March 16-31 2019


The inspiring singer, actor, writer and TV host collaborates with photographer Mohsin Khawar for a one-of-a-kind shoot. Scroll through our pages to explore the magic they created, while also reading Haider’s exclusive interview with Mehek Raza Rizvi


In one of your interviews you claimed the process of writing Uddi Ja has been a spiritual and life-altering experience. Why is that?

I think a qalaam like Uddi Ja comes into formation through a power greater than all of us. I never tried writing those lyrics consciously, they just penetrated my mind. That’s just how it is with such music. It took around a year and a half for the lyrics to be completed, in fact the last section was added even later when we were recording it for Coke Studio (which was around four to five years later). I’ve always believed I have a connection with God and I’m grateful that I was chosen by Him for this qalaam. I’d have never been able to come up with such powerful lyrics without otherworldly guidance. I remember the first time the words Uddi Ja came to my mind was during a late night drive with my friend. I had pulled the window down and as the cool wind brushed across my face, all I could repeat were those two words, in the exact tune you’ve heard after its release. This qalaam has truly been the most transformational thing to happen to me because it’s what I’ve turned to each time I needed relief, each time I was anxious and each time I felt hopeless. It has helped me not just in my professional life but my personal life too. To put it simply, if someone wants to put Mohsin Abbas Haider down in words, they’d be Uddi Ja.

Tell us about the struggles of your career and how they transformed you.

I’m very proud of the time I’ve spent struggling to make ends meet because it’s what put my journey into motion. I’m not ashamed of the days I had nothing to eat, of the aimless walks across streets, of living in just four t-shirts (something I was regularly mocked for). I survived through illness, through poverty and the worst possible living conditions.

I remember when I used to work in radio, my eyes would always be set on this one colleague who sometimes brought packed, home-cooked dinner to work. I knew the days he had a lunch box in his hands that he might share and I may not have to go to bed on an empty stomach again.

“To put it simply, if someone wants to put Mohsin Abbas down in words, there would be only two: Uddi Ja”

Despite all of this, I still maintain moving from Faisalabad to Karachi for work was the best decision of my life. What pushed me most at that point was the fact that I had just gotten engaged and was told by her father that I only had one year to prove I could make something of myself.

I’ve lived through eight to nine years of extreme hardship, but I believe my unwavering determination through this phase is what truly defines me. Today, I’m self-made and proud.

You wear many hats as a singer, actor, writer and television host and are loved equally for all that you do. What do you enjoy the most and why?

I feel very blessed when I think of all the things I’m able to do. The response and love I get assures me that I must be doing something right. If I had to choose what I enjoy the most out of all you’ve mentioned, I’d definitely be in a tough position. I absolutely love acting because it allows me to live many different lives. However, music will always take precedence between the two. This is because I believe music has shaped my life into what it looks like today. It’s provided the solace and strength I sought.

Luck, hard work or talent—what do you think has been the secret to your success?

Luck is important, but it only works its charm for people who recognise their talents and polish it through tons and tons of hard work. I’ve worked day and night like a labourer. I read a quote somewhere that said “hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard,” this couldn’t be more apt.

Which projects are you currently working on?

Some of the projects my fans can expect to see soon include a drama serial titled dewar-e-shab, my film Baaji (releasing in June) and Choti Choti Baatein, a mini-serial by Angeline Malik. I’m also working on some new songs, the videos for which will be shot soon. Apart from that, there’s quite a few exciting projects in the pipeline, including movies and web series. I’m reading scripts right now and will be able to talk more about this after some time.

Tell us about your childhood in Faisalabad.

I was a very shy and quiet kid, who liked staying alone with his thoughts. I was sensitive and extremely inquisitive. I started living in the storybooks and magazines I was so obsessed with.

In certain aspects I’m still the same, an introvert who doesn’t talk about his feelings and keeps to himself.

Did you always know you would grow up to be in the limelight?

When I was in college back in Faisalabad I became pretty popular as the president of the music society, following a huge singing competition that I won. I was also very actively involved with the dramatics society and had the lead roles in all our plays. I guess that kind of gave me a taste of what being recognised for your passion felt like. Apart from dabbling into the arts at school, I also started working in radio in my hometown, while also recording voiceovers that were played on the local cable TV. I had a feeling after this that I wanted to perform, but did I think I’ll ever be in the limelight like I am today? Never!

