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In Conversation with Natalia Naveed

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What sparked your interest in fashion designing considering you are a business graduate? 
I’ve always been passionate about fashion but during the decade that I was doing my bachelors, going into fashion meant that you were aspiring to be a darzi. Considering the constant A’s, my family had somehow visualized me working in a place like the IMF or World Bank. However I’ve since grown up enough to understand that a career in fashion can mean whatever I want it to mean and that if you’re eventually doing what you really love then everything else seems worth it.

How is motherhood treating you? Is it difficult to juggle your career and family life?
I never know how to answer this question. Mainly because I wonder if men who have recently become fathers are ever asked if its difficult for them to juggle their career and family life. I love being a mother and I’ve worked hard to reach this point in my career. I’m hoping to find a way to balance both aspects of my life so I can excel at motherhood and as a designer. In the meantime, I hope society evolves a little so that the onus isn’t just on women to ‘juggle’ career and family. Step up your game, men! =)

What’s the best thing about heading Beechtree’s Luxury Pret line?
This one’s easy. I get to do what I love every single day, set a direction for the line’s aesthetic and work with a fabulous team day in and day out. What could be better?

What part of your job do you love the most?
While designing is my first love, as part of my job at Beechtree I also work with a team to procure a complete range of accessories from China… picture being out with your best friends on a spending spree with an unlimited budget. Sometimes, I feel like a teenager, except that now people respect my style and taste. To hand pick accessories in another country and then have them be appreciated en masse in Pakistan… there’s no better feeling! 

Which fashion blogs do you follow religiously?
I follow all the mainstream ones to keep myself up to date but I particularly love opinionated blogs/bloggers like aamiriat, umairica, thestylejournal etc. Its especially so much fun when they highlight replicas in fashion, photography and so on.

Your husband is also a photographer. Do you often get to do shoots with him? If so, how’s it like working together? 
Maaz has been so wonderful about teaching me the ropes of photography. I go on shoots with him on weekends and after work. We love working together and I must say it has added another dimension to how I design because you see clothes differently when you’re also looking at them in terms of location, the person wearing them, personality, angles, etc. 

You were working at Generation before going to Beechtree. What made you want to switch and how has the transition been? 
Generation was such a wonderful learning experience for me. They trusted in my ability when I had nothing but a big mouth to show for it. I grew into fashion at Generation and the space and team there made that growth possible. But after more than five years there, I felt like it was time for a fresh start. There’s something so challenging and wonderful about starting at a new place, learning their aesthetic and trying to match your vision with theirs. It keeps you from falling into a rut and you’re constantly on your toes. Beechtree has been so welcoming, and I couldn’t ask to be working for a better brand in terms of their vision for the future. 

Which international designer is on your mood-board currently?
These days, I’m loving Pankaj and Nidhi. I can spend hours drooling over their designs.

Does inspiration from countries other than Pakistan influence your work?
Of course. I think my personal style is closely aligned to Western wear and I’m a fan of minimalism so I follow international fashion very closely. A lot of my inspiration for cuts and silhouettes comes from international designers. The challenge is incorporating them to fit our own more flamboyant aesthetic here in South Asia. Sometimes, the result from blending the fashion stylings of the two cultures can truly be transformative! That’s what I’m looking for when I design, a moment when all the little pieces from various inspirations come together. The aha! moment, if you will!

What’s the greatest piece of practical styling advice that you’ve been given in your life and who gave it to you? 
‘Comfortable can be fashionable.’ I think about this often. People don’t want to look like they’re wearing sweats, but can I make them feel that comfortable while also making sure they look great? Where there’s a will, there’s a way! Ladies, if you feel comfortable (emotionally, physically, spiritually whatever), you’ll guaranteed 100% look great. 

Anything interesting and exciting that we can expect from Beechtree in the near future?
We have new unstitched, casual pret and luxury pret collections coming in all the time. And keep an eye on our accessories section as well – a whole range of on-trend shoes, jewellery, scarves and bags. Also alot of people probably don’t know but we do really cool winter sweaters and jackets too! 

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Transforming Mind and Body

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Losing weight can seem like an enormous task, so how does on begin this journey to transform their mind and body? We sat face to face with blogger Hadiyya Aazer and asked her what motivated to take on the task to transform her lifestyle.

Working out at Evolution Fitness

Whats inspired you to begin this transformation journey? 

I have been overweight my entire life. When I turned 30 last year, it hit me that if I dont control it now, my health issues could become a serious problem. What can I say, I decided to change my habits and put my hundred percent into evolving my lifestyle.

Where have you been training?

My personal trainer is Haseeb Mirza at Evolution fitness. He is amazing and has a certain rhythm in the gym. He has been a great supporter and motivator through all of this.

Before and After


What does your usual workout routine look like?

It is a mix of weight training, cardio and Abs, which is necessary for me. It is essential to work according to your bodies needs and stamina and create a tailor made workout to assure its effectiveness.

What kind of a diet do you follow?

 My diet is eating in small portions after every 2 hours. All in all 5 controlled meals over the day.

What is your goal ? 

I am aiming to reach 65kgs soon!

March 2018 v March 2019


What advice would you give to someone struggling with weight issues? 

Don’t give up! Will power is key and once you’ve decided to take the necessary steps, nothing can stop you. Take it step by step, but eat healthy and work out. Ive lost almost 40 kg in a years time, slow and steady wins the race!

