January 15 2019


Dynamic performers and quirky style stars, Iqra Aziz and Yasir Hussain are two of the most coveted actors of their generation

Ever since she made her debut with Kissey Apna Kahein in 2014, Iqra has continued to prove herself as a bankable actress with character-substantive roles. While this 21-year old starlet may appear petite and diminutive in person, her exceptional acting skills and uncontainable energy are her true strengths.

Yasir, the people’s artist, is an absolute livewire who wears multiple hats as an actor, talk show host and VJ. His ever-growing fan following can be credited to the ease with which he steps into each of his characters. From the depraved villain, to the unabashed romantic and the riotous comedian, he does it all with equal flair. With a lot being speculated about their work and personal lives, Sana Zehra sat these A-listers down for a casual chat.


We love your spunky sense of style. How do you plan your looks?

My looks are never planned, in fact it’s almost always a last minute decision for me. I’m always struggling to put together a good outfit, with an appropriate hairstyle, makeup and accessories. Things are pretty disorganised for me in the fashion department, but thankfully, I always manage to wing it.

What are some of the biggest fashion faux pas you’ve made in the past?

There have been quite a few to be honest. The one that I’ve repeated the most though is wearing ill-fitted clothes. They were always too oversized! I also faced a lot of criticism for a black, voluminous dress I wore to the second Hum Awards. I had never worn something like that before, so was pretty excited but faced a lot of backlash for my decision. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion though, so I didn’t take it to heart.

What’s the secret to your success?

Hard work and dedication. The passion I have for my work drives me to deliver the best I can, while my upbringing keeps me grounded enough to understand the responsibilities that come with fame. This is why I try to choose projects that have a strong message. To me, my professional standing is all due to the respect God blessed me with and I never want to take that for granted.

What’s the most absurd rumour you’ve heard about yourself?

That I’m engaged to be married to Affan Waheed! We were photographed while on set for a drama serial and when our co-star jokingly posted that image on her Instagram, everyone assumed we were a couple. Things really got blown out of proportion.

As a child, did you ever see yourself becoming an actor?

Not really. When I was younger the only two things I could picture myself doing in the future were either fashion design or banking. However, as soon as opportunities for acting arose, I was certain this was my true calling in life. I’m still pretty young though, so have time to explore different avenues. You never know what the future holds!

Which contemporaries of yours do you look up to?

I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by visionaries who are ambitious, encouraging and straightforward. Two people who top the list for me are my close friends, Hina Altaf and Yasir Hussain. Their drive and honesty inspires me every day. Both of them have stood by me as my pillars of support through all my struggles. It’s easy to connect with them because we all share the same belief system and path in life.

If the script is good, then yes, definitely. I would love to work with Ranveer Singh.

You have a really fun Instagram with an ever growing following. How conscious are you about posting content responsibly?

I’m pretty conscious of the responsibility and have often wanted to address important issues. I do, however, think people need to be kinder and open to difference of opinion. It’s easy to sit behind a screen and ridicule others, but that’s not how constructive dialogue can ever develop.

Tell us about life at home.

My life at home is all about treasuring every moment spent with my mother and sister. I’ve grown up seeing these amazing, resilient women fight all odds to live a fulfilling life. They are the reason I am a strong individual who believes in dreaming big.


How has stardom impacted your life?

I started acting at an extremely young age, so it’s hard to tell if the changes in my personality are due to stardom or just a natural result of growing up. Everyone evolves with age and so have I, but the fact that I struggled so much during these years may have made me more reserved than I would have been otherwise.


What’s one thing you’ve done that most people wouldn’t believe?

I recently tried camping for the first time and hardly anyone would believe I actually enjoyed it.

Which one trait do you admire most in people?

A good sense of humour

Least favourite thing to eat?

Prawns and lobster—I’ve started to hate seafood.

The one role that’s closest to your heart?

