Every year i specially travel to Murree just to meet him in the summers. I can do just about anything and everything for him like  grooming him from head to toe or cleaning up his pellets without even remotely  feeling gross about it. He is my son and i love him to all the galaxies and back. It is a never ending love story.

What is one item on your horse-related bucket list?

“Maybach saddles” they are just pure love.

How was your experience at Dubai Emirates Equestrian Centre?

My experience in Dubai Emirates Equestrian Centre was absolutely amazing. I got to meet people from all over the world with different stories and experiences. My Spanish coach “Mr Alonso” who mostly trains for competitions gave me a very tough time in the arena as he is ex military. Once i fainted also. As at time’s i have back to back “45mins each” classes and that particular day i didn’t even get a 5 minute break to catch my breath. So yes my coach has definitely made me stronger and more confident with myself and my riding.

What do you do when you are not training or spending time with the horses?

As I am not training presently, i will be training others at Lahore Polo Club as a trainer to teach  basic and advanced riding. I want to train my students properly as I’m very particular about horses and riding. So basically there is not a day when I’m without a horse lol.

What is Aaleen’s day like?!

As ironic as this might sound but it’s the truth …I’m a sloth at home lol. I love being in bed scrolling through insta and listening to music as everyone else. My daily step count is max 48 steps lol.

Where do you see yourself as a dressage rider in the upcoming five years?

First and foremostly i see myself  completing all of my dressage levels INSHALLAH by the will of Allah swt and the prayers of my loved ones especially (My Fato pho) without whom i would not be where i am today. If not this year then definitely next year i will be competing in an international competition INSHALLAH. It is my dream and wish to win a gold medal in the Grand Prix for Pakistan INSHALLAH and hold the Pakistani flag really high.

Any advice for all the female aspiring dressage riders?

For all the girls out there. Never give up on your dreams or your passion. Ignore all the superstitious talks that exist about horse back riding and do it without even thinking. There will be bad days but never give up. Even if you fall get back on the horse. Never let your fear take away your dreams.

The Elixir Clinic offers a range of wellness treatments from IV Drips, Ozone Therapy & Chelation Therapy in Pakistan. In addition to our renowned wellness approach, our Pakistan clinic houses a dedicated Aesthetics clinic, allowing those who visit us in Pakistan to feel good inside and out, all in one place.

Welcome and congratulations for a great launch of the Elixir Clinic in Pakistan! Fahad tell us a bit about how did you land into the field of wellness & Cosmetology?

Due to social media and globalization, we have all become aware of well being and we all want to look good and stay healthy. Our passion and genuine interest in beauty, skincare, and helping others feel confident and comfortable in their skin drew us to this field. Since we are an international franchise, we have access to state of the art wellness products, new beauty trends, techniques, and products.  Wellness and cosmetology offers the opportunity to help people feel good about themselves starting with change in lifestyle to using recognized aesthetic treatments. Making someone feel confident and beautiful can be incredibly rewarding.

What is Elixir Clinic all about?

Established in 2013 in London’s medical district, The Elixir Clinic is an international wellness clinic recognized as a market leader in intravenous therapy offering preventive health solutions across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. As an international wellness clinic, The Elixir Clinic offers an extensive selection of therapies which include intravenous, anti-aging, regenerative, holistic, and intramuscular treatments to optimize vitality, slow down the aging process and improve your quality of life. We combine the latest medical advances with biohacking education and various natural therapies to improve and prolong the health of our clients. Wellness treatments include IV Nutrient Therapy, Ozone Therapy, NAD+ Therapy and more.

What are the five best services and procedures offered at the Elixir Clinic?

IV therapy, hydrafacial, anti wrinkles treatment, advance skin boosters and facial sculpting.

With the wedding season in full swing what are the two important procedures or services you would recommend to all the brides and grooms?

For brides and groom we would highly recommend HYDRA-Facials & IV therapy.

Once considered a taboo, how do you think acceptance has grown towards these aesthetic procedures in Pakistan?

Due to awareness and the desire to stay healthy and beautiful, people are no longer shy about getting the best treatment to help feel confident.  Pakistan has grown in the field of aesthetics as one can see with the huge number of clinics and services out in the market.  Treatments like fillers, Botox, threads are now not for those who may have started to look old.  These treatments are the norm and women are happy to share their experiences.  Girls as young as 18 years are getting Botox done.

What are the benefits of IV Drips and how often should one get himself/herself checked for the vitamin deficiencies ?

We perform a mineral tissue analysis test which tells deficiencies and heavy metal toxicity after that we customize IV’s according to the client needs.

Any new procedures or services you plan to bring to Pakistan that are currently not available?

Yes we will be introducing some unique services and procedures in Pakistan such as:

  • mineral tissue analysis test
  • ozone therapy
  • Iv laser therapy
  • wellness drips
  • imported aesthetic supplies for procedures.

National Furnishers has been established since 1970, with the aim of manufacturing exceptional quality furniture and is now regarded as an image of excellence. They offer a wide choice of hand-carved and straight line furniture in Sheesham (Rosewood) and Walnut wood for both household and commercial use. More than 600 dedicated artisans manufacture high-quality furniture on our 16000 sq. m production area, under the dynamic guidance of our brilliant and skilled team of specialists.

National Furnishers has been established since 1970, manufacturing exceptional quality furniture, and is now regarded as an image of excellence. Tell us a bit about your journey and how did you got interested in furniture design?

As our family is into furniture design since the 1970s that makes me more passionate about  furniture design.

Furniture design often involves balancing aesthetics with functionality. How do you approach creating pieces that are both visually appealing and practical for everyday use?

Designing furniture that strikes a balance between aesthetics and functionality requires a thoughtful and holistic approach. Some key principles and considerations to keep in mind are understanding user needs, functional requirements, ergonomics, material selection, aesthetics, harmony, versatility, innovation, creativity, sustainability, user-friendly features, feedback and Iteration. The most successful furniture designs seamlessly integrate from creating pieces that are not only visually appealing but also enhance the daily lives of those who use them.

Sustainability is a growing concern. How do you incorporate eco-friendly practices and materials into your designs to create environmentally-conscious furniture pieces?

We never stop learning and researching eco-friendly designs. This  is an evolving field, and staying informed about the latest advancements and best practices is crucial for creating furniture that aligns with sustainability goals.

Customisation is essential to meet individual client needs. How do you approach tailoring your designs to match clients’ specifications and preferences while maintaining your design integrity?

We have standard sizes but we offer a huge variety of designs from which our customers can choose from and we help them create a customised look of their furniture pieces.

Can you discuss your experience with selecting appropriate materials for different furniture pieces and how you ensure durability, comfort, and safety in your designs?

We as a team do a lot of research on material fabrics. We learn and adopt new trends as we always believe in experimentation.

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Woods like sheesham and Teak Wood.

What are some of your most memorable projects?

For me most memorable is high land . It was a project in which I played around with the scale and experimented with material as well.

What challenges do you find in furniture design?

There is no copyright and there are very  few furniture designers who are actually certified in this field.

What are the biggest trends in furniture design right now?

I think biggest trends in furniture design right now is  Morden open pore furniture.