I remember the only time I ever thought about becoming famous was the day I first stepped foot in Karachi. Only took a week for me to realise how hard it really was to make it big and quickly gave up on the idea. My only focus was to try and make ends meet.

You’ve been courageous enough to talk about suffering from depression. As a public figure how do you think you can help people going through the same?

Depression is not something that just happened to me the day I chose to speak about. I just had an emotional breakdown that particular day so went public with my thoughts, but it had been building up since a while. As I mentioned earlier, I was always the kid who preferred keeping to himself, who never spoke about his feelings and I guess over the years all of that pent up emotion began eating me from the inside. Especially after experiencing the death of my mother, my daughter and some other pressing personal issues. I’m not saying I’m the first child to have lost a parent or the first parent to have lost a child, but I realise now that because I never spoke to anyone about how broken I was, things actually became worse for me. When I opened up about what I was going through, the heartwarming support that I received from across the globe moved me to no end. I can’t even begin to explain how grateful I am for people reaching out and showering me with concern.

“Luck is important, but it only works its charm for people who recognise their talents and polish it through tons and tons of hard work”

This is what made me understand the importance of seeking help; of talking to someone, of letting someone in. I know I’m not the only person who has suffered from depression. There are so many people who go through hell every day because of the voices inside their head. This is why I want to use whatever influence I may have to urge those people to get help. The taboo that surrounds mental illness needs to be overcome.

I have to take this opportunity to thank someone from team GT. The Assistant Editor, Sana Zehra, met me at my first cover shoot and found out about what I was going through. She’s a mental health counsellor  and was kind enough to not just take my contact details but stayed in touch with me constantly and kept checking in. Her words of encouragement and motivation still replay in my head every time I’m low. I’m forever indebted.

How do you overcome loss and failure?

This universe has a healing power: time. Time really does heal everything. I’m not saying the pain vanishes, but it takes the form of a scar. It stays with you for the rest of your life, but hurts only when you revisit or touch it. I remember looking at my reflection in the mirror a while after my mother’s death. I was ashamed of the fact that I was smiling, laughing, eating and carrying on with my everyday routine. It’s weird but it happens, you get on with life.

As far as professional failures are concerned, they’ve never been a roadblock for me. I think you stop growing if you experience constant success. Failure makes you understand that you’re human and motivates you to keep yourself in check and do better.

“I’m not saying I’m the first child to have lost a parent or the first parent to have lost a child, but I realise now that because I never spoke to anyone about how broken I was, things actually became worse for me”

You and Mohsin Khawar decided to capture the essence of Lahore through your shoot. How would you describe the love you have for your country?

I met Mohsin Khawar at the poster shoot of a film. This is when he spoke to me about collaborating on a photo shoot. I really like his concepts and his belief that actors should do more than just generic glamorous shoots.

The first time we did a shoot together I chose to dress up as a clown. For this particular shoot, featured on your cover, I wanted to dress up as Charlie Chaplin, but it was Mohsin who suggested we try to capture Lahore’s essence as well. It’s great working with him, he’s a very positive man with a great vibe.

“I remember the only time I ever thought about becoming famous was the day I first stepped foot in Karachi. Only took a week for me to realise how hard it really was to make
it big”

On my love for Pakistan, I can just say that whatever I am is because of this country. I’m a complete patriot. In fact, I hate travelling abroad, I just always want to explore my own country. I prefer travelling by road so I don’t miss out on the breathtaking views. I’ve also always admired the men in uniform who keep us safe from all forms of threats, internal and external.

Photography: Mohsin Khawar
Art Direction: Aysha Mohsin
Starring: Mohsin Abbas Haider & Musa Mohsin Khawar
Wardrobe: Tangerine & Carmin
Makeup: Danish
Location: Sweet Tooth, Heera Mandi

With Pakistan Day approaching, Team GT pays homage to some of the country’s most iconic personalities. The contributions they made in their respective professions have set the precedent high, inspiring generations to follow

(June 30th 1923- 10th February 1987)
Calligrapher, painter and poet

You cannot think of Pakistani artists without mentioning one of the finest calligraphers and painters the country has produced. His social commentary through grand murals depicts mankind’s eternal quest to unlock its potential; these murals, such as the ones at the State Bank of Pakistan, Frere Hall Karachi and the Power House at Mangla Dam (this particular one being one of the largest in the world), are a testament to his talent. Most recently, his “Crucifixion” sold for a record Pkr sixteen million at UK’s Bonhams, making it his most expensive painting sold to date. Sadequain’s massive body of work got him several national and international accolades (including the Pride of Performance and the Sitara-e-Imtiaz), along with an ever-lasting legacy that continues to astound art lovers the world over till today.

