August 1-15-2020


Earlier this year, GT’s very own Nimrah Khokhar tied the knot with Khurram Shafiq in a beautiful day-time ceremony. We wish the happy couple all the best for their journey together.




Rehmat Ajmal first captivated us through the way she brought a unique artist’s sensibility to fashion modelling; she’s now bowled us over with her brand Rehstore. Mehek Raza Rizvi speaks to Rehmat about fashion, art, business and more

With a thriving modelling career, what propelled you to start your own clothing line?

In 2018 I graduated from the National College of Arts in Textile Design. Given my busy schedule of shoots and other freelance projects, I couldn’t have worked alongside any existing designer from 9-5, so I decided to start something of my own in order to make the most of my free time. Initially, it started as a side business, but with constant support of all my customers and friends, it’s safe to say Rehstore has taken over to become the main business for me. I do feel both Rehmat Ajmal and Rehstore help each other in many ways. What I do as a model is very closely related to fashion, so I think they pair together very well as different branches of the same tree.

Most people might not be aware of your educational background as an artist. Please tell our readers about it.

I did my O & A Level from Lahore Grammar School (LGS). My main subjects were Art & Business Studies. After graduating from LGS, I did my Bachelors in Textile Design from National College of Arts and graduated with a distinction in 2018. I started Rehstore in 2019.

How would you describe the vision behind Rehstore?

Rehstore began in the midst of an existential crisis. The word Rehstore is a play on “Restore” and “Rehmat’s store”. I had graduated recently and I was feeling uncertain about many things in life personally and professionally. Opening Rehstore gave me a sense of direction and empowered me in many ways. Although it combines both art and business, it will always be more than a business for me; it represents restoration of self and my own identity. The vision Rehstore carries is more than what it sells on its virtual shelves—it shines more on the ability to take a risk as an entrepreneur and to put yourself out there powering through self-doubt and fear.

A recent post on Rehstore’s Instagram, introduced “Rehstories,” an initiative to celebrate fellow artists. Despite the competitiveness in your industry, how important is this support?

Give two different artists the same brush and the same canvas and ask them to paint an apple, you’d be surprised to see how different both apples would be. Rehstories is an initiative to showcase works of young artists via Rehstore’s platform so they are able to reach out to more customers. It is honestly a small effort from our side in the middle of a global pandemic to help small businesses. I believe that a true artist is never afraid to share his or her paints. I am happy to make a difference in someone’s life even if it’s in a very small capacity.

On the topic of competition, the craft you focus on (surface design) is gaining popularity with other clothing brands as well. Does that put pressure on you?

To be very honest I feel more happiness than pressure! To have more makers to meet the growing demand of a very prestigious craft we need more suppliers in the business who all have different styles to offer. I strongly believe in healthy competition. It pushes you to create better and that in result adds value to your business and its growth. I’ve had constructive conversations with people in different countries who practice the same craft and learnt so many things from them. I wish for the same sense of community to formulate in Pakistan by sharing and being more secure in our own skill.

Tell us about your recent collaboration with Samsara Couture House.

It got planned pretty quickly and was concluded online. It was a great experience to join hands with a team that took my designs and processed them into beautiful stitched products.

How do you think such collaborations help individual brands grow?

It’s quite enterprising you know? At first, I was struggling with the business side of things, but now I’m finding more ways to create like an artist, yet sell like a businesswoman. With collaborations like these one learns so much about the whole business cycle. All that can come in handy for when you want to expand.

We’ve witnessed an influx of homerun businesses blossom in quarantine. Has the slowing down of everyday life impacted your creative process?

It’s actually given me more time to spend with my business. I’ve really organised the structure of things in this time as a coping mechanism, so in my case it’s safe to say that it’s impacted me rather positively.

What about you as a person? Is there a silver lining during these strange times?

You know I may seem like a social butterfly on social media, but in real life I’m very introverted. I enjoy my company at home and even before this pandemic hit us, I preferred staying at home as much as I could. Personally, I’ve really found it calming, but professionally it’s impacted me like everyone else around the globe. I think now people, including myself, are finding newer and more creative ways to cope with work.

We’re aware of your love for dance, but haven’t seen any performance recently. Can we expect something in the future?

I used to dance a lot as a teenager and in my early 20s. I was an active member and later the president of my school and college’s dance societies. I recently played a role in a musical that was showcased in Alhamra as well. But now I’m really out of practice and wouldn’t call myself a professional performer. I’m not partaking in any projects as of now, but let’s see when I’ll find it in me to dance again. For now my feet are resting!

What are your hopes and aspirations for your business a decade from now?

I believe Rehstore will always be a small business in size, but big in what it has to offer. In the future I see collaborating with like-minded creative individuals and bring newer things to the table. I do know that throughout the journey my biggest competition will always be me and I hope that with the support of platforms such as GT and so many others who have helped me in this journey, I’ll be able to conclude a better and a more evolved store in its nature and the products it has to offer.


Modelling or running your own business?

Running my own business

Describe your personal style in three words.

Minimalist, effortless and comfortable

What keeps you motivated?

I imagine what I want my future to look like and then I set out to create it

Tell us of an instant mood-lifter.

To be honest, I Facetime my little niece to feel better instantly, so I guess to speak to your loved ones and keep them close to you can be a quick fix

A song that describes your personality the best?

“Reflecting light” by Sam Phillips

Do you have a nickname?

Rehmu & my mother calls me Lemon (not sure why)

What irks you most about social media?

Misuse of it! Making an active choice to use it to spread hate and negativity

Alternate career choice?

I think a motivational speaker

A weakness you’re working on?

I’m working on problem management, like being able to manage a problem or a given situation more calmly and productively and holding back from reacting emotionally, especially while making business decisions

A strength that gets you through hard times?

Processing and reflecting

Atikah Gardezi brings to life one of South Asia’s most famous painters, Amrita Sher-Gil. A Hungarian-Indian artist, she revolutionised modern art in the Subcontinent and was known for her avant-garde work.  Captured by Rehan Khan, this shoot exudes Old World charm

Photography: Rehan Khan

Concept & Styling: Maha Rehan

Hair & Makeup: Azeee

Muse: Atikah Gardezi

Wardrobe: Generation

Accessories: Jewelicious

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