Can you share your passion for furniture design and your approach to staying current with design trends, industry innovations, and emerging technologies?

As my family was associated with furniture design that was a basic key towards my passion. I went to Buckinghamshire New University where I studied furniture design and since then my passion for furniture design has been unstoppable. We never stop researching and exploring due to which we stay very informed with design trends and the furniture industry.

Tell us about your background and your journey to becoming a maternity and baby photographer and what inspired you to specialise in this family + maternity/newborn photography?

Even though I had always been passionate about photography it was only when I had my first born, Zaynah that I wanted to pursue it. The purpose at the time was to take the best pictures of her. Slowly as people began appreciating my work I began to think this could be something more than just a hobby. At the time I was also on a career break so I was looking for something that I could pursue professionally while not spending too much time away from her. As I began the journey I tried multiple genres but it was always family and children portraits that pulled my heart.

As a photographer, how do you hold space for mama and baby during these most sacred times of birth and the fourth trimester? What sort of presence do you offer your clients?

I provide a very calm and relaxing environment. My natural light studio is like walking into a familiar home where you will feel instant ease. There are no daunting lights or a team of people watching over. It’s just me and my assistant. I make sure everyone who walks through my door is met with warmth and a ton of patience.

What makes a successful maternity, newborn & baby photographer?

Experience is mainly what makes you successful and being a mother yourself is a bonus.  One really has to feel the beauty of these moments to be able to capture them wholly.

How do you prepare for a newborn photography session? And what equipments are needed for this shoot?

Being well rested is the number one priority for me. Newborn photography takes time and patience. Since my style is more lifestyle I don’t need to prep much as I don’t have any fancy props. I rely on parents mostly as that’s where I feel babies should be. A good camera and a lens is all you need.

How do you ensure baby safety during the shoot of a newborn?

I do baby lead posing so nothing is ever forced on the baby. Like each person, every baby is different so we just need to be mindful of that.

What is the one thing you wish you knew when you started your career as a maternity and baby photographer?

To invest in educating myself with a family photographer I admired as early as possible.

Can you describe your photography style?

My style is lifestyle, modern and timeless. As far as I am aware, I am the only one in Pakistan providing specialised family portraits with this aesthetic.

If we were to peek in your camera bag, what would we find?

My go to lense sigma 35mm, a Nikon zoom 35-70. My Nikon Z6ii. A flash (which I hardly use)  and maybe some tissues and a pair of socks (I like to shoot barefoot when indoors)

What are the biggest challenges of your profession?

Family photography in Pakistan is still a very new concept. People don’t take it seriously, mostly who do have visited me and realise the joy of it. But for most it feels like too much investment and so the market is limited. But after a decade I think I have been able to bring some awareness that these family moments are fleeting and most parents like me regret not taking enough pictures with their children.

What are some tips for parents looking to do a newborn, maternity and family shoot?

Firstly it’s to make sure you like the photographer’s style. Then it’s important to communicate what you expect from your session. The rest is to have fun. Photographers can try and do their best to make your pictures perfect but unless you are not having fun it won’t shine through.

If you weren’t a photographer, what would you be?

I love this question, I often think about it. Obviously it has to be creative. When I was in primary school in London I loved my woodwork class and I always thought what if I had stayed there maybe I would be creating furniture. Interior designing is also another, I spend countless hours looking at home interiors. I think I got it from my Mama. At one point I wanted to have my own cooking show haha. So yeah I think basically I love being creative.

Imad did his MBA in International Business from University of Greenwich, UK and is an Executive Diploma holder in Digital Strategies for Business from Columbia Business School, USA. Imad is an experienced
E-commerce and Digital professional with a strong track record of driving sustainable growth for 15 years in the UK and Pakistan. Skilled in building robust digital commerce foundations, rapidly scaling business and operations, leading team transformations, and achieving aggressive yet profitable growth.

Imad, tell us a bit about your educational background and how you end up becoming an experienced Ecommerce and Digital professional?

Having grown up in the digital age, I’ve always been fascinated by the intersection of technology and business. This led me to pursue a BA Hons Marketing Management, MBA International Business, and an Executive Diploma in Digital Strategies for Business. After graduating, I began my career as a Digital Media Strategist at Groupon, where I gained valuable experience from one of fastest growing ecommerce companies back in 2010.

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with leading global companies like Tesco and Unilever, where I’ve led and executed successful digital commerce and marketing strategies. My educational background, professional experience, ability to adapt to emerging technologies, and passion for staying ahead of industry trends have been key factors in my career progression.

Ecommerce and the digital industry are the two most in demand careers nowadays, are there any specific skills required to excel in these fields?

Absolutely. The ecommerce and digital industry is constantly evolving, so it’s important to have a strong foundation in the fundamentals, such as:

Digital marketing: This includes understanding the different digital channels, tools and platforms, as well as the best practices for reaching and engaging target audiences.

Data analytics: The ability to collect, analyze, and interpret data is essential for making informed decisions about digital marketing campaigns and ecommerce strategies.

Technical skills: A basic understanding of coding and web development is helpful, but not required.

Project management: The ability to manage complex projects under tight deadlines is essential for success in the fast-paced ecommerce and digital industry.

In addition to these core skills, it’s also important to learn more about customer acquisition, conversion optimization through the right value propositions and content creation. The ecommerce and digital industry is fast-paced and constantly changing, so it’s important to be able to think outside the box and be creative, innovative, and adaptable.

What is the meaning of digital transformation, and how is it different from digital marketing?

Digital transformation is the process of using digital technologies to improve business processes and create new value propositions for customers. It’s about more than just adopting new digital tools and technologies. It’s about rethinking the way you do business and using technology to enable new and innovative ways of working – by reshaping processes, culture, and customer experiences.

Digital marketing is a subset of digital transformation that focuses on using digital channels and platforms to reach, engage and convert customers. It includes a wide range of activities, such as search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, email marketing, and pay-per-click (PPC) advertising.

What are some of the most important elements of an effective ecommerce website?

An effective ecommerce website should be:

User-friendly: The website should be easy to navigate and use, with a clear and concise checkout process. Fast loading times and intuitive design are crucial too.

Mobile-friendly: More and more people are shopping online using their smartphones, so it’s important to have a website that is mobile first.

Secure: Customers need to feel confident that their personal and financial information is safe when shopping online. Make sure your website uses HTTPS encryption and has a valid SSL certificate. This is essential for customer trust.

Visually appealing: Your website should be visually appealing and reflect your brand identity. Use high-quality images and videos to showcase your products and services.

Well-written: The content on your website should be compelling and informative. Make sure to include clear and concise product descriptions, as well as helpful blog posts and articles.

Lastly, effective SEO, personalized recommendations, and conversion optimization techniques can significantly boost conversions. Regularly analyzing data to make improvements is an ongoing process for success.

What is your experience with using marketing automation tools?

I have extensive experience with using marketing automation tools, such as HubSpot, Marketo, Mailchimp and Eloqua. I’ve used these tools to create and execute automated marketing campaigns across a variety of channels, including email, social media, and paid advertising.

