Mairaj Khalid an aspiring fashion designer is full of life and style. He has put in the best of his personality to his designs and amid stressful competitions in the Pakistan fashion industry, he is creating his mark. He experiments with different and difficult genres of designs with an aim to innovate fashion horizons in local industry is remarkable and energizing. Let us have a detailed discussion with this young addition among our fashion geniuses.

  1. Share with our readers your best childhood memory?

hahaha... I had a naughty childhood. I used to keep an empty syringe filled with blue ink in my school bag. Once I got the opportunity to put to use it, as I was passing through a wedding ceremony and I poured it on the wedding attendees and ran off the place. They somehow traced my home and got hold of me. They complained to my father and I got punished in front of them. This however, taught me a lot but I still enjoy that incident.

  1. When did you start designing clothes? And who did you design first for?

I started designing garments for my family at a very young age. I remember I designed first outfit for my mother, she loved it and every one appreciated her and my design. That appreciation encouraged me further to enter into this field.

  1. How were you as a student? Did you receive fashion design education?

I was an average student and did my graduation from Hajvery University. I don’t have any formal fashion training but I am God gifted in designing clothes.

  1. Is there any particular era that you try to reflect through your designs? Reason?

Well! Recently I actually have launched my debut collection "Rubáiyát Collection" including diverse varieties of traditional fashion silhouettes from different parts of Pakistan. A diverse variety of couture dresses, stitched and unstitched dresses and materials carrying the traditional craftsmanship ranging from banarsi, embroidered kurtis and shirts, sensational silks and jamawars, parsi antique, gara, embroidery, tanchoi, hand crafted net couture gown’s along with matching kundan sets and clutches remained a centre attraction for the visitors. I am about to launch my "Siyah Collection" which is basically a revolt against the slick fashions of the 1970s disco era and a protest against the colourful pastels and extravagance of the 1980s which is supported by Gothic theme.

  1. What kind of twists you try to bring in your vogue collections?

A strong substrate indigenous handwriting.

  1. What’s the future of gothic style of dressing in Pakistan?

My "Siyah Collection" completely supports gothic theme, hope folks would find it irresistible and I believe that everything makes its own future especially in Pakistan, the same will happen to gothic style.

  1. Which international and national designer’s work inspires you?

Jean Paul Gaultier and Nilofer Shahid.

  1. In which genre of design are you planning to work in the coming years?

Well! I'm studying the history of Mohen Jo Daro & Harappa. 1st time I am going to introduce a "Nipolian" cut in fashion industry.

  1. Have you ever modeled for your own collection?

Not yet, but I'll see if I can play a mesmerizing character in my collection then definitely I'll do that.

  1. Where do you get your inspiration from while designing an article or a collection?

My mother and everyday life is my inspiration.

  1. How do you define yourself as a person and as a stylist?

I'm simple and straightforward person and as a stylist I have always believed in the motto "fake it till you make it", don't say "I want to be..."

  1. What made you want to become a stylist? What path did you take to become a fashion stylist?

My mother was an exceptional seamstress. I guess you can say I grew up around fabric. My career began innately. I design for girls of all ages and classes. I style for the woman of east and for the woman of west. I began testing with photographers and fashion designers, making the right contacts and the rest is history. My career so far has been a journey of travelling and learning.

  1. What is the importance of style in a person’s life?

Styling is something spiritual, it comes from within a person, season, and trends that I am feeling will make him/her standout.

  1. Does your styling for fashion shoot ever inspired your personal style?

Sometimes it does. There are looks I put together that I think, "Hey I really love this for myself". Also, when I am shopping or pulling for a client I like to hold the pieces up in front of a mirror, or even try them on to get a feel for it. Many things can look awful on a hanger and fabulous on the body.

  1. What is your favourite item that you own and why?

It depends on what I own at the time. By the way, I don't show favoritism, I love all my items equally.

  1. If you could style anyone in the world, anywhere in the world, who would you choose, what place would you choose and why?

Meryem Uzerli (Hurrem Sultan) in Cape Town, South Africa, ‘The Mother City’ because The mountains of the Cape Peninsula are made of a hard stone found nowhere else on earth and often form sheer cliffs that fall into the cold sapphire colored waters of the Atlantic on the city’s west, and the warm jade colored waters of the Indian on the city’s east. Iconic landscapes include Cape Point where the oceans meet, the Twelve Apostles, and the vividly colored cliffs of Chapman’s Peak Drive which has been called ‘The World’s Most Beautiful Coastal Drive’.

  1. Do you have any favourite celebrities in Pakistan whom you would love to style?

Mahira Khan and Fawad Afzal Khan

  1. What goals and challenges do you have as a stylist? What do you want to achieve?

It's amazing how easy it was to second guess myself when I was young. Now I stand by my ideas. I obsess over aesthetics and culture, so am confident enough in my research to argue my viewpoint. There is no such shaping purpose in my career until currently; as a result of it I feel it's simply a starting. I am not tempted by money and fame. I just enjoy when people wear and celebrate my clothes.

  1. What has been the most memorable moment for you as a fashion stylist?

haha... well! I can't share at the moment.

  1. We know fashion industry can be uber stressful, where do you go to unwind in the city?

I take a break from work and distance myself from the daily stresses. I take to roads and enjoy simple drinks, laughs with my friends.

  1. What’s your favourite cuisine and place to dine in?

I am a Thai food lover, and I prefer dinning in at "La Table de Tee" in Bangkok.

  1. What is the significance of fashion shows?

Fashion shows have great significance in our industry. They are vital and have great impact for noted and newcomers designers to indicate their creative work.

  1. Is there any particular advice that has shaped up your life?

One of my teachers during my graduation days said, “Mairaj I see a brilliant model and an exceptional fashion designer emerging out of you.” From that day till now I am blessed.

  1. Any message for your fans and readers?

Work and work hard – never give up! Sooner or later success will come to you. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and always push yourself outside your comfort zone. Also, get some work experience by working with established artists – it’s ok to start from the bottom and work your way up. Live your own and always prepared for tomorrow. Buckle up! It’s a jolty ride!