Saadat Hasan Manto
(May 11th 1912 – January 18th 1955)
Writer, playwright and author

Saadat Hasan Manto remains one of the most controversial figures in Pakistani literature and a cultural icon all the same. Writing mainly in the Urdu language, this author and playwright produced works that are still critically acclaimed. Acknowledged as one of the finest Urdu writers of the 20th century, Manto chronicled the chaos that prevailed during and after the partition of the Subcontinent. He wrote unabashedly on taboo topics that often got him in trouble and lead him to face obscenity charges multiple times. Despite that, he remains one of Pakistan’s most celebrated writers, with many productions paying homage to his life. He was awarded the Nishan-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan posthumously.

Nusrat Fateh
Ali Khan
(October 13th 1948 – August 16th 1997)
Vocalist and musician

Dubbed as “Shahenshah-e-Qawwali” (The Emperor of Qawwali), Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan furthered his family’s six hundred-year old qawwali legacy, introducing the genre to international audiences like never before. His exceptional vocal prowess led him to be celebrated as the greatest qawwal of all time, while also influencing contemporary South Asian popular music. He recieved multiple prestigious awards including the President of Pakistan’s Award for Pride of Performance, the UNESCO Music Prize, Grand Prix des Amériques at Montreal World Film Festival and the Arts and Culture Prize of the Fukuoka Asian Culture Prizes. He was also nominated for two Grammy Awards and held the Guinness World Record for the most qawwali recordings. Japan bestowed on him the title Budai (Singing Buddha), while Time magazine added him as one of the top twelve artists and thinkers in its “60 Years of Asian Heroes” (2006) list. Some of the other prominent lists Khan was included in were NPR’s fifty great voices (2010), CNN’s twenty most iconic musicians from the past fifty years (2010) and UGO’s list of the best singers of all time.

Abida Parveen
Sufi singer, composer, musician, painter and entrepreneur

Celebrated as one of the greatest mystic singers of all time, Abida Parveen began performing at shrines of Sufi Saints with her father in the early 1970s, who chose her over his two sons as his musical heir. She sings qawwali, ghazals, Sufi rock, Khyal, Kafis, classical, semi-classical and thumri. She’s won countless accolades including the President of Pakistan’s Award for Pride of Performance, the Hilal-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Kaladharmi Begum Akhtar Academy of Ghazal in India. She was also honoured as the Peace Ambassador by SAARC in 2017.

Nazia Hassan
(April 3rd 1965 – August 13th 2000)
Pop singer, songwriter, lawyer and social activist

Pakistani pop music and Nazia Hassan go hand-in-hand. Credited with being one of the pioneers of the modern era of Pakistani music, Nazia, along with brother Zohaib Hassan, started a revolution in Pakistani music that lead to her being renowned internationally. Titled the “Queen of Pop,” Nazia’s fun, upbeat music was popular both among the youth and the older generations of her time. In addition to her career in music, she was also a UNICEF cultural ambassador due to her engagement in several philanthropic activities. Even now, Nazia’s disco beats remain fan-favourites. For her contributions to the music industry, she was awarded the Pride of Performance. She also won a Golden Disc Award, a Double Platinum Award and even a Filmfare Award for Best Female Playback Singer. Google honoured her with a doodle on what would have been her 53rd birthday.

Jahangir Khan
Former professional squash player

Former World No. 1 professional Pakistani squash player, Jahangir Khan is considered one of Pakistan’s greatest sportsmen of all time and one of the greatest players in the history of squash. He won the World Open six times and the British Open a record ten times; Khan remained undefeated for almost five years from 1981 to 1986 and won 555 matches consecutively, earning him a Guinness World Record. Currently, he is Emeritus President of the World Squash Federation.

Noor Jehan
(September 21st 1926 – December
23rd 2000)
Playback singer and actress

Noor Jehan or “Malika-e-Tarannum” (the Queen of Melody) was one of Pakistan’s most prolific singers and actresses. Along with Ahmed Rushdi, she holds the record for having given voice to the largest number of film songs in the history of Pakistani cinema. Over the years she became one of Pakistan’s most iconic figures and sang some of the most memorable songs that have been recreated both sides of the border and continue to serve as inspiration for the new generation of musicians and singers alike. Although she acted in over 40 films, Noor Jehan’s lasting legacy is her music and a voice that can be instantly recognised. Awarded numerous times for her extensive oeuvre such as the Pride of Performance, Tamgha-e-Imtiaz, Millenium Award and over 15 Nigar Awards, among others. She was also a Cultural Ambassador of Pakistan. Noor Jehan is an evergreen icon indeed.

