October 01-15 – 2019























































Opens up: The multitalented star and inspiring role model is known to be vocal about the struggles in her personal life. Catch her at her candid best as she speaks about her recent miscarriage, body positivity and work-life balance in this exclusive tell-all with Haider Rifaat

Everyone is familiar with Juggun Kazim as a celebrity, but what are you like in your personal life?

I’d like to believe I’m a down-to-earth and uncomplicated person. I believe in keeping my life simple, which helps me avoid leaping into depression and anxiety during a rough patch. There are no grey areas for me.

You were brave enough to speak publicly about your recent miscarriage. How are you holding up?

I’m taking it one day at a time. It’s been a rough journey because I’ve had a miscarriage before. My initial experience was traumatizing and I still have nightmares about it. This time, I felt  my world came crashing down yet again, but having a supportive family was helpful. I’m doing better now.

“I’ve learned not to take my life and the people I love for granted”

Another struggle you’ve been vocal about is post-pregnancy weight, something most women are body shamed for. Do you feel added pressure as a public figure to stand up against the unkindness?

It’s definitely been a struggle losing baby weight. I had my firstborn, Hamza, early on in my career and gained around 20 pounds while breastfeeding. People constantly made fun of me. They would call me fat and chubby. It made me feel uncomfortable. The funny thing is, after I finally lost all those extra pounds, I was body shamed for being too thin. People said I had started looking old. Later, when I was expecting my second son, I put on 70 pounds and the cycle repeated.

I’ve been body shamed my whole life. Before having kids, people would compare me to a lizard. Nobody ever lets you be comfortable in your own skin. You’re either too thin or too fat. I don’t understand why someone else’s weight matters so much.

I’ve spent a large portion of my life abroad and weight was never a point of discussion there. This negativity is a product of a regressive mindset and yes, as a public figure I do think it’s important for me to use my platform to talk about an issue like this that affects most women around me.

“This time, I felt my world came crashing down yet again, but having a supportive family was helpful. I’m doing better now”

As a hands-on parent yourself, what advice would you give to first-time mothers?

Your body undergoes major changes during pregnancy, but it’s important to understand that everyone’s experience is different. My suggestion would be to not get overwhelmed by the onslaught of unsolicited advice and just focus on enjoying the beautiful process. Seek guidance from those you look up to, but don’t let unnecessary criticism bring you down.

What about women who choose to have children later in life to prioritise their careers?

More power to them! I had Hamza at a young age and it was challenging for me to strike a balance between motherhood and work. Everyone should have the freedom to do whatever works for them. I think if you have children early, you get to enjoy your forties and fifties more. However, if your career is what you want to focus on before having children, that’s alright too. You should have a baby when you’re ready. It’s very subjective.

What were you like as a child?

I was unruly, someone who got herself into a lot of trouble. I enjoyed driving my teachers and parents mad. I was obsessed with firecrackers and pretty much anything that caused chaos. I would set them on fire and throw them inside strangers’ homes. I remember getting into a fight with one of my neighbors when I was eight years old. I wanted revenge and tried to set his house on fire with kerosene oil. Thank God it didn’t work! I was trying to replicate an Indian movie scene.

Your parents separated when you were pretty young. Do you think that impacted your relationships as an adult, particularly with your children?

Yes. I’m motivated to invest in my marriage and the precious relationship I have with my children. I’ve never really seen my parents together, but their separation has been a life lesson for me regardless.

Having said that, your parents are human beings before anything else. Sometimes two people just don’t get along and that’s fine. I love them dearly. Whether together or apart, they’ve always been great humans and role models. Both of them taught me to be a good person and I’ll continue trying to be just that.

You radiate positivity and always seem to emerge stronger after a hardship. Is there any particular incident in your life that you would credit this attribute to?

My father passed away when I was 21. Losing him was an experience that made me look at life differently. I realised that life is unpredictable and you never know when it’s time for you to depart. I want to make each day count, keep working hard and focus on investing in my relationships before it’s too late. I’ve learned not to take my life and the people I love for granted.

What’s the secret to your successful marriage?

There are three key elements to keep in mind if you want to make a relationship work; honesty, conviction and dedication. Relationships get boring with time. It takes relentless effort each day to hold on to it. No matter how attractive you find someone, they’ll lose their charm if both partners aren’t willing to constantly work on nurturing their bond. It’s also important to be transparent and trustworthy. Everything else follows.

“I’ve been body shamed my whole life”

What does a normal day in your life look like?

My day starts with Fajr prayers after which I spend some time playing with Hassan. Then I get Hamza and Hassan ready for school and go to the studio for my morning show. I work out at the gym right after. I usually attend a couple of meetings before checking my YouTube channel. I make sure I’m home to have dinner with my children. My routine gets a lot crazier when I’ve signed on to an acting project.

