In the PM’s dressing room: Meet the man making couture suiting for Imran Khan

In this undated photo, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan poses for a New York Times photo shoot wearing a traditional shalwar kameez suit with a waistcoat. (New York Times photo)
Updated 16 May 2019

In the PM’s dressing room: Meet the man making couture suiting for Imran Khan

  • Islamabad-based brand Mohtaram stitched seven shalwar kameez suits for Imran Khan last month
  • “This is as high as it gets,” said Fahad Saif, the founder and CEO of the luxury brand

ISLAMABAD: When Fahad Saif quit his corporate job in 2016 to start a bespoke suiting business in Islamabad, he never thought he would be designing clothes for the highest office in the land.

About a month ago, a member of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party and a longtime client of Saif’s said he would put in a good word about the brand with Prime Minister Imran Khan. A week later, Saif got his first order to make seven shalwar kameez for the premier.

“This is as high as it gets,” Saif, 34, the founder and CEO of luxury clothing brand Mohtaram, told Arab News on Tuesday.

“We just happened to have a few very close clients from the (ruling) political party and they just naturally recommended us to Prime Minister (Imran Khan),” Saif added. “It felt surreal receiving Mr. Khan’s order.”

“It happened so fast that we really didn’t have the time to absorb the entire thing,” the entrepreneur said smilingly when asked about his experience of dressing the prime minister. “Actually I’ll give a lot of credit to him [Khan] and his team that they made it very effortless for us.”

Saif initially started his business by making bespoke shirts and has now moved on to suits, shalwar kameez, waistcoats and even sherwanis, which he is currently designing for PM Khan.

The company’s official tagline is “Made Proudly in Pakistan,” and the concept behind Mohtaram, which means ‘gentleman’ in Urdu, is to combine history, culture and the modern aesthetic to produce clothes for the perfect Pakistani gentleman.

“To be able to deliver our manifesto ‘Made Proudly in Pakistan’ to the highest office was more fulfilling than any other campaign we aspired to work on," Saif posted on his company’s Instagram page.

He says he was thrilled to see Khan wearing one of Mohtaram’s designs during a parliamentary session earlier this week though Arab News could not immediately verify that it was one of Saif’s creations.

“I observed that it seemed like one of our cuts and one of our patterns,” Saif said. “We have a few signature parts to our designs that at least we can now recognize.”

Khan’s measurements for the first order were delivered to Mohtaram but Saif hopes he will get to meet the prime minister personally to take his next order and also speak to him about more government support for startups that Saif said had the potential to contribute to Pakistan’s ailing economy.

“I would probably want to talk [to the PM] about how startups like ours can contribute to the development of the overall economy,” Saif said.

Mehwish Hayat to run UK marathon for schools in Pakistan's Sukkur

Updated 21 August 2019

Mehwish Hayat to run UK marathon for schools in Pakistan's Sukkur

  • As a brand ambassador for Penny Appeal, Hayat hopes to raise funds for the rehabilitation of educational institutions in the area
  • She will be running 26.2 miles in the London Marathon in April next year

ISLAMABAD: One of Pakistan’s favorite actors, Mehwish Hayat, will be participating in the London Marathon to raise funds for impoverished schools in the Sukkur region of the Sindh province.
Hayat made the announcement in a Twitter post which she shared a few days ago along with a video clip of her interview with the BBC network, explaining her new role with the UK charity group, Penny Appeal, and her goal to raise funds for schools in Pakistan. 
The actress has been in the news of late for sharing her thoughts on the negative portrayal of Pakistan by global film industries, including Bollywood.
It follows an exchange of views between Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and a Pakistani American citizen, Ayesha Malik, at a recent event, the video of which has now gone viral.
Hayat is a recipient of Pakistan’s Sitara-I-Imtiaz – a civilian award which recognizes Pakistanis who have excelled in their respective fields – and was honored with the pride of performance award in Norway a few weeks ago.
As a brand ambassador for Penny Appeal, she will be using her new role to help rebuild five schools for 900 children.
Penny Appeal, which is an Islamic Charity group, is functional in more than 30 countries and provides aid to people in war-torn and impoverished circumstances. Hayat will be collaborating with them for the “Run for Pakistan” initiative, with the website accepting donations for the cause now.