Tabeer. I found it very challenging to portray her, but believe doing so changed me as a person.

Last time you were in love?

Well, I’m in love right now

Do you follow a beauty regimen?

I wish I could say yes, but unfortunately, I don’t. The last thing I remember doing to take care of my skin was apply a black charcoal mask and it felt like I achieved the biggest feat possible.

If you had to choose, would you rather give up using social media or watching films/television?

Social media

Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?

It’s hard for me to predict what I’d be doing five years from now, planning 20 years ahead is just unthinkable!

There’s lots being said about your relationship with Yasir. How come you haven’t made any statement to clear the air? I’m still going to refrain from saying anything.

Yasir Hussain

The characters you choose are always beautifully complex. How do you manage to portray them so effortlessly?

I find it very boring to play onedimensional characters, so always add in something to make them more relatable and distinct. For example, in Lahore Se Aagey, my character, Moti, had a speech problem.

Do you think nepotism exists within our entertainment industry? If yes, does it bother you?

Nepotism is everywhere. Not only in the entertainment industry, but every other industry as well. Am I bothered by it? Not at all. Personally, I don’t find any harm in it. An actor’s son will be an actor if he wants to and there is nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, only hard work and talent lead you to success.


To be honest, I’m not sure. It just happens. I read the script, go over my lines and immediately understand the character. Method acting has never been my forte and I confess, I don’t spend time researching much either. The most I’ve ever done is to go meet someone I was portraying.

What are you most excited about in 2019?

I’m really looking forward to Anwar Maqsood’s play Naach Na Janey and my movie Anghan Terha.

What’s an “old person thing” you do?

Value time

What’s the most important thing to remember when going out on a date?

There are three things actually: You must always carry cash, just in case your card doesn’t work. You must have sufficient petrol in your car. You must make sure you go to a place your ex doesn’t know about.

Last person you yelled at?

Well, technically he’s not a person, but the only one I can think of is my puppy, Mogambo. Why? He bit my housekeeper, Nadeem.

Worst thing you ate out of politeness?

I was invited to the Sri Lankan Ambassador’s residence, along with a couple of friends and they served us undercooked eggs with papadum. It was awful!


What’s one thing about you that all your friends would vouch for?

That I always speak the truth

Which Pakistani actor do you think should portray you in your biopic?

Asad Siddiqui

If you weren’t an artist, what would you be doing?

I would have been a doctor

If you could switch wardrobes with a fictional character, who would you pick?

Mogambo, played by the late Amrish Puri in Mr. India

A project you’d like to star in opposite Iqra?

Laila Majnu

How sweet! Time to address the elephant in the room: are you and Iqra dating?

I’ll let you and your readers keep guessing!

Cosy winter looks don’t need to be scruffy. If layering season confuses you, the next few
pages will provide all the inspiration you need to step out in style

Boss Babe
Outfit: MANGO
Shoes: Charles & Keith

Boss Babe
Outfit: MANGO
Shoes: Charles & Keith

Damsel in Denim
Outfit: The Sassy Store
Shoes: Model’s own

Damsel in Denim
Outfit: The Sassy Store
Shoes: Model’s own

Weekend Warrior
Coat: Bershka
Top: Missguided
Pants: The Sassy Store
Shoes: MANGO

Weekend Warrior
Coat: Bershka
Top: Missguided
Pants: The Sassy Store
Shoes: MANGO

Feeling Khaki
Outfit: MANGO
Shoes: H&M

Feeling Khaki
Outfit: MANGO
Shoes: H&M

Suit Yourself
Pantsuit: MANGO
Jacket: The Sassy Store
Earrings: MANGO

Suit Yourself
Pantsuit: MANGO
Jacket: The Sassy Store
Earrings: MANGO

Who doesn’t want a peek into the lives of the rich and famous? This fortnight GT provides you with exclusive insider access to coveted TV anchor and actress Sana Bucha‘s personal space and style. Her modern aesthetic encapsulates the spirit of the chic and timeless elements in her wardrobe and around her home. Sana Zehra talks to her about her favourite pieces

Tell us about the pieces you love most in your wardrobe.