From hosting and producing, to acting and modeling, you seem to have done it all. Are there any avenues you still wish to explore?

I’m currently involved with three business ventures; a restaurant (Bamboo Garden), a salon (Magnifique) and a fitness studio (Fit Culture). I’m managing them with my business partners and have invested in the projects myself. I’ve swiftly transitioned into entrepreneurship and hope to achieve some level of success with it.

What inspired you to launch your YouTube channel despite a hectic schedule?

I first thought of starting a YouTube channel while I was pregnant. People had been asking me many questions related to pregnancy on my show, so I had to start somewhere. I took my first plunge into the world of internet with “Mom Matters,” a portal for mothers.

Did you find it hard to create space for yourself in the entertainment industry?

Not at all. I’ve been fortunate. My seniors in the industry created space for me with their support and comfort. Sultana Siddiqui encouraged me to persevere, while PTV proved to be a great support system. They ensured I was at peace.

I’ve focused my energies on working with dedication and avoiding controversies.

Why have you discontinued acting? Do you plan to make a comeback?

Since the past eight years, I’ve been focused on hosting my morning show on PTV. While it’s been a great learning experience, I’ve recently resigned from the channel and joined Channel 24 for my new show, “Juggun at 9.” I’m very excited about it. Being with a private channel allows me to embark on a new journey with the understanding that I’ll take on acting projects as well. So to answer your question, yes, I am returning to acting this year.

“I’ve focused my energies on working with dedication and avoiding controversies”

Can we expect to see you in films?

I acted in a Pakistani film ten years ago, but it failed to do well at the box office. I was a little put off by my experience because I wasn’t used to working with kind of standards being upheld on set. I stayed away from films for a long time after that. However, I’m currently working on two new projects. Let’s hope for a positive feedback.

What would you say was the defining moment of your career?

There are many. When I started, Asim Ali directed a drama serial called “Saiqa” in which I played the titular character. It did extremely well. I’ll always be grateful to Sultana Siddiqui, Momina Duraid and the team at HUM TV for having faith in me. They trusted me to do justice to a lead role as a very young artist; that was a big achievement for me.

Being signed on by Garnier was also a professional milestone. I’ve been the brand’s official representative in Pakistan since over nine years now.

What are the cons of early stardom?

You don’t have time for your personal life. Everything you say or do becomes public knowledge and will likely go viral. The media tends to highlight your weakest, most vulnerable moments. The lack of personal space and privacy can be stressful, but besides that, there aren’t many cons to this profession.


A skill you wish to master?

Singing, cooking or horse riding

Describe your personal style.

Minimalistic. I go with what suits me, rather than what’s “trendy”

Your summer go-to look?

Jeans and a t-shirt

Three essentials every woman should own?

A good pair of jeans

A white button-down

A pair of fabulous stilettos

Vintage or modern fashion? 


Your view on Pakistan’s thriving fashion industry?

It’s doing extremely well and I’m proud of all the designers

A fashion faux pas to avoid?

A fitted shalwar kameez; it really puts me off

The best style advice you’ve received?

Wear what suits you. Develop your own personal style and rock it.

Wardrobe: Juggun’s own
Makeup Artist: Razeen Arshad
Stylist: Areesha Chaudhry
Photographer: Abdullah Haris

A true artist at heart, Dawer Khan isn’t just a videogragpher, but a storyteller. This young talent speaks to Mehek Raza Rizvi about his inspiration, switching degrees and drive

How did you enter the world of videography?

Homeschooling, a computer, a webcam and my dad’s picture on the desktop was all I needed to find the inner director in me. As a homeschooled child I had ample  time to experiment and channel my energy into what felt right to me. Growing up, I watched Dragon Ball Z and got fascinated by the ‘quicker than lightening’ Goku. Using Goku, his friends and their adventures to protect Earth from villains as inspiration, I delved into the world of VFX. I learnt to create balls of lightening with my webcam footage. Believe me, those edited videos of me will threaten Goku’s existence.

Who were your earliest influences? Was there a love for the arts at home while you were growing up?

Well, I was mostly influenced by videography channels on YouTube like FilmRiot and Video Copilot; I also followed channels that were teaching video editing skills that are too expensive to learn in Pakistan. YouTube proved to be my knight in shining armour, by saving and nurturing my passion for videography, in a world that offers no free lunches.

As for a love for the arts at home, the answer truly depends on how you define art. Art is beauty to me and since my childhood, my mother taught me to look for beauty in every small thing. Therefore, for me, even the way my mother flips her rotis is pure art. Similarly, the way my younger brother smiles and oddly squints his eyes is art to me, as well as the way his pet hen twitches its neck every split second.

We hear you changed your degree from engineering to media studies. What made you change your mind and how supportive was your family?

