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When Pakistan flashed On World Map Again

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Nauman Arfeen became a household name in mid of October this year when Duke of Cambridge, Prince William wore his sherwani in the reception hosted by the British High Commissioner to Pakistan on his visit to Pakistan. The exclusively designed bottle green sherwani became talk of the town instantly and media all over the world was discussing about the name, origin, variety and features of the outfit. That particular sherwani became so popular that Arfeen had to launch it exclusively to cater the demand properly.

When making the list of most happening thing in the fashion world in Pakistan in 2019, there was not any other name than Nauman Arfeen, who made Pakistan’s name flashing on the world map in very positive light.

Fixing the time for interview was not a very difficult task as Nauman was so prompt in answering and making things easier. We sat in his well decorated state of the art massive store at Bukhari Commercial Area, where the very down to earth and seemingly quite Nauman Arfeen came to me as very talkative but coherent, who is always ready to elaborate anything he speaks. To him, overnight success is nothing. One has to struggle for years to get the sustainable reward. His motto is to do something for his country.

“Clothes making is my business but I always wished that I could do something for Pakistan within my domain. I got this chance to put Pakistan on international fashion scene by designing sherwani for Prince William and I am sure God will provide me with more opportunities.”

How did you decide to designing clothes?

I was not expected to come into this business. I wanted to be a doctor as my elder brothers were also studying medicine. At the same time, we had a family business of having a shop in Saddar, Karachi, named ‘Hat Villa’, which was run by my father. So, when I showed my interest to become a doctor, my father rejected the idea because he wanted me to take on family business. He literally threatened us that if we didn’t take it further; he would sell Hat Villa, which he established in 1952. Obviously, no one else left to look after that in family as my brothers had already pursued their careers in medicine and law. So I could not follow my passion further and left it behind to join my family business.

So, How did you take it further when took the reins from your father?

In ‘Hat Villa’, we introduced the original and specialized art of wrapping pagirs (turbans), which became very popular item in early 90s. I took it beyond wrapping turbans and started designing other items for grooms like sherwani, kurta, pyjama and khusa etc. In late 90s, I set up a factory in North Karachi and bought another shop in Saddar and named it Naushemian, meaning ‘groom’, where everything related to groom was available under the same roof. Before that, people used to buy these items from different shops. That idea worked a lot then in 2007, I set up another outlet of Naushemian in the form of store at Bukhari Commercial Area DHA. That was really a proud moment for my father.

What is the story of coming onto the Fashion Pakistan Week?

In 2009, Fashion Pakistan Council asked me to participate in Fashion Pakistan Week, FPW. For this, I give huge credit to Rizwan Baig, who really helped me in getting into FPW.  There, it was really hard to proof myself to a group of people, who thought that a person running a shop in Saddar could handle the fashion sense of elites.  My shows were back to back hits. I got standing ovations. So, in 2012, I was made member of board of directors in FPC. Few years later, I was offered the post of CEO of council but refused because I was not ready for that responsibility at that moment. The truth is that fashion world was actually a new thing for me and I was struggling to move into that culture. So, I preferred to remain in board of directors and tried to serve the council.

How did you manage the opposition of fashion fraternity especially in FPC?

In late 90s, the designers of haute couture had a different type of mind-set. Those, who had their shops or stores at Zamzama Steet were called designer. They were there with just their labels while I was running a shop at the old Saddar area, but the quality and aesthetic were same. I designed all my stuff myself and the big names of fashion world of that time asked me to design pagris for their collection. So first step was difficult but I didn’t lose hope and kept on going and now I am in a position where I can promote and multiply new talent.

Most of your ramp shows are on certain themes. Where do you get these ideas from?

To prove my unique vision of creativity, I take aesthetic and business together. What I show on ramp is to satisfy my inner starvation of artistry while my business is actually according to the needs of market. It is always a very good feeling when you are applauded and appreciated for what you show on ramp but it takes time for the general public to digest that. Moreover, 80 per cents of the audience in FPW are there for entertainment, so I always keep that factor in but my second last collection in FPW, “Har Shahkh Pe Ullo Baitha Hai” was my last Haute Couture as I feel time is changing and people love to watch what they can wear practicality. My recent collection in FPW was ‘Uraan’ means to fly, was designed to suit the need of market, in which I presented the pastel colour sherwanis with birds embroidered on them, denoting the father and son relationship. I dedicated that collection to my father, who passed away five years ago.

How was the feeling, when Prince William wore the sherwani designed by you?