Marketing automation tools can be incredibly effective for saving time and improving the efficiency of your marketing campaigns. I utilized them to improve customer engagement and drive sales – the results included a significant increase in traffic, conversion rates and our overall ROI. They can also help you to build the right customer segments, personalize your messaging and target campaigns more effectively.

We want to start using video content on our website to provide customers with more information about our products. What type of video content would you suggest we start with?

Here are a few types of video content that you could start with:

Product demo videos: These videos showcase your products in action and highlight their key features and benefits.

Customer testimonial videos: These videos feature your customers talking about their positive experiences with your products or services.

Educational videos: These videos provide helpful information and tips on how to use your products or services.

Behind-the-scenes videos: These videos give your customers a glimpse into your company culture and how your products or services are made.

Remember to keep videos concise and visually appealing. High-quality production values are essential to make a positive impression. You can also use video content to promote your brand and tell your story. For example, you could create a brand video that highlights your company’s mission and values. Or, you could create a series of videos that tell the stories of your employees and customers.

What are the key fundamentals when creating content for various digital platforms?

Creating digital content involves understanding the audience and platform. I’ve created content for websites, social media, email campaigns, and more. Usually following these key steps:

Audience Analysis: Identify the target audience’s interests, pain points, and preferences.

Content Strategy: Develop a content plan aligned with business goals, including topics, formats, and distribution channels.

Creation: Produce high-quality content, whether it’s blog articles, videos, infographics, or social media posts.

Optimization: Ensure content is optimized for SEO, readability, and engagement.

Distribution: Share content across relevant platforms and channels, including social media, email newsletters, and content syndication.

Measurement: Analyze content performance using analytics tools to refine future content strategies.

I helped several brands to create content that connects, engages and sells to the relevant target audience.

How do you see technology evolving over the next decade?

Over the next decade, technology will continue to transform industries. We can expect:

AI and Automation: Widespread adoption of AI for innovative and personalized products and services, task automation, and data analysis for decision making.

Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR): Enhanced AR and VR experiences for marketing and customer engagement.

Blockchain: Increased use of blockchain for secure transactions and supply chain transparency.

5G: Wider implementation of 5G, enabling faster internet speeds and new opportunities for mobile experiences.

Data Privacy: Stricter regulations and heightened focus on data privacy and security.

Wearable Devices: Smartwatches and fitness trackers collect data about our health, fitness, and activity levels. This can be used to improve our health and well-being, as well as to create new and innovative products and services.

Sustainability: Technology-driven solutions for sustainability and environmental impact.

Adapting to these changes will be crucial for businesses to remain competitive.

What are the key steps to start a digital transformation project?

Define your goals and objectives. What do you want to achieve with your digital transformation project? What are your specific business challenges and opportunities?

Assess your current state. What are your current digital capabilities? What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Develop a digital transformation strategy. This should include a roadmap for how you will achieve your goals and objectives. You should also identify the key technologies and resources that you will need.

Build a team. You will need a team of people with the skills and experience to execute your digital transformation strategy. This team may include people from different departments within your organization, as well as external consultants.

Communicate with stakeholders. It is important to communicate with your stakeholders throughout the digital transformation process. This will help to ensure that everyone is on board with the plan and that you are able to get the buy-in and support that you need.

Execute your strategy. Once you have developed your strategy and built your team, it is time to start executing your plan. This may involve implementing new technologies, changing business processes, and training employees.

Monitor and measure your progress. It is important to monitor and measure your progress throughout the digital transformation process. This will help you to identify any areas where you need to make adjustments.

Here are some additional tips for starting a digital transformation project:

Start small and scale up. Don’t try to do too much too soon. It is better to start with a few small projects and learn from your mistakes.

Focus on the customer. Digital transformation should be about improving the customer experience. Make sure that your projects are aligned with your customer needs and goals.

Be flexible and adaptable. The digital landscape is constantly changing, so it is important to be flexible and adaptable in your approach.

Be patient. Digital transformation is a journey, not a destination. It takes time and effort to achieve meaningful change.

Can you mention any examples of ecommerce companies that inspire you? And why?

Certainly! Several ecommerce companies serve as inspiring examples due to their innovative approaches and remarkable success. Here are a few:

Amazon: Amazon is a pioneer in the ecommerce industry. They are constantly innovating and expanding their offerings to meet the needs of their customers. For example, they were one of the first companies to offer free two-day shipping, and they have also developed a wide range of private label products. Amazon is also a leader in cloud computing and artificial intelligence.

Alibaba: Alibaba is the largest ecommerce company in China. They have built a massive ecosystem of businesses that includes online marketplaces, cloud computing services, and payment processing. Alibaba is also a leader in big data analytics and artificial intelligence.

Shopify: Shopify is a leading ecommerce platform that makes it easy for businesses of all sizes to sell online. Shopify provides merchants with everything they need to start and grow their online businesses, including a website, payment processing, and shipping tools. Shopify also has a large and active community of merchants and developers who share tips and advice.

Zappos: Zappos sets the standard for exceptional customer service. Their dedication to customer satisfaction, including free returns and a unique company culture, sets them apart.

Shein: Shein is a fast-growing ecommerce company that is known for its wide selection of affordable clothing and accessories. Shein uses technology to quickly identify and respond to trends, and to streamline its supply chain. For example, Shein uses artificial intelligence to analyze social media and sales data to identify trends. Shein also uses robots to automate tasks in its warehouses.

I am inspired by these companies because they are using technology to innovate and improve the customer experience. They are also using technology to make ecommerce more accessible to businesses of all sizes.

Any advice you would like to give to our readers in the digital and ecommerce space?

Certainly. Here are some key insights based on my latest project with Tehniyat Salman, a digital native fashion startup:

Focus on your niche. By focusing on a specific niche, you will be able to attract a targeted audience and build a loyal customer base.

Leverage Direct-to-Consumer and Marketplace: Consider launching your business with a website and/or seller page. This approach allows you to have more control over your brand, customer experience, and data, which can lead to rapid growth.

Invest in digital marketing. Digital and influencer marketing can be a very effective way to reach, engage and convert target customers. Understand your audience, craft compelling ad creatives, build brand awareness and continually optimize your campaigns for better results.

Provide excellent customer service. Providing excellent customer service is essential for building long-term relationships with customers.

Use data to drive your decisions. Implement robust analytics to track your ecommerce performance. Continuously analyze data to identify what’s working and what isn’t.

Stay Agile and Adapt: The digital landscape evolves rapidly. Be prepared to adapt to new technologies and trends.

Be patient and persistent. It takes time and effort to build a successful digital business. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t see results immediately. Just keep working hard and learning from your mistakes.

Starting a digital-first business requires dedication, creativity, and a strategic approach. Hope the above lessons from Tehniyat Salman’s journey will help you take the right steps forward.

Pleasetell us about your journey into acting and what inspired you to pursue a career in the entertainment industry?

Unexpected! I was discovered in a casual meeting with Sultana Siddiqui. I was looking at the possibility of being a host or anchor and her keen eye saw an actor in me. A week later I got a call from HUMTV that I had been cast in a drama.