“I am not who you think I am; I am not who I think I am; I am who I think you think I am ” — these words by C.H.Cooley have had a profound impact on my life. I grew up thinking I needed to be a software engineer, because that’s what was ingrained in my head from the start.

However, once I started college, I realised that engineering is not my cup of tea. I also didn’t want to be a corporate slave. If physical slavery is wrong, so is slavery of the spirit.

Once I was resolute, I switched to media studies. My family was quite supportive because they saw how passionate I was about charting my own path in life.

Tell us about your experience at NCA.

The first time I heard about NCA was when a neighbour told me I belonged there, as he watched me carefully paint eggs. When I decided to switch from engineering to media studies, that memory came back to me and I knew I wanted to go to NCA.

That institution has quite literally changed my life. Besides enhancing my directing skills, I delved into acting. My alma mater has constantly pushed me to challenge myself and get out of my comfort zone.

What would you say was your “breakout moment?”

I’d say it was when I got a call from SiddySays; they wanted me to work on a video and I consider that as the moment my career launched. I was introduced to the commercial market for the first time.

What was your first commercial project as a director like?

When I was nineteen, the CEO of a microfinance bank took a leap of faith by handing me a significant project for his firm. It was a short film that narrated the bank’s successful journey.

I remember being very nervous as I had never seen (let alone signed) a contract or worked professionally before. I discussed my nerves with a mentor and he jokingly told me the worst case scenario would include me ending up behind bars for breach of contract (quite thrilling, no?).

However, I knew signing on for this project would be great exposure and open many doors for me.

When I asked the CEO why he put his trust in an amateur like me, he told me that he was one of the youngest CEOs of a microfinance bank and believed in the significance of trusting young talent.

You’ve spoken about the importance of marketing yourself and your work well. How do you go about it?

Marketing yourself requires confidence and standing your ground. It seems daunting and at times even annoying, but needs to be done if one wants to do well. As harsh as it may sound, I believe your skills and talent are useless if they fail to build a market for you. In today’s world of social media, you won’t be able to create demand for your work if you’re unable to build trust amongst your audience through your personal brand.

When I was sixteen, I bought an antique camera from Landa Bazaar and ended up selling it for five times the original price. Therefore, to this day, I’m convinced that if one can successfully market the assets they possess, they can gain profit off something as “useless” as a rusty old camera.

As fresh, young talent, which are some unexplored areas in your field of work that you’d want to explore more?

I believe I’ve just dipped my feet in a pond of the creative world. There is a sea of unexplored areas that I’ve yet to explore in my field of work.

Pakistan consists of such rich cultures and diverse communities that give rise to multiple unique stories that can be portrayed through short films, movies and documentaries. Also, I feel like these areas are not that prominent in our film industry, hence, I’m looking forward to working on these specific areas and challenge myself to showcase the true essence of Pakistani culture.

What sets you apart?

My work is what sets me apart. If one solely concentrates on the commercial aspects of a project, it kills the very spirit of one’s skills. I tend to take up projects that give me the liberty to portray stories in a way that is reflective of me and my aesthetic.

Tell us about the upcoming projects you’re excited about.

I’ve always longed for telling a story and showcasing my art through short films. Therefore, the second university started I clutched onto the opportunity of directing a short film that I’m extremely excited about debuting. Moreover, there are a handful of projects in the pipeline for brands such as Mobilink, Toyota and Hush Puppies that I’m working on.


We’re living in a world that’s becoming increasingly “woke” and quite opinionated — or perhaps we notice it more now due to the ease of access to other people’s thoughts via the internet. Our definitions of social justice and morality have also evolved and continue to do so. Moreover, we constantly expound our beliefs for any and all who’ll listen — or shall I say, for those who’ll read.

Digital media platforms, such as Twitter, have given rise to the social justice warrior (SJW), who champions causes, often quite loudly. Naturally, the capitalist society we live in has caught on to the trend of voicing opinion and often creates products directed towards the socially woke. Nowhere is this more obvious than the fashion industry. Global politics and debate have seeped their way into our daily lives through the most unassuming of channels: clothes.

Political statements and art, have always been intertwined. Many artists and writers have produced works specifically aimed at jolting the status quo or to highlight an injustice. The film and television industries have done this most effectively due to their large viewership and impact.

Iconic moments somehow always occur at award shows. A couple of the most impactful ones for me include Marlon Brando sending Sacheen Littlefeather to accept his Oscar in order to shed light on the status of the Native American community in Hollywood and more recently, Frances McDormand’s resounding speech at this year’s Oscars calling for the industry to be more inclusive. Moreover, the entire #MeToo movement has stirred the entertainment industry out of its slumber.