Behind my mind, I always had a thought to do something for my country. With my brand flourishing, I knew that it would bring Pakistan on international fashion scene someday. That proud moment came when Prince William chose to wear our sherwani. I think that moment has also given this outfit a new recognition. I believe the whole nation must feel delighted that our traditional dresses are being known worldwide. It is the most memorable incident of my career yet but I hope in future, more wonderful moment would come. It is just a start.

How did Prince William reach you?

I keep my stuff at multi-brand store in London’s Kensington area named Onitta, famous for eastern wears. When Prince William decided to wear an eastern outfit in his Pakistani tour, his team visited the store and liked my work. They were then connected to us by store management and through the process of sharing the pictures of my designs with them, they finally chose one. Initially, Prince’s team insisted on adding some green in a blue sherwani to represent the colour of Pakistani flag but I was not satisfied with that contrast. So I designed that green sherwani and sent it to Onitta with the one they ordered. Prince’s team took both and when he wore the green one; I took a sigh of relief as I was seriously concerned that he should wear something which looks sensible and classy. It was on the name of our country especially when receiving royal guests.

What was your feeling, when your name was everywhere with the prince?

I didn’t have the slightest idea that that sherwani would get so much hype and popularity in whole world. It was discussed in the newspapers and TV shows. Moreover, I was so delighted that Prince William wore sherwani with an ease and comfort that highlighted beauty of the outfit. He carried it more beautifully then most Pakistanis. I think no one else could do justice to my sherwani as Prince William did. 

Did you receive any message or note of thanks and appreciation from them?

Yes. There was a note of thanks. They are still in touch with me. I think we should be more thankful to them that they came to our country and gave respect to us.

So, after that recognition, how much it has boasted the sale of that item?

The day when people came to know it was designed by me, I got thousands of orders for the same article from very influential and famous names in country but I put all orders on hold and launched it exclusively on 1st November this year, introducing it in five more colours.

Why have named that particular design shahwani?

I named that particular design worn by Prince William, ‘Shahwani’ instead of ‘sherwani’. Shah means the royal (prince or king) in English and because of its relevance to the crown prince of Great Britain, I gave it a name ‘Shahwani’ meaning ‘dress of prince’. At the launch, I decided to put that particular design worn by prince on dummy instead of model, as I thought if it had been worn by prince, then no one else could model it. I am blessed that I got the best model to promote this Pakistani outfit to the world.

What is more in your bag to show to the whole world?

I have a huge clientele outside Country. I have also started men’s suiting from last year, and will enter into international market by the label, Nauman Arfeen.

What would you say for the new comers want to join the field?

I have a complaint with some fashion teaching institutes who charge heavy fees from students but don’t prepare them for practical field. They give new entrants the assurance of getting a high salaried job as they passed out but reality is quite opposite. Some of my interns couldn’t sustain because if their over confidant attitude while some worked hard and today, they are working with me as full time employee.

What do you say about the fashion councils of Pakistan?

I feel that fashion councils have been de-tracked from their path. They are not playing their roles properly or effectively for the betterment of industry and people related to it. I am also a member of PFC and in its board of directors but feel sorry that we have limited us just to organizing fashion shows. In the beginning, we brought new talent on FPW platform but it could not be regularized and stopped after some years. Another is the fight of supremacy between Karachi and Lahore. I believe both should work together for the betterment of industry keeping aside their egos.

So, how it can be put on track again?

I am not satisfied with the system these fashion councils are working on and strongly believe in its revival. It is the responsibility of fashion councils to guide the working designers and new talent.

What are the secrets to be successful fashion designer?

To me a successful designer is the one, who makes a statement of his or her work. To me fashion sense is inborn and it recreates and expends with the exposure one has. I confidently claim that we are the best sherwani maker in the country. I am thankful people can recognize my work by just having a first look of it. Believe me when Prince William wore our sherwani, we didn’t need to put our hashtags in posts as people already knew it was Nauman Arfeen Sherwani. Our product itself tells its brand.

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Delay in diagnosis can result in long term disability

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An awareness seminar to highlight the importance of early diagnosis and treatment of arthritis was conducted at the Governor house Punjab, with joint collaboration of Arthritis Care Foundation and Scotmann Pharmaceuticals here in Lahore on Sunday 21 November.

