Shining Stars of Fashion

Celebrating bigwigs of the field

  • 07 Apr - 13 Apr, 2018
  • Sidra Khan
  • Feature

Life would be colourless without many shades of arts, for it’s the one thing that entertains us, relaxes us and rejuvenates, all at the same time. Among the many facets of it, is fashion – as creatively satisfying as it is visually appealing. In Pakistan, the sphere has progressed without leaps and bounds, and while many have contributed to its status today, this has been made possible with the help of a few pioneers who have truly added to the progress of fashion with their work, standing the tests of time and changing trends. Here’s MAG paying homage to some of the biggest names in the fashion fraternity without whom, the landscape of Pakistani fashion would not be as colourful as it is today.

Creative stroke of brush


Akif Ilyas is one of the most sought-after make-up artists today. He is talented and brilliant at his work, without a doubt, but one of the reasons he enjoys this popularity is that he makes the ladies, whether models or clients, feel comfortable and look forward to the tiring process of getting hair and make-up done. If you are a woman who is reading this, you know exactly how important that quality is in a make-up artist! With Akif, you get a photographer, stylist, make-up artist and a sincere advisor. He has been amazing the beauty world since the 90s and is responsible for boosting the careers of many models and actresses through his portfolio shoots.


Saba Ansari is one beauty veteran everyone has heard of. One of the premiere salon owners in Pakistan, the beauty giant quickly reached the top of her lot after she started operation back in 2001. Since then, Saba has been responsible for giving make-overs to many actresses and models, introducing innovative beauty trends and has even collaborated with designers for many fashion shows. But none of her achievements have stopped Saba from continuing to learn. She regularly attends beauty courses at leading institutes around the world, in a bid to better herself with every passing day, all the while maintaining quality services at multiple branches of her salon, working for shoots and participating in fashion and beauty events around the country. She is truly a superwoman!

Through the lens


Born Mustapha Farabi Javeri and lovingly known as Tapu, he is a fashion and art photographer whose talents precede the rest. He published his first photograph in a local newspaper at the age of nine and hasn’t looked back since then. Fast forward to present times, the multi-talented 52-year-old has released three photo albums, is a radio host, jewellery designer, brand ambassador for multiple brands and has judged many local competitions. Simultaneously, Tapu designs handbags, t-shirts and scarves for his label, Tapulicious and has even lent his designing talents to collaborate with fashion giant Maheen Khan. Is there anything Tapu can’t do?


Fashion photography is as much about exhibiting glamour and style, as it is about capturing candid beauty, and no one understands this better than Fayyaz. He started out with his first fashion shoot back in 2006 and is now an award-winning photographer and video director with an awe-inspiring gallery of documentary, fashion, and portrait images to boast of. He is someone who is known to have mastered outdoor lighting with his work. But the success has left him unchanged, he says he uses rather basic gear as he takes pride in brush-stroke rather than the brush.


Ayaz Anis Khan has made quite a name in the industry at a relatively young age. The dapper looking photographer is one of the top professionals in his field who has been nominated for Lux Style Award for Best Emerging Talent and Best Fashion Photographer. Over the years, Ayaz has given us many stills to appreciate and remember and helped set the bar high for photographers to come. A workaholic by nature, Ayaz says about his passion, “I want the majority of my time spent doing something that I am passionate about and photography allows me [to] do exactly that.”

A stitch in time


Famously called the King of Couture Hassan Sheheryar Yasin started his eponymous label in 2000. The brand, without which one cannot imagine Pakistani fashion scene today, employs around 350 individuals and is based out of a breathtaking mansion in Karachi but has stores in cities like London, Manchester, Houston and Dubai. HSY enjoys clientele from around the world, including royal families in the Middle East and social elites in South Asia, more recently from the United States and Europe. Lovingly referred to as Sheru, he is affiliated with the La Chambre Syndicale De La Couture Parisienne in France, holds an honours degree in couture and serves on the board of directors and the executive committee of the fashion institute he graduated from, the Pakistan School of Fashion Design. Started as a fashion choreographer in 1994, Hassan worked both, as a choreographer and designer at various shows in Pakistan, Dubai, London, New York City and Toronto. He also hosts a prime-time talk show Tonite with HSY.


Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer are no new names in the apparel industry. In fact, the two have changed the face of summer wear in Pakistan. Lawn and summers have never been the same ever since Sana Safinaz set its foot in the fashion market. The duo started with designing bridals and light evening wear for various designers in 1987, eventually going into lawn and then going solo as a brand. Interestingly, the ladies worked for Alkaram for three years and then did a three-year stint at Lakhany where they designed lawn under the ‘SANA SAFINAZ by Lakhany’ tag. This made them a household name and encouraged them to create their own brand which has become one of the largest retailers today.