However, politics and fashion specifically have had a very interesting relationship. Many politicians  and world leaders use fashion to make political statements (e.g. Gandhi wearing his traditional attire at the British Royal Court). Sometimes, what politicians wear sparks debate across the board (Melania Trump and her “I Really Don’t Care” jacket). The Queen of England, in fact, has a whole protocol in place for how to interpret her social needs based on the use of her accessories — a bag on the table signals the end of a conversation and her desire to exit the room. Just last year, several celebrities showed up in all black at the Golden Globes 2018 to support the “Times Up” movement that stemmed from #MeToo.

Recently, this relationship has taken a more overt nature. Celebrities are donning outfits with clear political messaging on them, to either support or bash a politician, or to shed light on a cause dear to them. Designers have also made statements with one-off pieces or by consciously choosing to dress a particular person (Christian Siriano custom designing a dress for Leslie Jones to promote body inclusivity). And how can we forget Rihanna’s body-inclusive lingerie line that has put Victoria’s Secret to shame.

Despite all this, I wondered, is there really a place in fashion for politics? Is the clothing industry the place to make such statements? Should it not only be about just making clothes and leaving policy and opinions to others? Clothes should just be clothes right?

I, therefore, decided to find out what others around me felt. Naturally, I took to Instagram and set up a poll. I simply asked, “Does politics have a place in fashion?” Out of the 48 people who responded (more of you should follow me on Instagram @hassantl — yes, shameless self-plug, I know), 41 clicked “Yes” and only 7 decided to go with “No.”

To further find out people’s opinions on the topic, I put forth the question, “How do you view the relationship between politics and fashion?”

Responses that I received included:

“…now people have really started to look at the story behind each piece which is great.”

“Issues highlighted through fashion. Treatment of karighars/workers, gender wage gap, etc.”

But what’s the value of these relationships and are they important?

“Quite necessary to be honest,” says model Yasmeen Hashmi.

My friend Omaina Aziz wrote in a long, impassioned response. She stated, “It’s art. Art has always been a commentary on the world and the powers that be.” She cited various politicians and their signature looks, including Jinnah and Che with their caps, Marie Antoinette’s excesses at the court, Melania’s infamous jacket and Trump’s “horrendous ties.” She then went on to question, “They’re using their clothes to make a statement, so why shouldn’t the makers of those clothes then be using their art and their product to make a statement of their own?”

Fair point, to be honest.

A quick glance at some of the collections over the past few years, both local and international, demonstrates that designers have actively been portraying such sentiments. However, I’m wary of their execution. Dior, for example sold t-shirts for $860 with the slogan “We should all be feminists” — which by the way is the title of Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s book-length essay.

Locally, we have had Maheen Kardar create a line of kurtas with Imran Khan’s face on them before the 2013 elections. These were likened to the famous Che Guevara t-shirts (I don’t think he would have approved of such capitalist tricks). Apart from mainstream politics, feminism has also found its way into Pakistani fashion. Hira Ali’s 2018 PSFW collection titled “Woman is Future” had models walking down the runway holding placards crying for social justice (reminiscent of Chanel’s SS 2015 show). Ali Xeeshan has surprisingly been successful in introducing social causes in a bridal show by drawing attention to child brides in Pakistan.

However, these at times remain one-offs, a bandwagon to be jumped on. Karl Lagerfeld in fact has been accused by many of not being a feminist. So how does one trust such capitalist tropes?

Fashion gives a very powerful voice to those behind it and, naturally, a mandate for them to be authentic about what they support. If fashion is allowed to be political, what are the rules? How do we judge someone who’s being real versus a disingenuous design house? I reached out to fashion journalist and stylist Mehek Saeed for her views. She agrees that authenticity is important and that as consumers we definitely buy into a brand’s value proposition. Therefore, a brand that seeks to promote a political statement or social cause should focus on consistency and putting thought into each and every campaign. Zara Shahjahan, in her opinion does a fantastic job of doing so. “Authenticity,” she adds, “comes from a long-term standing of what you put out. Designers should stand by it in the long run and add these causes to their brand values.” I concur; without a brand fully incorporating such messaging into their practices, they run the risk of losing favour (rightfully so) and coming off as pure, capitalist drivel.

Aamir Bukhari, of the popular Aamiriat blog, adds on to this wonderfully. He opines that most designers in Pakistan are just piggy backing off the cause of the moment to gain traction, especially on social media, with ill-thought statements that come off as flippant. However, he believes — and I wholeheartedly agree — that any design house or brand hoping to be political should start from the basics. They should go for deeper impact and inculcate their beliefs in the way they do business. “Maybe hire more women, pay them at par with men … it needs to be a holistic approach in doing business,” he asserts.

In conclusion, fashion and politics, especially nowadays, cannot and shouldn’t be divorced. Fashion is powerful and what we wear is a statement. Therefore, such politically and socially charged collections do have a place. However, for authenticity to be clearly visible, fashion houses need to imbibe what they outwardly project. Otherwise, it’s just another social media gimmick.





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