I love classic pieces, so you’ll find a lot of crisp white shirts and timeless blue denim in my wardrobe. This is always my go-to outfit. I enjoy adding pops of colour around my neck, so statement jewellery is another element that stands out amongst my collection. My Hermès boots and scarf are also two favourites that never fail me.

Which pieces in your home do you treasure most and why?

I love surrounding myself with art. It transcends time and adds character to your home like no other. Thus, the two pieces that I treasure most would have to be Italian sculptures titled “La Paloma” and “The Moses by Michelangelo.” I am drawn to history preserved through various forms of art and love that pieces like these allow us to be part of a story.

Since you’re an admirer of all things beautiful, self-care must be important to you. Do you have a favourite night cream? If yes, how did you discover it?

I swear by Laneige’s Water Sleeping Mask. It’s an absolutely wonderful product that hydrates and recharges fatigued skin overnight. How I discovered it is an interesting story. I once happened to notice how radiant the skin of an air hostess was and when I asked her the secret, she generously introduced me to this this gel mask.

Favourite scent?

Oud Ispahan. I like a fragrance that is unapologetic and makes a statement.

I notice a lot of pieces from Versace around your house. You must be a fan!

I do like how the design house crafts its furniture but the fact that you see so much of it around me wasn’t intentional. I just happened to walk into the store spontaneously and ended up buying a ton of pieces that caught my attention.

What do you think about when selecting a piece for your space?

There isn’t an elaborate thought process behind any purchase to be honest. I just buy whatever intrigues me and then try to fit it into my house. One thing that I’m obsesed with, though, are cushions in bold, beautiful colours. I love how they breathe life into an otherwise dull space.

Are there any beauty products or brands that you can’t let go of?

I’m a huge fan of the Zero Makeup palette by Nabila. Apart from that, I’m hooked to my Lancôme lip balm.

According to you, what are the essential wardrobe staples every woman must have?

A basic black or white shirt, blue jeans and pumps in a neutral colour. These are versatile pieces that are always in fashion and easy to style. You can dress them up or down depending on how formal the occasion is.

Is there a recent purchase you regret?

I hardly regret buying anything

Best buys so far?

My Hermès Berline. It’s been part of my life through thick and thin and stood the test of time like a true friend. Yes, bags can there for you!

What’s the most expensive item in your wardrobe?

My diamonds, of course. A close second are my bags but I’m going to refrain from naming them because if my father finds out, I may get into trouble!

You’re known to be a great hostess. With such a busy schedule, how do you manage to throw these fun gatherings?

I think it has more to do with the lovely friends and family who attend these gatherings and make them special. Also, I think the open space my house has makes for an ideal location for large celebrations, while the tiny spots allow room for more private ones. In that sense, its easy to host events of various scales.

By Hassan Tahir

The debate on cultural appropriation has become a hot topic over the years, especially in the era of “woke” social media. But why is it that we are only upset when our own culture’s on the line?

I grew up ambivalent about the obsession of the West with the East. At times it seemed unhealthy, laughable or even honorific. I eventually began to see it as a positive thing and appreciated the need of western tourists on a spiritual journey through eastern countries to “find themselves.” The world was becoming a global village, so perhaps this was not necessarily a bad thing. If someone wanted to practice yoga or feng shui, wasn’t it good for the originating culture that their centuries old practices were being exposed to the world at large?

Moschino Resort 2017 Collection
Credit: @anupamdabral on Instagram

Then came the age of social media and easy access to ideas from around the world. Examples of the way western nations were essentially appropriating other cultures were exposed for the entire world to see. If you type in “cultural appropriation news” in Google you’re bombarded with articles detailing the crimes against culture in almost every field: fashion, celebrity lifestyles, music, art and even the culinary world. Celebrity chef Jamie Oliver has recently been accused of appropriating a jerk rice dish from Jamaica without respect for its heritage.