March 2019


How does it feel losing so many dress sizes?

One can only imagine fantastic! I have never imagined myself wearing jeans and dresses. It feels so good to wear clothes that I’d never imagined I could.

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SHE CAME, SHE SAW, SHE CONQUERED

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Pakistani entertainment industry has a special league of actors, who are not only got fame because of their beauty but also with their brain. Hareem Farooq is one of them, who besides having a flourishing acting career is also a producer of box office success Janaan and Parchi. A bachelors in Sociology and journalism from Quid-e-Azan University, Hareem started her acting career in 2012 from a theatre play of veteran Anwar Maqsood Pawnay 14 August by playing the role of Fatima Jinnah. The following year, she made her big screen debut with a leading role in a horror thriller film Siyaah and came to television in Hum TV serial Mausam in 2014. Then there was no stopping. Now at this young age, Hareem has many popular dramas as Diyar-e-Dil and films like Parchi at her credit. She went on to become a first female actor-producer of Pakistan, by producing Janaan and Parchi under the banner of IRK Films. Last year, Hreem formed a global entertainment company, IHA, which soon entered into an agreement with top entertainment in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), as the first distribution firm.

Apart from acting and production, Hareem has been proudly become the official Spokesperson for Loreal Professional, Pakistan since 2017.

Last month she was in Paris to represent Pakistan at L’Oreal on its 110th anniversary. She was extremely excited and responsible at the same time to be a part of those celebrations. We talked to this young, beautiful and talented lady about her visit to the Paris and of course her upcoming feature film Heer Maan Ja supposed to be released on Eid Ul Aza.

How was the excitement to be in Paris for L’Oreal?

It was a great opportunity for me to represent Pakistan among lot of people, coming from different countries at L’Oreal 110th anniversary in Paris. I was the only Pakistani who represented my country there and felt very proud and honoured for this. I hope I lived up to the expectations.

 What were your activities there?

It was a multiple-event celebrations spreading on almost a week. It was their 110th anniversary so they made it huge. In these types of events, you get to mingle with lot of people from different countries, where you show them the positive and lighter side of your country. I did the same.

What and who did wear in those eventful celebrations?

I wore Pakistani designers in all events, including Sania Maskatiya, Munib Nawaz, Rici Melion, Mahgul, Zuria Dor. As far as what I wore, I must tell you that we have to follow a certain dress codes when on these type of international events. We need to show the world that we can compete on international level when we have to, but we made sure that our Pakistani designers should also be promoted there. Again it was a matter for me to represent Pakistan there. If I had to decide, I would wear shalwar kameez, as I love my national dress. 

How did you find Paris?

It was so exciting to be there. They are very rich in art, architecture, and weather. People all are also very nice and welcoming. I am glad that finally L’Oreal is tapping into the Pakistan market. There are very few people from Pakistan who are invited by L’Oreal from Pakistan and it’s a pride for me that I am one of them. They were very surprised to see Pakistan there.

Have you ever been to Paris before?

It was my first visit to Paris. But I am sure it will not be the last. 

Did you learn any French there?

Very little. Only few words like bonjour, mercy, beaucoup. I am trying to learn the language.

What did you observe in Paris while with L’Oreal?

It was a great exposure. They are very skilled people. I came to know that where and how L’Oreal actually works. How they cope up with new techniques and innovations all over the world. There was somewhere around five to six thousand people from various countries of the world.

Are you eying to participate in Cannes as well?

Why not? It is just a start. I believe when you are sincere with your work, anything is achievable. 

You met with Pakistani ambassador (Moin Ul Haq) in Paris? What was discussed in the meeting regarding Pakistani entertainment industry?

It was a great surprise. I was very glad and honoured that they had me come there and invited me to the embassy. The ambassador is very progressive He wants to promote a softer image if Pakistan in world. And Pakistan really needs this at the moment. His ideas and vision, which we are aiming to implement, I am sure will be productive for Pakistan. Whatever we have discussed, it will be executed soon and people will know about it.

This year is also important for you as your film Heer Maan Ja is coming on Eid-Ul- Azha. Shed some light on your role in the film?

I like experimenting with my characters as I believe that audience should get something new every time. It is a little journey from Iman of Parchi to Heer of Heer Maan Ja. They are poles apart. Iman is a very strong woman who stands up for everything while on the other hand Heer is a very next door desi girl. She is sweet pretty and innocent, for which most Pakistani girls are known for. It was a lot fun playing that character.

By Kaukab Jahan from Pakistan and Ashfaque Chaudhry from Paris

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Discovering Africa with Hajra Tariq

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Hajra Tariq is a full time Graphic Designer and Photographer (IG: pinkrikshaw.studio ). She is also an aspiring traveler.  Having lived in different countries around the world, she realized how important art and design was and how different cultures have helped evolve her. 

“My goal in life isn’t to travel the world, to not regret not doing something my heart has longed to do. My latest travel expedition took me to the heart of East Africa, Kenya. I’ve always imagined myself on an African safari and my dream finally came true! We’ve all seen things that take our breath away. For me, it was a perfectly clear night at the Mara Ashnil in the heart of the Masai Mara National Reserve where you were literally inches away from the “BIG 5”, and facing the sunset on a yatch in the middle of the Kilifi Creek . Two extremely different things, in one country, and yet they both didn’t fail to amaze me.”

Accompanied by her favourite travel buddy, her sister, here are a few of her best memories…

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