Now, I had been in the entertainment industry since I was a teen, with Radio and TV anchoring creating an appreciated recognition. I had never thought of acting as I had only grown my public speaking and effective communication skills through both media. So I tumbled into acting and realized that this is what I was born to do!

What types of acting roles do you find most challenging and enjoyable, and why?

The most challenging roles are where there are ‘not so committed to the project’ team members. You have to become a stanchion to stabilize the outcome. It saps a lot of energy out of you and that is challenging. And no, I can’t just turn a blind eye to unprofessionalism just to run the kitchen, that is not who I am.

It is so fulfilling to get the chance to act along side the magnificent true actors. The passionate maestros, young or seasoned, when they are my co-actors, you can literally feel the goosebumps in the interaction! This is lovingly called chemistry these days.

Can you share a memorable experience from a recent acting project that had a significant impact on you as an actress?

In my 9 years as a TV actor, the experiences that have made me smile, with a pat on my back have been

a).  Acting opposite Nauman Ejaz in Dumpukht (I consider him my mentor, a guru and co-acting as his peer I would either raise my bar much higher to match his brilliance, or fail hopelessly)

b.) Acting opposite Yumna Zaidi as her mother (a sexually exploited woman), misunderstood and hated by her daughter, desperately trying to protect the young woman from being tormented the same way. The range of emotions I got to present and react to were phenomenal!

c.) Currently on air, Fairy Tale season 2 presented a satire of my character taking inspiration from over-the-top saas bahu soaps. Ensuring, that the fine line between inspiration and roasting was not crossed, respecting the culture being represented, and then trying to keep a straight face while emoting overly dramatic facial expressions and vocal modulation was so so hard but delightfully memorable! (Hamza, Sehar, Amna and I were in stiches, breathless and had tears of laughter cascading down our faces after each take!) Hats off to Ali Hassan for making it look so effortless in the drama.

How do you prepare for a new acting role?

I say goodbye to Saman Ansari and become that character. And if it is unlike something familiar to me, I research it, observe it and then implement it. This is also why I never do more that one project at a time, I don’t have an on off button, so once I delve into the character I am playing for a drama, I am only able to wean it off at camera close.

Acting often involves working with diverse teams. How do you collaborate and build chemistry with your co-stars and crew members?

A professional team knows that the success of a project depends on everyone doing their job passionately. And yes, in the real world there are often times where you need to adjust to some one or the other not doing the team justice. If it is an actor not focusing on their dialogues or respecting the etiquettes of being on set, the Director makes a call on that. If its some one from the production team, you can bring that to the notice of the head of production. My mannerism on set has always been immense respect for every team member from spot boy to a super star and complete dedication to my work. If that means I don’t partake in green room gossip or hanging out between scenes to conserve my performance energy, I am very comfortable with that.

Can you describe a particularly challenging scene or role you’ve had to portray and how you overcame the challenges it presented?

Sitara Mir in Khaani was a highly challenging role. I started from a coy, bureaucratic, arrogant, ruthless trophy wife of a Politician who was much older and the doting, liberal, mother of a thoroughly spoilt young man who looked more like a sibling than son to a grieving humbled widow and repenting, humiliated mother. It wasn’t just the 180 degree shift in look and emoted personality, it was ensuring that every moment of it became believable for the viewers, and that was the real challenge.

In the evolving landscape of the entertainment industry, how do you stay relevant and adapt to changing trends and technologies?

I read, I watch and I learn – every day. I implement selectively, so yes, I am active on social media as it has this unspoken bond with our drama industry casting and ratings, but I do not follow trends unless I can relate to them. Yesterday my drama was being viewed by Gen X and Z, today I have a new audience especially with Fairy Tale 2, its Gen Alpha! So yes, when I am out and about, it’s the preteens and younger who recognize me before their mothers or grandmothers do.

What do you believe are the most important qualities or skills that an actress should possess to excel in this profession?

To be able to adapt to the character by letting go of their own personality. Yes, you have beautiful bouncy layered hair, but if you are playing a young woman from a lower middle class economic income group, you will not do cleaning the veranda with a perfectly blow dried head of hair! Observe and implement. And, please focus on the clarity of your speech. Accents are not dialects. Please take speech classes, please learn how to modulate so you can whisper with clarity and throw your voice without screaming.

Diversity and representation are important in the entertainment world. How do you see your role in promoting diversity and inclusion in your work?

I am always open to any project, or character that is as far from Saman Ansari as possible. I am equally thrilled to work with new talent or veterans. In Badshah Begum I was a cold blooded 70-year-old lady of the throne in a rural land, in Sammi, I was a raw villager in her early 30s who had 5 living daughters out of 8 pregnancies all in the hope of a son to be born. That to me, is diversity, it includes lives, of people we may have never heard of, met or known, and yet we represent them thus for me, this is inclusion of diversity.

Finally, what are your future career aspirations and are there any upcoming projects?

I would love to do more theatre, that for me is the apex of fulfillment in acting as it is a live exchange of energy between the performer and the audience.

I am reviewing a couple of drama story lines right now and will choose one to pursue once my commitment with the current Fairy tale 2 is over.

Wouldn’t mind trying my acting talent in a film. It’s called the directors medium, I think that would be a larger than life opportunity to enhance my potential in acting, to perform and most importantly to learn from what dreams are made of!

behind Haute Form Studio making waves in the fashion industry with their with innovative & unique cut lines, details and embellishments

Zeb & Zeeshan, tell us a bit about your journey so far in the fashion industry and what inspired you both to open a fashion house?

The fashion industry is a dynamic and ever evolving sector that involves design, production, marketing and distribution of clothing and whatever the product is. Fashion designers are the heart of the industry. They create clothing and accessories and setting trends and styles. So far it has been a remarkable experience. People love and appreciate what we create. We focus a lot on design, quality and client’s services. Our staff, labour workers and everyone around also support us immensely.

Fashion entrepreneurship has always been what we have dreamt of since studying fashion and we believe its a dream of every fashion student.

We always had an attitude of being a Boss instead of reporting to a Boss. And most importantly we dont believe in creating fashion under someone else’s name and just keep on working hard for nothing.

What’s your favorite part about being a fashion designer?

Haha, to be honest seeing clients wearing what we create with so much love. It boosts our energy and motivates working harder in future and definitely always creating something which is different from the market and that stands out.

And secondly we love the aspect of looking at all basic common things around with a keen designer’s eye which always helps us in drawing inspirations for collections.

What inspires your personal style?

Fashion starts from home and our parents always inspires us for our personal styles.

Define fashion

We believe fashion is a creative and artistic expression of clothing and accessories. It actually represents your own lifestyle. Fashion is not restricted to events only. It should be followed while going into bed as well.

 

The designs you created are no doubt good enough, but who and which things were your inspiration while creating such designs?

To be honest we actually keep our eyes shut and keep our mind and heart open. Haha, design is an important process. We think by heart and draw what we like. We strongly believe in authenticity of aesthetics.

How would you describe Haute Form Studio by Zeb & Zeeshan’s design philosophy?

It’s definitely bold, creative and undiluted design. It is something you wont see and experience anywhere else.

Tell us about your upcoming collection

We’re in the process of developing and introducing exquisite bridal couture collection very soon.