Soon, I saw a major problem within my own society that fails to see anything wrong with blackface, white models wearing Native American headgear at Coachella, white singers pretending to be black, jokes targeted against features of Asian ethnicities and the list goes on. Unfortunately, most of us are only riled up by incidents of cultural appropriation when it’s our own at stake.

Moschino Resort 2017 Collection
Credit: Pablo Latorre for Vogue

When Paul Smith designed what is essentially a Peshawari chappal in 2014 and called it “Robert,” priced at £300, we were outraged. There was no mention of Pakistan, let alone of the rich history behind the chappal. Similary, when Moschino’s Jeremy Scott sent models down the runway for his Resort 2017 Collection, all one could see was our native mirror work that’s popular on both sides of the border.

Forever 21’s kolhapuri style sandals (that in my opinion could have also been a rip off from various African cultures) being sold for 10 times the amount of their Pakistani counterparts infuriated us. Outrage everywhere.

We were all in agreement that it is acceptable for western design houses to use our cultural elements, as long as due credit is given. The biggest issue with appropriation is that those with historic privilege — those who have subjugated our culture and identities and continue to do so — profit off that very culture without any mention of the design origins.

Paul Smith Robert Sandals

On a side note, I must say  that the outrage over how  international designers price those items is unfair. If a $3 kolhapuri being sold for $48 abroad upsets us, then why don’t we proudly wear our colours and culture when abroad, rather than blatantly assimilating? But that warrants another discussion.

Sadly, most people in Pakistan don’t bat an eye against cultural appropriation, as long as it does not affect our own. When Pakistani designers shoot fashion campaigns using African tribes as backdrops, or our photographers use blackface and Afros in shoots (cataloguing them as experimentation with form), we forget that we are guilty of appropriation ourselves.

Forever 21 Studio Caleidoscope Sandals

We overlook our own racist attitudes towards other people of colour and hence we rarely stand up for other cultures being appropriated. “My culture is not your costume” is a line we rarely understand, until a gora wears a shalwar and calls it “Aladdin pants.” Why is it that we forget to empathise with other cultures? What gives us the right to think of ourselves as superior to others, while clamouring for equality with the “whites?”

Could it be the inferiority complex that is embedded in our post-colonial society? We are all too happy to be appreciated by the “white man” as long as they give credit to us, but we very easily portray other cultures in a demeaning manner. Perhaps we’re just indifferent when it comes to due diligence and research.

The fashion industry is uniquely poised in our country to educate the masses. With increasing internet penetration, especially among the clientele of fashion brands, it has become imperative that the industry becomes responsible.

Fashion and art are transcendental and should not be confined to cultural boundaries. But in a world that is trying to move on from the atrocities of colonialism and is still failing to end systemic racism, simply recognising the originating culture of inspiration and doing basic research can be steps in the right direction.


Meet Renan Pacheco, an accomplished French model, actor and social media influencer. The handsome artist has been part of campaigns for high-end fashion labels including the likes of Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent and Prada. Find out more about him in his exclusive tête-à-tête with Haider Rifaat

“Diversity isn’t everything; diversity is the only thing”

How would you introduce yourself to the Pakistani audience? 

I am an actor based in Paris, France, with varied interests in the arts. I’ve dabbled a lot in modelling, along with testing the waters as a social media influencer, but my first and true love will always be television and cinema.

How did your interest in modelling develop?

Acting and modelling are different forms of expressing the same concept: human emotion. Modelling is acting, but mute. You play with the camera and your environment, just as you would act with other performers on a movie set. As an actor, modelling has always fascinated me, particularly at the beginning of my career; it as an extension of what I was already doing. Even though I focus mostly on my acting, modelling gigs are a special outlet of self-expression.