Shehla Chatoor’s design ethos is based on the philosophy of reconstructing vintage art forms to create eternally relevant pieces steeped in culture and heritage. Shehla founded her signature label in 1995 after graduating from the University of Houston. She quickly became renowned for her eclectic taste and artistic intuition. This talented artiste has bagged the award for Most Inspiring Designer and is the most favourite option for stars at award shows and red carpet appearances. From actress Amy Jackson sporting her designs to local celebrities, such as Ayesha Omar and Sanam Saeed being regular visitors at her design studio, she has dressed the crème de la crème of the entertainment world. She also carries a line of exquisite footwear and pouches to complement her pieces. Completing 23 years in the fashion industry, Shehla continues to spread her creative wings into the fashion skies and soar high.

Flaunting the power of blogging


It is impossible for anyone who follows lifestyle and fasion updates in Pakistan to remain oblivious of her. Sadaf is a marketing professional who moonlights as a blogger. She is the editor of Lahore-based fashion and lifestyle blog, Siddy Says. She doesn’t consider her team and herself journalists, rather just individuals who aim to inspire with their commentary on varied subjects – anything and everything that catches their fancy – be it fashion, people, interiors, food or places. Her blog is akin to a scrapbook full of all things fabulous. Sadaf has most certainly raised the bar for all individuals who blog and run websites covering happenings around Pakistan.


A social media consultant and moving spirit behind Karachista, a leading fashion and lifestyle blog, Salima Feerasta is one of Pakistan’s most well-known bloggers who keeps people informed about life and style in Karachi. She has a degree in Physics from Oxford University and a Masters in Shipping, Trade and Finance. Salima has taught herself to code and build websites when she launched her own blog back in 2013. Her followers can enjoy her articles and columns in leading newspapers and online forums frequently. Though her work surrounds local fashion scene majorly, Salima confesses that she “was never interested in fashion as a teenager or even at college” and only grew to love it. She is one of the first proper fashion and lifestyle journalists Pakistan has seen and has definitely paved way for young bloggers today.

Striking the right pose


Lovingly called Vinnie, this 46-year-old has earned a reputation of being the most famous and sought-after female models in her time when she became the face of leading brands and graced the covers of every fashion magazine in the country. Vaneeza revolutionised modelling domestically, changing its perception to make it an acceptable career for girls. The former model did the entire nation proud by becoming the first Pakistani to walk the ramps for acclaimed international designers such as Donna Karan and Calvin Klein. But Vaneeza is not just a pretty face. She has a degree in psychology, and after quitting modelling, went on to run Pakistan’s first ever fashion channel – Style 360, work as a make-up artist, serve as one of the directors of Bridal Couture Week, launched her own lawn collection and has directed one of the biggest award shows this year. It is widely believed that Nilofer Shahid encouraged Vinnie to pursue modelling as her career. I guess we have her to thank for giving us a true supermodel!


Looks like good looks run in the family. Not many know but Amna is the sister of model Uzma Ilyas. Not that it has anything to do with what this model-actress has achieved so far. Amna shut her critics up who would pinpoint her dusky skintone by not only becoming successful as a fashion model but also being nominated for Model of the Year award numerous times. She has also won the Best Dressed Female and Best Female Model trophies. The petite girl has also bagged numerous awards for her critically acclaimed performance in Zinda Bhaag alongside Naseeruddin Shah. If any model has shattered the glass ceiling and proved people with colourism issues wrong, it is her! As of 2015, Amna has various acting projects she is working on including romantic-comedy Gardaab, alongside Fawad Khan and will be seen in 7 Din Mohabbat In with Mahira Khan soon.


In an industry where there are only a handful of male models and not many are able to reach heights of success, Omar Shahzad is a name that shines bright. He has established himself as one of the top professionals in his field having worked with top designers like Deepak Perwani, Sania Maskatiya, HSY, Zainab Chottani, Fahad Hussayn and Zaheer Abbas, and is humble off the ramp, something that truly sets him apart from his counterpart models. Omar has been nominated for the best model award countless times at numerous award shows in the country. The hunk marked his acting debut in 2013 with a TV drama and starred in a number of other serials before signing on to his first film two years back. Omer has just given a hit drama last year, Alif, Allah Aur Insaan, but is also getting ready for the release of his multi-starrer Jawani Phir Nahi Ani 2.



She is one of the top stylists we have today. From working on still shoots to advertisements, and styling newcomers to established stars, there is nothing Aneela hasn’t done and no one she hasn’t worked with. She has partnered up with talent agencies for years to promote up-and-coming individuals in the fields of fashion and entertainment. Aneela has handled both, local and international projects like a pro and has taught many a lot along the way.


The renowned fashion and lifestyle journalist and a prominent face amongst the Lahori social circle, Haiya has contributed her quirky styling skills in many fashion and personality shoots. She has a degree in English Literature from Beaconhouse National University and has worked with some top fashion publications in the industry. Her style sense is all about embracing who you are and being comfortable with it. A style tip she swears by? “Understanding your body is the key to looking good and a trait found amongst all impeccably dressed fashionistas.”