The collection epitomise elegance and sophistication. Each attire is meticulously crafted with the finest fabrics and intricate embellishment details to ensure a bride feels not only beautiful but also confident on her special day. Our collection features a harmonious blend of classic and contemporary designs, tailored to perfection to cater to the diverse tastes and preferences of modern bride.

For the upcoming fall/winter wedding season, what colours and trends do you see will be a top pick?

If we talk about fabrics, definitely velvets as always but using it in a more intelligent way. Brighter colors along with ghararas and shararas, lehngas with cholis and definitely Sarees. Longs and shorts, flared and sleek all in trend and will be in trend.

Any advice you would like to give to all the aspiring fashion designers?

We believe that in fashion there are two doors. One is fashion entrepreneurship and the other is just creating fashion.

Being design entrepreneurs, we believe in consistency, quality, following the timelines and definitely working hard for your research and development.

Asma you have been a part of this beauty industry for so long, what inspired you to become a makeup artist & from where did you receive your training?

I began learning the art of makeup when I opened my salon in 2009. At that time I took a number of courses locally to help improve my technique. I’ve always been a creative person and enjoyed working with my hands. Makeup was just another avenue to express that creativity. The more I practiced, the more I loved doing it. Over the years I’ve continued to undertake certifications and short courses abroad to hone my skills and keep up to date with trends and techniques.

Explain how you’d advise a young girl going for a look that’s both trendy and parent-approved.

This is a difficult question but I do think what is trendy would be parent approved. The trend has shifted to a slightly more minimalistic look with lighter makeup in line with the trend. To me as a parent, that is elegant and beautiful in its own way. The perception that either of these things are mutually exclusive is incorrect and you can have both on your big day!

What do you think is the biggest challenge for makeup artists?

Satisfying your customers. As an artist we guide our clients on what will look good based on their face shape, hair style, clothes and jewelry. The hardest thing is getting your client to trust in you and go with what you’re saying rather than their strongly held preconceived beliefs or those of others around them.

Tell me about three makeup trends you’re a fan of.

l the no makeup makeup look
l the inverted cat eye liner
l blush contouring

What are the three best services offered at Asma T Salon?

Despite offering makeup services, I think we are biased in favor of our hair department.

Our favourite services currently are:
– Kerastase Fusio Scrub ritual
– Hair Matters Oiling ritual
– Our classic Blowdry!

Three must have makeup products in your bag?

l Charlotte Tillbury Airbrush Flawless Setting Spray
l Mac Cosmetics Squirt Plumping Gloss Stick
l Anastasia Beverly Hill Stick Blush

Any advice for the brides of fall/winter season?

Do a consultation before your big day! Meeting up with your makeup artist and hair stylist for trials and consultations can help take the pressure off of everybody and ensure that you get the look of your dreams!

Asma T Salon is known for its glamorous hair transformations and in this issue we asked her pick a hair dye trend for us and our readers!

Low-maintenance and subtle tonal changes are trendy hair color options for 2023. These tonal changes include bronze, cinnamon spice, and ash-brown hues. Enhance your natural hair color with nuanced baby highlights that are finely blended.

2023 is going to be all about subtle but statement-making color that doesn’t require constant upkeep. That means low-maintenance color in extra eye-catching shades.

Founder of community organization, AliPur, where women from rural areas are trained in embroidery, pottery and sewing.

Amina, you are an inspiration for all the women, tell us a bit about yourself and your educational background.
Thankyou!

It’s been three years I have been residing in my village, Alipur Kanju in lodhran working towards the welfare of rural women in Pakistan for their economic empowerment in a way to secure their livelihoods and rights.

After graduating from Convent of Jesus and Mary I went to Lahore Grammar for my A’levels. And Later I went abroad to St Gallen University for my Bachelors in International Relations and History. During my time abroad I have been a part of various volunteer programs with United Nations, which I am very grateful for. I love to read and write.I have a written a book, Little Khan and The lucky bugs. Ferozsons published it this year. A children’s series about characters based in Pakistan. When I had my children I always had to hunt for good books based on Pakistan’s culture and values. I am very happy and proud to have written it. I love spending time with my family and travel. I would spend all my money on travelling. Its the best way of learning about so much. Besides that I love Alipur,it’s my favorite home. I always thought I am a city girl and could never live in the country but it has my heart.

 

What is the whole idea behind Ali Pur and what inspired you to create a safe space for these amazingly talented women.

Innever really got to spend a lot of time in Alipur before it was actually during the pandemic in 2020 I moved here.

I found severe poverty in my village people were distress specially women who most of the times had no money to put food on their tables and their husbands would be away in search of work. The Poor education system, devastating health and living conditions, no well sanitation facilities,these all made me realize of my privileges and I somehow I felt responsible to bring the change. Over the past years I have worked to improve the livelihoods of people. I have held medical camps, has initiated health programs, creating awareness among women of various vitamins deficiency common among the women and thus providing them with free aid. Installed water motors and water filters as women had to travel distances on foot to obtain clean water.

 

Creating a safe platform for underprivileged women from the rural areas is not easy, tell us how has the journey been so far and what are the challenges that you have faced in the process?

To break the stereotypes and change mindset, it is not easy. It has been very challenging.However I had the support of the best people; my family. My husband Amin Khan Kanju.Who has always encouraged me to do good.What I have achieved today for the people of Alipur is all because of him. He has been my rock. My Mama (mother) and my Amma (Mother in law). I am blessed. My brother. My sisters Rasanat, Fatima and Maryam. And Of course my loveliest BAE Alizeh Kanju. She has been such a big Support and the best work partner! They gave me the strength and courage to give every obstacle. Most of the Villagers didn’t want to send their daughters to school. Girls attendance in school drops to a low during harvest season. They contribute to care work at home, looking after the young and the ill, and stepping in for the mother if she is pregnant, nursing or sick. When there is much unpaid labour to be done, education is a luxury for a young daughter. This is not to say that social norms or parental reluctance are the reasons for low enrolment and high dropouts of girls. Equally, and more responsible is the State. The quality of education is poor, even for rural households, and may appear to rural parents as being not related to their lives. To convince them to believe that basic education is a necessity was a big challenge. Women comprise approximately half of the total population of Pakistan and most of them live in the rural areas. They are mainly engaged in farming and other agricultural activities. They do most of their labour as unpaid family workers. Its very important to educate them and support them for equal rights if we want to prosper as a successful nation. Along comes skill training. I saw this as a way out for women to success. Made in Alipur is a community organization, under which comes skill training centers where women are taught various skills such as embroidery sewing, stitching, pottery. Introducing them with modern technology, which I always believed is very important and had to be done soon.

Tell us about your collaborations with the brands and which campaign is close to your heart and why?

This is not a fair question!
Each and every campaign holds a very special place in my heart. Lama was the first Collaboration. I am so grateful to Amal Khan CEO Lama for entrusting the women of Made in Alipur. It was such a proud moment for me to see the women put their learning in practice and to be able to provide them with a platform to promote their work well. These women do some great work which needs recognition and appreciation. Above all giving the opportunity for them to earn well. Really It’s a pleasure to see them work with so much commitment and love. These collaborations with the renowned brands has got them the confidence and happiness they truly deserve.