The seminar was chaired by the honorable Governor of Punjab Chaudry Muhammad Sarwar, with awareness sessions conducted by chairperson Arthritis Care Foundation, Prof. Nighat Mir Ahmed, Co-chairperson Prof. Sumaira Farman Raja, and Co-chairperson and General Secretary, Prof. Muhammad Ahmed Saeed, and Dr. Saira E. A. Khan.

According to research done by the Arthritis Care Foundation with funding by World Health Organization, approximately 1 out of every 4th person is suffering from some kind of inflammatory joint disease.  If not diagnosed early, these conditions can result in long-term disability, like Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. State of the art department of Rheumatology with international standards and equipment has been initiated at the Central Park Teaching Hospital, served by highly skilled and qualified specialists and staff. Central Park Teaching Hospital also provides free treatment services for deserving patients with the support of the Arthritis Care Foundation.

 

The seminar highlighted the role of Vitamin D, diet, and exercise for healthy bones and joints, arthritis in children, young and elderly, and the common causes of back pain.

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Peng Salon celebrates Children’s Day, inviting Children Cancer patients for a Spa Day

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This Children’s Day, Peng Salon & Spa, one of the leading hair & skin clinics in Karachi came up with a thoughtful initiative for children suffering from cancer. They invited these young cancer warriors from Indus Hospital for a Spa Day at the salon to mark Children’s Day celebrations. The children were treated with professional salon & spa services for a relaxing & refreshing experience.

 

 

Kaneez Fiza & Nafisa Dawood, Incharge at the Psychosocial department at Indus Hospital, who accompanied the children stated that the children were happy and it was an amazing experience for the children as well as their team at the Peng Salon. According to Kaneez, it was the first time for the children that they had visited a salon and they loved every bit of it and were overjoyed with the experience.

These children, fighting their battle against Cancer, are dreamers – full of innocence, hope and happiness. These little angels enjoyed the services of their choice at the salon and they were all smiles with the kind of pampering they were provided with. Services such as Haircut, hair styling, manicure, pedicure, makeup etc. were provided that made their day extra special.

 

After going through months of grueling treatment, giving these brave warriors such a day was a thoughtful initiative by Peng Salon. Arranging a Spa Day on Children’s Day for these young children to give them moments of joy and happiness was a wonderful idea by the team. Their aim to make these children feel valued, loved and special while helping them make cherishing memories.

Children were overwhelmed with the services they were provided and were all smiles as they left for the hospital again. Thumbs up to Peng Salon for initiating such a thoughtful activity to celebrate Children’s Day!

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5 motivational thoughts to get you motivated by Canadian-Pakistani CEO, Muneeb Mushtaq

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Canadian Pakistani CEO and motivational speaker Muneeb Mushtaq has given us many insightful and empowering thoughts over the years on the basis of his experiences as a young and dynamic businessman. The tech tycoon has been the founder of three tech business ventures and has managed to achieve so much at such a young age. And, he has given back his learning and knowledge by motivating, educating, and mentoring people to be successful in life.

Here are some motivational thoughts by the Forbes awarded entrepreneur Muneeb Mushtaq to get you motivated and beat the Monday blues:

 

  1. Get rid of the useless and negative clutter in your life

 

Muneeb Mushtaq suggests that it is important to subtract some of the unnecessary things from life to realise how insignificant they are. He advises us to get away from the insignificant and negative clutter in order to see an immediate positive impact. Worrying about what others think of us, trying to please everyone are some of the unimportant things we need to remove as soon as possible. According to him “When you remove what’s negative, it’ll add more space for what’s POSITIVE”!

 

  1. Don’t wait, just take the first step

 

The successful entrepreneur recommends us not to wait for other people or for the perfect moment to do what you have always wanted to do. There will never be a perfect time, situation or circumstances that would make you start working on your dreams. He advises us to just take the first step and get started.

 

  1. Failure is the opportunity to start over again, more wisely

 

The dynamic businessman is also of the view that failure provides an invaluable experience that makes it more likely to get success the next time around. He explains: “Till the time you don’t give up, the failures are just learning experiences, helping you to eventually succeed.”

 

  1. Respect the competition

 

Muneeb Mushtaq also shares this motivational thought that competition should be embraced and should be used as a driving force to push you further rather than fearing it. Competition is also a validation that there is a massive market and opportunity in the space to grow further.

 

  1. Change is important

Another motivating thought from Muneeb Mushtaq is that if you want change in life, then you should also be willing to change. He says, “If you are not willing to change, don’t expect your life to either”.

Follow Muneeb Mushtaq on Instagram @MuneebMushtaq for regular motivational posts.

 

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