Who discovered you as a model? 

I posted many pictures on Facebook in my early teen years and as they went viral, people started contacting me with offers. I can’t recall a specific event or person, so I credit my breakthrough to the support from my followers. It was their messages and comments that made me believe in myself as well.

What are some of the biggest names in fashion that you have modelled for?

I have had the opportunity and good fortune to work with many. The fashion houses include but are not limited to Montblanc, Yves Saint Laurent, Bulgari, Tom Ford and Prada, to name a few. I am grateful for each production team I have worked with and the value they added to my career.

Do you have stage fright before walking the ramp? How do you overcome it?

I try to do something that scares me every day. When you face your fears, you realise that they are just smoke and that nothing is unattainable. I walked the runway for the first time when I was only thirteen years old and despite being scared, I pushed myself to walk with aplomb. Today, I no longer need that extra confidence, all thanks to the 13-year-old Renan who was determined to overcome his fear.

How has fashion evolved in France over the years?

France has always been the international centre for fashion. Under its influence and prestige, everything has stayed the same. I am very fortunate to call Paris my home.

“Plus-sized models are models, period”

Is modelling an underpaid profession in France?

The modelling industry in France has a winner-takes-all approach. This means that five percent of the top models share 95 percent of the financial rewards. My advice to aspiring actors and models would be to prepare for initial low pay scales.

What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a model? 

My greatest weakness as a model is the fact that I give preference to acting. Since I haven’t pursued modelling as a full-time job, I have to give up some great opportunities. However, it’s something I’ve chosen for myself. I’ve placed all my bets on acting. My greatest strength is the ability to recognise my greatest weakness.

What are your thoughts on plus-sized male models? Do you think they have a place in the fashion industry? 

Of course they do. I don’t agree with referring to them as “plus-sized” though. Plus-sized models are models, period. It’s heartwarming to see people defend these professionals but the debate should never have started in the first place.

How do you keep fit for the job? 

I have a personal trainer who follows my workouts and advises me on nutrition. Health and fitness have always been a big part of my life and I have kept it that way for years.

“I walked the runway for the first time when I was only thirteen years old and despite being frightful, I pushed myself to walk with poise”

What are some of the current ventures you’re working on?

Due to extreme demand from my followers on social media, I’m currently working on a high-end jewellery brand. I think it’s important to pay close attention to what my community says and asks for. Almost all questions posed to me since 2017 have been queries about when I’m going to launch a luxury accessories brand. Well, they asked for it, so they’ll get it!

Who would you like to collaborate with in the coming years?

I find Pierre Niney’s body of work admirable. His ascension through the ranks of French cinema is highly inspiring. From comedy to drama, he always performs flawlessly. I feel our profiles are very complementary, so if we could share the screen one day, our audiences would enjoy that a lot.

How important is diversity in your field of work?

Without diversity, there is no self-expression. Diversity isn’t everything; diversity is the only thing.

 What are your interests other than fashion? 

Fashion and acting take almost all of my time. However, when I’m not working, I like to be around my family. The fact that they’re spread between Brazil and France doesn’t help my schedule much though.

How do you combat uncomfortable situations? 

A situation is only as uncomfortable as you think it is.  As Shakespeare rightly said “Nothing is good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Everything is a stimulus and it is in your power to respond to it in a way that best suits your life. There is opportunity for growth through every experience; you just have to look for it.

Do you ever feel pressured while working outside of your country? Do communication barriers trouble you?  

Despite cultural and linguistic differences, I pride myself in having great positive energy. I’m good to others, so they are good to me.

What are the biggest cultural shocks you’ve had while travelling for work?

I hope to experience cultural surprises when I visit Pakistan in 2019. Will you be my guide?

How do you bounce back after a professional setback? 

In life, there are no setbacks, only lessons learnt. Frame your setbacks as opportunities and witness your surroundings blossom with new prospects.


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