What is a typical day at Ali Pur like?

It’s Work,lots of work but is Epic!
It’s fun and happy with lots of chat. As I said earlier, Alipur has my heart. I can’t be away from it for long. The country side, is exceptionally beautiful. Its far from the madding crowd. I love watching over the women encouraging more to learn. Helping them with their problems. Guiding them. Enlightening their minds with positivity and knowledge. At Made in Alipur we teach our women basic education and general ethics for their well being along with skill training. Introduce them with innovative ideas. Target their strength. To help me I have a team who I have prepared over the years.

Where do you see your organisation in the coming five years and what changes you would like to bring
InshAllah we’ll sore higher!

I want to encourage more women to be a part of this community organization. Its very important to empower rural women. They need to be supported in every way specially with the economic recession things have become quite difficult for the rural villagers. The economy grows and employment rate rises when women own businesses. Get more attention of the state in improving their policies for rural women. Giving them the rights and needs they deserve. I want the women to collaborate with international brands in the coming years and have their work appreciated world wide. I am very patriotic and I would work very hard for this aim to be achieved.
Pakistani Artisans their work to be known and desired around the globe.

How did your background as a surgeon influence your approach to running a business like Ron Jewelry and diamond direct?

After doing my graduation in medicine and surgery I went to US and opened six high end luxury diamond stores. After being successful in the US I came back here in Pakistan and opened Diamond Direct a beautiful store on a beautiful location in Lahore, where we are offering Diamond Rolex. Having said that besides that we also have a lot of varieties of beautiful engagement rings and I have also introduced my own line of engagement rings called the Dazzlers by Dr Imran.

Could you share some insights into the unique qualities and features that set Diamond Direct apart from other diamond retailers in the market?

We have diamonds ranging from PKR 20 Thousand to PKR 20 Million, diamond and gold always has a value having said that the value actually keeps increasing. Therefore whoever wants to invest their money this is indeed the best investment to make.

All my merchandise is imported from USA, all the diamonds that we have are from the US, all our brands are affiliated and certified and not even a one single ring is from any other country. The bottom line is, all the merchandise that I carry are from USA.

As a prominent supporter of charitable institutions and a cancer survivor yourself, how does your jewellery business contribute to philanthropic causes and support cancer patients through its operations or initiatives?

Being a member of the American Cancer Association I always believe in charity and also in giving energy to those who are fighting with cancer. We don’t need to call them a warrior what they actually need is hope, a real hope to live and go through to face the challenge as it comes to them. I being a cancer survivor myself understand how it goes, you need faith and hope and that’s what we need to create for those who are going through this difficult time.

How do you ensure that your customers receive excellent customer service and a personalized experience when purchasing engagement rings or making special orders?

Another specialty that we have are customized diamond engagement rings, every bride needs to look different because that’s the most beautiful moment of their life. So what happens is that we are specialist in that our slogan is, you dream it we create! We are the first one in Pakistan who can customize a diamond engagement ring according to your ideas.

What are your future plans in terms of expanding the business?
Talking about the next 5 years, I have planned to open a new location in Islamabad and then another one in Karachi. We are also working on expanding towards cities like Faisalabad and Sialkot, whereas we also have our offices in Dubai and HongKong.

Sarosh is the most versatile artist, who started her journey as as a chemist in the USA and discovered her love for painting and calligraphy about ten years ago. She is now running her own mesmerising art gallery in Lahore.

Tell us a bit about your journey and what influenced you to become an artist/painter?

Art has been a part of me since childhood, my mother was a multitalented artist, she created an environment that nurtured art . I am a science graduate, discovered about ten years ago that God has gifted me with this talent sketching and painting, and now it’s my biggest passion!

Your art room is full of paintings of same famous celebrities and singers, it also seems to be inspired by the Mughal era, what is your inspiration and how would you describe your art room?

My art gallery covers life, representing my thoughts in painted colours!

My love for humanity and history has opened areas of Mughal and other historical art besides making portraits of famous people who touched my heart through their hard work and dedication for their amazing work. I researched on them before starting their projects and I have done research work on Baba bull shah and my paintings illustrating his poetry and life is been showcased in my own art gallery in Gulberg Lahore.

Describe your dream project.

Any painting that I start is my dream painting at that time, and takes my full attention!

Describe the best piece of art you’ve created.

I love my latest calligraphy (.Blessings)

How did you discover calligraphy and How would you describe your calligraphy style?

Life is a discovery and through calligraphy we deliver messages of Allah, I call my style just my style, it’s simple straight and clear.

Do you have any favorite tools, types of brushes and pens, or papers you prefer to work with?

I use normal brushes. It’s all about how you display your thoughts through your  strokes.

Any suggestions for aspiring artists in this era of digital world?

One can achieve anything through hard work ,dedication and prayers to Almighty Allah

In conversation with Zunaira Ovais of Picture Perfect; A licensed and certified semi-permanent makeup and micro-blading artist. Zunaira runs a medical spa, first of its kind, in the heart of Lahore!

So Semi-Permanent makeup, that means we have to put less makeup on in the morning, right? What inspired you to become a semi-permanent makeup artist?

“Thank you for asking. While semi-permanent makeup does provide the benefit of waking up with a natural-looking enhancement, it is important to clarify that it is not intended to replace daily makeup entirely. Semi-permanent makeup involves the application of pigments beneath the skin’s surface to enhance features such as eyebrows, eyeliner, or lips. It helps to create a long-lasting effect, saving time and effort in daily makeup routines.

What inspired me to become a semi-permanent makeup artist is my passion for helping people enhance their natural beauty. I have always been fascinated by the transformative power of makeup and how it can boost someone’s confidence. However, I also understand that not everyone has the time or skill to apply makeup daily. This realization led me to explore the world of semi-permanent makeup, where I can provide a solution for individuals seeking long-lasting enhancements.

Being able to create subtle, natural-looking results that enhance a person’s features and help them feel more confident is incredibly rewarding. I enjoy the artistic aspect of the work and the opportunity to bring out the unique beauty in each individual. It’s truly fulfilling to see the positive impact it can have on my clients’ lives.

Additionally, the ever-evolving nature of the beauty industry and the constant advancements in techniques and products motivated me to specialize in semi-permanent makeup. I am dedicated to staying updated on the latest trends, attending workshops, and continuously improving my skills to offer the best possible service to my clients.

Overall, my passion for enhancing natural beauty and the desire to provide a convenient solution for individuals seeking long-lasting makeup led me to pursue a career as a semi-permanent makeup artist.”

Tell us a bit about your journey from learning, practicing and then introducing a medical spa in Pakistan.

Well, it has been a roller coaster ride. Like many of our women folk in the makeup industry today, I started a very humble home-based setup after learning few basic SPMU skills. God blessed me with a decent repute and client trust. That lead me to invest more into enhancing my skills and qualifications, so I pursued SPMU & aesthetics courses abroad.

During my travels, I came across the incredible advancements in the field of aesthetics abroad which we were not having access to in our country. So I decided to introduce the same and by the Grace of Allah I have been able to convert this dream into a reality.