Bushra Ansari
Actress, comedian, singer
and playwright

Bushra Ansari is a true living legend who has continued to dominate the entertainment industry for over five decades. From acting, to singing, hosting and writing, she has done it all and aced each undertaking. She has received all major Pakistani awards, including Pakistan’s highest civilian award, the Pride of Performance. She is celebrated in particular for her impersonations of Noor Jehan and Tahira Syed, along with her impeccable performances in Fifty-fifty, Angan Terha, Raja Ki Ayegi Barat and Udaari.

Anwar Maqsood
Scriptwriter, television host, satirist and actor

Literary giant Anwar Maqsood needs no introduction. A celebrated scriptwriter and playwright, he has been awarded many prestigious honours including the Pride of Performance and Hilal-e-Imtiaz. It wouldn’t be wrong to assert he has shaped Pakistan Television with his scripts for iconic television shows like Half Plate, Anghan Terha and Sitara aur Mehrunnisa, to name a few.

Imran Khan
27th Prime Minister of Pakistan and former international cricketer

Prior to entering politics, Imran Khan was one of Pakistan’s most recognisable cricketers. He made his debut for the Pakistani cricket team in 1971 at the age of 18 during the series against England at Birmingham. After graduating from the University of Oxford, he played on home ground for the first time in 1976 and went on to be a part of the team for around twenty years. Khan captained the team intermittently between 1982 and 1992. One of his greatest cricketing accomplishments was to lead the Pakistani team to victory at the 1992 Cricket World Cup, the only time Pakistan has won till date. Following this, he retired from cricket and pursued philanthropy and eventually politics.

Maheen Khan
Fashion and costume designer

A force to be reckoned with, Maheen Khan is celebrated as one of the most respected pioneers of the fashion industry. Her truck art inspired design house, Gulabo, continues to produce trendsetting pieces that are timeless, yet eclectic. She was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Sindh government in 2017.

Bunto Kazmi
Faahion designer

In a world that’s inundated with fashion campaigns and media hype, Bunto Kazmi, the rightful queen of bridal wear, is nothing short of a rarity. Despite shying away from publicity of any sort, her business has continued to flourish as a leading design house celebrated for its craft. Bunto’s original designs are heirlooms cherished by generations of women.

The celebrated actors talk to Haider Rifaat about their upcoming project SherDil. Releasing close to Pakistan Day, the movie pays tribute to the Pakistan Air Force.


Tell us about SherDil and what you love most about the script?

I think most boys dream of becoming fighter pilots while growing up. This was true in my case at least, as I was obsessed with the idea until I was five or six years old. I didn’t get the opportunity to pursue flying professionally but SherDil allowed me to live my childhood dream on camera. The movie focuses around the professional and personal struggles faced by the character I portray. His unwavering grit and focus are truly inspiring; there was no way I could say no to the film.

“We want people to be aware of the exemplary valour of our air force pilots and the reverence they truly deserve. We also have a strong message for the world regarding Pakistan’s resolute strength; no force can undo this country. Pakistan is and will always be”

How is your role in SherDil different from the characters you’ve portrayed before?

I’ve been fortunate enough to play a wide range of roles through the course of my career as an actor, but this was the first time I played an army officer. The production of a feature film is a lot different than drama serials and in that respect I feel this project allowed me to push my limits.

Is there any specific goal the team is trying to achieve with this film?

Yes. We’ve tried to depict the might of the Pakistani Air Force and the JF-17 Thunder. We want people to be aware of the exemplary valour of our air force pilots and the reverence they truly deserve. We also have a strong message for the world regarding Pakistan’s resolute strength; no force can undo this country. Pakistan is and will always be. We are not aggressors but if someone provokes us, we are fully equipped to defend ourselves, as witnessed recently. In view of our current relationship with India, I feel the timing of SherDil’s release is perfect. Pakistanis are extremely patriotic and they have undying love for its air force. The movie pays homage to that emotion.

As tensions continue between Pakistan and India, do you think there is more responsibility on the makers of the film?