I have a team of professionally trained staff with me having access to latest cutting-edge research in the field. I must say that, for me, the journey has just started as I am always enthusiastic and motivated about my profession since it gains me so much customer admiration and support.

What are the four most in demand treatments at your salon?

Botox & Fillers, Laser hair removal, Lash & Brow procedures & Carbon Facial.

With the wedding season just around the corner, tell us about two most important facials that brides and bridesmaids must get from your salon?

I would recommend everyone to try our Carbon facial and chemical peels for their big day.

What are your future plans and do you plan to introduce some more services at your salon?

I have plans to increase my clinic network throughout the country which I will be doing very soon. With that, I plan to introduce the latest and greatest in aesthetic procedures at my clinics and expand the services portfolio in collaboration with foreign experts and industry icons.

What inspired you to become an artist and tell us about your favorite medium?

I think it is something you are born with even as a kid my favorite thing to do was paint and colour. And since my mom is an artist access to art materials was very convenient.

I love to paint from watercolor miniatures to big wall murals. Favorite medium depends on my mood.

Describe how art is important to society

Art is something that portrays feelings and at the same time influences feelings too. There so much you can bring in a society with art, it creates the mood in society, the trends, the environment around us all depend on artists.

What factors influence the price of your work?

The biggest factor that influences any work is cost of production.

rbt

How do you go about creating a collection?

It starts with inspiration leading to the thematic design of a collection. Then the production process starts. Everything in my collection is handmade and sustainable so it’s takes time and patience.

How do fashion designers keep up with the latest trends?

I mostly follow latest cuts and colors of the year rest is our own aesthetic that is ages old and evergreen.

Who are some famous architects that you admire?

Ludwig Mies Van de Rohe and Tadao Ando

Can you walk me through your design process of your label, AMK Libaas from concept to execution?

Sustainability plays the most important part in all the process. Everything should be environment friendly and ethical, pure fabrics are chosen, hand dyed and then embellished by block printing, hand embroideries etc. depicting our traditional fashion reviving theory. Lastly they are cut and stitched according to the collection genre.

How would you describe your design aesthetic & philosophy?

Sustainable, traditional and comfortable. Our mission is to revive handmade traditional artistic clothes that are comfortable yet luxurious.

Philosophy behind are the artisans that do marvelous hand block printing and embroideries but are struggling due to the invasion of digital and mechanical solutions. Sustaining them in all our collections is a vital part of our studio.

How do you think personal style should be expressed?

By being comfortable in your own style.

What Should Be More Important To A Man: Style or Fashion?

He shouldn’t go out of his way to dress to impress , one should only wear what he can easily carry well.

Which styles of acting do you think you’re most suited for?

Romantic and sad.

What do you believe is the most challenging aspect of being an actor?

I think to play different characters and fit in to the character like a glove.

What’s your styling philosophy?

My styling philosophy is to slay with style & class and never go over board.

Which current trends would you incorporate in your clothing selections?

Add more linen for the summers which I already have but I never get enough of that particular fabric , also more pastel colours, more whites more pastels, long flowing trousers. Easy & breezy.

What is your favourite part of being in the fashion industry?

To be acknowledged, and loved by so many also being inspirational is I always have worked hard for.

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

Mostly now when I am getting recognition on international platform, building the softer image for my country , also it’s a beautiful feeling to be loved internationally. I could only gather that by living in Dubai being the Golden resident.

What do you think are the most critical aspects of the fashion industry?

Well any industry in the world is very uncertain one should not be so sure of it, sometimes they open a lot of doors for you sometimes you make a door for yourself as no one opens a single door for you , saying it out of my experience as I have gone though both the aspects of the industry.

Would you like to tell us about Any new project that you are working on?!

I have been recently awarded by the social media super star UAE awards as the most loved Fashion Influencer of uae and now over the moon by nominated by the one and only Filmfare Middle East awards in the male fashion category. I am overwhelmed by the response here in the uae and soon will be coming with a big show. Keeping my fingers crossed!

How do you think the role of a fashion designer has changed since you started your career?

Replication is one of the biggest challenge for any fashion designer I mean It’s hard to sell original high-value garment when everyone wants cheap knock-offs.

What according to you is a favorite part of being a fashion designer?

The constant reinvention and willingness to try new ideas.

What are your favorite fashion trends?

Shackets and coord sets.

Tell us a bit about your new collection

Our new collection Inspired by the age-old architectural charm that the ancient world has to offer, Ruya Wedding Couture ’23 is an ode to the rendition of heritage and tradition. The arches of the architecture are related to the soulfully crafted scalloped finishing while the classic handwork and embellishments are perfectly representing the craftsmanship that has been practiced behind the artful and historic structure.

Who are your style icons and why?

Personally for me I don’t really have any style icons because I love anyone who is fierce and fashionable.

Tell us a bit about educational background and how you’ve developed your art career so far?

I am a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and of the Canadian Institute of Actuaries and completed my B.Sc. Honors in Actuarial Science and Statistics from the University of Western Ontario. I am a self-taught oil painter and my only formal education in fine art was in high school.

I did my first oil painting three and a half years ago; each subsequent painting was a leap in technique, but my voice has always been unique and has led me to produce original never done before work. Via social media and word of mouth, the paintings started getting collected by art enthusiasts around the world, followed up by publications in lifestyle magazines, professional actuarial journals and podcasts. We recently presented a solo booth exhibit of 9 large scale paintings in New York City and have been showered with interest from Chelsea art galleries, fashion houses and private collectors.

Flowerin’ Audrey at Tiffany’s, c. 2021
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
72 x 60 x 2 in.

Describe your dream project?

My dreams are way too big to summarize in this interview, and I do use dreamlike surrealistic visuals to compose my works. However, to answer your question, a dream project would be one in which my stance on secular oneness of humanity without the divide of culture, religion, and prejudices, allyship towards women’s empowerment and de-stigmatization of mental health illnesses is most amplified. All while using  a portion of proceeds from the art career to donate to charitable causes close to my heart.

You know, I want to change the world, by literally painting a picture of a born tolerant Muslim boy’s immigration to North America and to show my peers in the West that people of my skin colour are not closed-minded terrorists. On the other hand, I also want to breakdown the preconceived ideology and resentment against the West that exists in the East.

Boxed Sagrada Familia, c. 2021
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
72 x 60 x 1.5 in.

Do your other interests influence your art?

Absolutely! Dance, fashion, film, horticulture, gastronomy. They all play an important role in the imagery used in the works.

Describe the best piece of art you’ve created?

To me all my works are special, and I go through a grieving process to let any one of them go. I think my top favourites, in no particular order, are the Boxed Golden Temple, Boxed Sagrada Familia, Muskokan Dream, the Lotus Temple, Mohatta, Bordeaux, Milan, Mardi Gras Sax Fantasy, Flowerin’ Audrey and Flowerin’ Riri – 2015 Met Gala. The collection can be viewed on our website www.1haris1.com.

Mohatta, Bordeaux, Milan! This is the dream of Mij Rahman, c. 2022
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
36 x 60 x 2 in.
Boxed Golden Temple, c. 2020
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
40 x 30 x 1.5 in.

Tell us about your techniques for overcoming creative blocks?

Yoga, strength training and my day career as an actuary. Trust me, the problem is not creative blocks on the contrary it is choosing between the countless ideas that I have written and sent to myself via email to serve as a repository. I just fear that I will not have enough days in this lifetime to execute all the dreamy compositions in my mind and the ones sitting in the inbox.

Flowerin’ Riri – 2015 Met Gala, c. 2022
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
60 x 48 x 1.5 in.

What are you working on at the moment?

Right at this moment answering your questions ha ha. Jokes aside, post the New York show, with the help of my Colombian art advisor, spouse and sister managers, we are evaluating the best gallery and commission offers to advance the art career. We are also working on producing our giclées for charity.

Lotus Temple, c. 2020
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
48 x 60 x 1.5 in.

I have a very hectic travelling schedule, visiting 14 cities in the next two months, so I will pick up the paintbrush again in June. I am toiling with either to produce my Flowerin’ Princess Diana – Revenge Dress, Flowerin’ Jackie Kennedy, or starting a new series which, I have been meaning to do for a while, titled Cappadocia Giverny Lotus Ponds. In this new series I would compare, contrast and make political statements on the Muslim cultures in Turkiye with more “liberal” or should I say bigoted ones of France. The imagery would be of the Cappadocia mountains set in Monet’s Giverny ponds with hot air balloons floating about.

New Orleans Sax Fantasy, c. 2022
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
40 x 40 x 2 in.

How do you stay connected and up to date with the art world?

By attending major art fairs such as Basel, Scope, Context, Untitled, Nada in Miami, Frieze and the Armory show in NYC, and wanting to add Venice Biennale and Foire Internationale d’Art Contemporain in Paris to the list.

I also have well-established art advisors, curators, collectors and board members of the financial world art committees in my personal network who all keep me informed. Lastly, social media and attending local art shows and museum exhibits also add to keeping up with the Art-dashians.

Muskokan Dream, c. 2020
Oil on gallery-wrapped canvas
60 x 84 x 2 in.

What is the biggest challenge of being an artist?

I am very lucky that I have a day career that allows me complete financial freedom to express myself on my terms and be selective with gallerists and other opportunities. The truth of the matter is that art is a business and the middle men/women/them, the career makers/breakers, have a huge financial interest in an artist’s trajectory. Thus, I think for me the biggest challenge is that I am very aware of the financial implication of contracts, and to be able to reason out the different compensation structures the career makers offer.

I guess that it is much better than being financially manipulated/restricted by all the noise that exists out there in the art world. What I am trying to say, is that the biggest challenge for any artist is to ensure the bills are paid and the work is not influenced by compromise.

What Do You Want Your Artwork to Stand for?

I described that in my dream project above!

Any advice for all the aspiring artists?

Keep on going. Find your voice by what motivates you, what makes you angry, what you want to change about the world and then paint about that.

Never compare your work to anyone else’s because art is so subjective that even a painting with one stroke can mean so much more to a collector than a work with 500 hrs spent in production.

A higher proportion of disappointments will come than with any other career, but always remember, when bridges fall, stock markets plunge and medicines stop working, art is the only healer.

What would you say is the most challenging part of being a fashion designer?
Honestly, it’s really fun being an entrepreneur and a creative person at the same time, but sometimes I desire to craft pieces that the data would not support. I prefer to stay away from the typical pieces but my team keeps reminding me to stick to what the research says. The clash of the two and to find the perfect balance can often be a challenging aspect being a fashion designer.

Who are your style icons and why?
Definitely Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan. Her sartorial taste is beyond impeccable. I am obsessed with her elegance in every outfit she wears. The monochromatic color scheme along with the pop of colors is such a breath of fresh air. It’s like there’s fluidity and movement within the flowing fabric that she wears.

What are your favorite fashion trends?
Definitely gossip girl era. Headbands with a Chanel coat and a cute short skirt. Blair all the way!

What is the most exciting part of being a fashion designer?
When it comes to my brand, it’s definitely the aspect where I have a play with my creativity along with my entrepreneurial skills. The perfect amalgamation between the two areas and executing the perfect balance really excites me.

Tell us a bit about your new collection?
My most recent collection “Lilly Affair” is all about movement; there’s a solid flow through the cuts. I wanted it to be a like soft spring breeze dancing through the summers. The floral patterns represent a breath of freshness, representing nature’s pure essence.

Known as the “king of Couture” and after completing almost 29 years in the industry, how has the journey been for you and what is your favourite part of being a fashion designer?

The journey has been very rewarding and I feel incredibly blessed and grateful for that as not many people get to do what they love. I believe I have been given this opportunity by my clients and people around me to continue doing what I love the most and this is where my greatest achievement lies.

“I am basically a kid in a shop, getting to live my dream everyday”

We all know that no one in the fashion industry makes a red classic attire better than HSY and the designs you create are always meticulously crafted with some eye catching intricate details, what is your design philosophy and what is your inspiration while creating such designs?

My design philosophy is timeless elegance and beauty. When someone buys my design from any of my collection they should buy it thinking that it is not something on trend, it will be a timeless classic piece that can be worn and used over and over again!

“The fashion and design industry now has become a space of sensationalism all across the world; I want to the peaceful eye in the storm where there is a guarantee aesthetic and classiness  that will never go out of style.”

I believe men make beautiful clothes for women, as that’s how they like to see them. What sets me apart from ‘men designing clothes for women’ is that I design clothes for true women, in particular my mother and my sister and if my mother and my sister are not  able to wear my clothes then all the other women in my culture won’t be able to and I keep that very close to my heart while designing clothes.

Tell us a bit about your collection, Rehana and the whole concept behind this very special campaign

This collection is very close to my heart as it’s named after my beloved mother. I’m very close to my mother and I talk about her a lot…maybe all the time as I lover her dearly. I believe that if people follow us for the trends then they should also follow us for this particular trend that I want to be there always, which is respecting our parents and our elders as it’s a big part of who I am.

“This collection is for my mother and to establish her name because I want her memory to live on. The memory of her to me is not the glamorous woman I know, my mother represents to me hard work, she brought me up as a single parent, doing multiple jobs to pay our bills”

The only way I can celebrate her is to make collections in her name so that all the single mothers out there who might be raising another HSY or another star to feel empowered and seen! I want them to know that there is a brand (HSY) who sees them, understands them and is making beautiful clothes at prices they all can afford!

The new economy is not getting better anytime soon so rather than complaining about it we should start taking action in regards to how to best service people struggling in this time.

“Even if this means less profit, I can’t ignore my clients who gave me 29 years of success and support and I want them to know that I’m there for them in these testing times”

Women and men both eagerly wait for your new collection, will HSY be launching a collection for Eid this year?!

Of course! This year you will be seeing us working with all the extremely talented celebrities, staying very close to who they are and who we are as a brand!

Stay tuned for some amazing surprises as we are all set to launch some exquisite pieces for both men and women, from Eid to couture we will have something in store for everyone, At Affordable Prices!

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