“Spending time with the Air Force and witnessing their grit and passion inspired me to look at life in a different way as well. I’ve pushed my limits as an actor. It’s been a truly humbling and enlightening experience”

There’s responsibility not only on SherDil’s team but filmmakers in general, in fact everyone in the media. Situations like the current one are extremely sensitive and must be addressed prudently. Our film has covered tensions on the border beautifully. Coincidentally, the plot also revolves around India infiltrating Pakistani airspace—an event that actually transpired.

What appears to be the film’s greatest strength is visual effects. Is Pakistan’s entertainment industry headed in the right direction with the introduction of new VFX artists?

We had Hollywood teams working with us on this movie, but yes, our industry is getting better at visual effects. Pakistani professionals have great potential and if they’re equipped with the right technology, there’s no way our films won’t be of international standards. I’m extremely proud of SherDil’s visuals and believe local VFX artists will be able to find inspiration. However, there are many authentic scenes with no visual effects that have been captured just as remarkably. I took several flights myself, maneuvering fighter jets and it was definitely a thrilling experience.

I completed an hour-long mission with the Pakistan Air Force in Sargodha, where we got the chance to fly fighter jets in fog for a fight sequence—it was dreamlike.

Share your favourite dialogue from the movie for our readers.

“If I don’t return, tell my father martyrs never die!” This dialogue appears at the end of the trailer. We often assume the lives of our officers are only on the line in a state of war, but that’s extremely untrue. Every time an air force pilot flies out in his jet, they are at risk. I have huge respect for how they put everything at stake for our country.

Has your journey with SherDil impacted you as an individual?

That’s a very interesting question. I think spending time with the air force and witnessing their grit and passion inspired me to look at life in a different way as well. I’ve pushed my limits as an actor. It’s been a truly humbling and enlightening experience.

What else is in the works?

I’m shooting a drama serial (tentatively titled “Zard Bahar”) opposite Sana Javed.

I also have another film, “The Trial” set for release later this year. This is a period film, set in 1971 and centres around the fall of Dhaka.

Moving on to your personal life, how do you think fatherhood has changed you?

The first thing that happens to you when your child is born is acquiring newfound respect and appreciation for your own parents. I remember calling my mother a few months after I first became a father to ask her how she managed four children, I couldn’t even seem to handle one! Parenthood is a beautiful experience though. I began questioning life and my purpose a lot after turning twenty-five. The monotony of daily life had really started to get to me, but once I had my daughters, my life suddenly had meaning again. They gave me the drive to excel so I can provide them with all the comfort they deserve.

If there’s any one piece of advice you could give your children, what would that be?

My daughters are very young right now so I try to discipline them a lot. I’d want them to grow up with the same values my parents instilled in me and to try and be good humans and Muslims.  I’ve been taught to be loving towards those younger to me and respectful towards my elders. I hope my children do the same.

When have you felt the most proud of yourself?

I feel immense pride right now with the release of SherDil. It was important to me that I bag a successful movie and even though it isn’t out yet, I’m very confident about it. Apart from this, every time I’ve been given an award, I felt recognised for my hard work. In my personal life, the proudest moment for me was the birth of my children.

How do you unwind?

There are many ways I unwind. These include spending time alone, detaching from social media and just playing video games or watching a movie with friends, going on a drive or on vacations. I also enjoy playing


Tell us about your character in SherDil.

I portray an Indian pilot (not inspired by wing-commander Abhinandan Varthaman). The producer of the film, Noman Khan, helmed the entire project beautifully and I’m ceratin it’s unlike any we have seen in our country or across the border. Despite touching upon a senstive topic, there is no hate for anyone. I’m lucky to be a part of this movie.

What response are you expecting from the audience? 

Pakistan’s air force has an undeniable charm that everyone in the country respects. SherDil will further stir that emotion. I can say confidently that our team is setting a new standard for the Pakistani film industry.

What direction do you see your career heading in?

I hope to challenge myself further as a performer. I want to be part of projects and portray characters that allow me to experiment and push my limits. My dream role would be a heroic one, but with multiple layers. I want to perform well to gain the confidence of film and drama producers; I try being as professional and responsible with my job as possible.

What one thing about this industry frustrates you?

There are many things. I’ve learned from my experience to maintain a safe distance from negative people and instead stay around optimistic ones. Above all, I think it’s very important to appreciate the good in others. As a nation, we’re very critical of one another and always seem to focus on each other’s flaws. This trend seeps into the entertainment industry as well. If we’re able to undo this, it would feel as if light has overpowered darkness.

Tell us about your family.

I belong to a Niazi household, but I’m the only one affiliated with the entertainment industry. The rest of my family members are either doctors or army officers.

Biggest fear?

I don’t fear anything or anyone, except God.

Final words?

Love Pakistan and our air force!

The next few pages provide all the inspiration you need to plan traditional outfits in your summer wardrobe. From ruffles to matching separates, we breakdown the styles to incorporate.

Cap It All
Opt for shorter sleeves for a more contemporary feel. We love this floral tunic by Sania Maskatiya, paired with cigarette pants.
Frill Seekers
Feminine frills and ruffles have been a coveted trend since a while. This season go for delicate and soft designs, like this powder blue kameez by Zehra Saleem paired with a tulip shalwar.
Just like last year. we’re seeing double in 2019 and for good reason. Co-ords or matching sets, like this striped one by Studio S by Seher Tareen, are fun to wear and make putting together a look easy.
Summer Solids
Fuss-free and extremely chic, we’re strong advocates of wearing one solid colour in a good cut. This emerald green outfit by Jamdaani is a total winner.
White Out
An all-white outfit will always be a classic summer staple for every wardrobe. This number by Tangerine is versatile and modern.
’90s Throwback
Longer hemlines, comfortable shalwars and vibrant colours—embrace trends from the ‘9os to stay in style this summer. This outfit by Chapter 2 by Khaadi hits all the right notes.

Coordination & styling: Mehek Raza Rizvi
Photography: Mohsin Khawar
Model: Seher Afzal
Hair & Makeup: Alina Faizan
Location: Loft 29

You set up your design house at a very young age. Did you always know you wanted to pursue fashion?

Yes, I always wanted to pursue fashion, even as a child. The creative side of this process came naturally to me and the long hours and level of commitment required to make these masterpieces proved to be worth it. Fashion has taught me a lot, shaping me into who I am today.

Tell us about your background in fashion design.

My aesthetic was inherent, but I refined it further through degrees in fashion from the London School of Fashion, Sota School of Arts (Singapore), TFWA World Exhibition and the ESMOD Fashion School in Paris.

You’ve represented the country at various international platforms. Walk us through your shows.

It’s been quite an exhilarating journey to becoming Pakistan’s first ever fashion brand to have received such international acclaim. I’ve had the most successful series of international shows over the past years, but I believe I raised my own bar after the presentation at Paris Fashion Week 2019.

I started this journey with my catwalk series at the most exciting runways with Jessica Minh Anh at the Hudson River in New York; now I’ve presented eight times internationally. In Spring 2015 when Jessica selected me to represent Pakistan on the 100-metre floating runway on the Hudson River in NYC, I drove inspiration from the oceans. I could clearly imagine my crystal-encrusted dresses dazzling the runway in shades of aqua. The desire to make them look elegant was my constant inspiration at the J Spring Fashion Show 2015 and it clearly reflected, with the sound of the sea breaking over the shore setting the tone for my collection.

Following this, Jessica personally contacted me appreciating me for my work and offering to participate in her upcoming show at Gemasolarin Spain. The show was staged right in the centre of Gemasolar, a futuristic solar power plant in Seville, Spain. I was honoured to have my collection sashay down this incredible runway.

Since then, I’ve showcased in London, Sydney, Paris, atop the Hoover Dam near Las Vegas and most recently in Hong Kong.

You received the Women Empowerment Inspiring Achiever’s Award in California last year. How was that like?

It was a tremendous honour to receive the prestigious award, presented by reigning Miss World, Manushi Chhillar. This event is held every year to celebrate the work of outstanding individuals from all walks of life. The recognition I recieved has increased my confidence and encouraged me to continue to work hard and make Pakistan proud.

Run us through the creative process of coming up with a collection.

Lots of elements go into coming up with a collection. Travelling for inspiration and research is the first step. Next comes finalising designs, after which we forward sketches to the technical department.

My work is heavily inspired by my surroundings. If it’s an individual I’m designing for, I want her to look effortlessly glamorous. The aim is to create fine pieces of art that never go out of style.

Who do you admire in the fashion world?

The rebellious Olivier Rousteing, who has been breaking his own mould in every sense.

How would you describe the spirit of your brand?

Syeda Amera’s signature style celebrates timeless elegance, delicate detailing and the very best craftsmanship. Known for custom couture gowns and fine apparel, the brand evokes a timeless feminine aesthetic. Offering ready-to-wear and an exclusive bespoke service, the brand is a result of my personal identity and experiences.

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