We have been fascinated by getting introduced to a fashion style that is easy, classy, and makes every person look gorgeous. It is the Kaftan, yes! With comfort and ease reigning supreme, the demand and popularity of kaftans have definitely taken a plunge. The lightweight breathable fabrics, asymmetrical silhouettes, playful patterns and soothing motifs - kaftans have now become a wardrobe staple! The kaftan stands out and is versatile. We are loving this trend and we surely want to try out these kaftans at weddings, parties, and dinners. Wearing this classy attire makes every individual a fashionista. Right on cue, many fashion brands and labels have been brought out, one of them being Arizai by Atiya Khan, former super model and a known media personality. Launched in 2022, according to the designer, Arizai is a perfect blend of fashion and spirituality. All the garments are embellished with a sacred symbol intricately hand-embroidered. The designs are soulful and ethereal. Using only the finest artisan loomed natural fabrics in cotton, linen and silk, the clothes are breathable and very comfortable to wear - featuring cuts and designs that are simple and timeless.
This week You! is in conversation with the creative head of Arizai, Atiya Khan, one of the finest kaftan brands in Pakistan…
You! How would you define yourself?
Atiya Khan: I guess, I am someone who is constantly evolving and refuses to follow norms.
You! Where do you look for creative inspiration?
AK: In spirituality, sacred symbols and nature.
You! Can you tell us about the idea behind your brand?
AK: My brand is about elevating clothes into amulets of power, protection and healing.
You! What was the inspiration behind the collection?
AK: The inspiration is, ‘reimagining ourselves as divine beings’.
You! How do you walk the line between being unique and having commercial appeal?
AK: I am not catering to a mass market so, not aiming for commercial appeal. I have an exclusive clientele that understands the philosophy of the brand.
You! You’re both the creative and the business head of your company. How do you balance your time between the two?
AK: I am a creative person so it flows seamlessly from concept to production to marketing. It’s a cohesive process.
You! How would you define fashion?
AK: I gravitate more and more towards how the clothes make you feel. To me, looking good has everything to do with feeling good.
You! What is your design philosophy?
AK: Less is more.
You! What type of women do you cater to?
AK: Empowered women in touch with their inner divinity, who understand and live spiritually conscious lives.
You! What was the first outfit that you designed?
AK: For me, it started with being inspired by sacred symbols and using hand embroidery to use them as embellishment on very simple and clean designs.
You! Where did the idea for designing Kaftans come from?
AK: I love wearing kaftans. The freedom, flow and simplicity appealed to me.
You! What makes the Kaftan standout from other outfits?
AK: It’s a no fuss, easy go-to outfit that looks super feminine and graceful.
You! What is your signature embellishment and fabric choice?
AK: I have been studying the frequency of fabric and only use Linen and 100 per cent cotton. Linen raises our frequency and pure cotton matches our frequency, all other fabrics lower our frequency. The embellishment is hand embroidered sacred symbols.
You! What seasonal looks and colours are you expecting this summer?
AK: I work mostly with shades of black, white and oatmeal, but slowly introducing colour.
You! How would you define your own sense of style?
AK: My brand reflects my style philosophy – simple and flowy.
You! Fashion just as everything else is about learning and growing, what are the two key lessons you always bank on?
AK: Quality and attention to details is a must and it’s not about selling clothes, it’s about establishing a brand.
You! What are the difficulties faced by designers in getting their work done?
AK: Business is a challenging industry - from low productivity to many holidays rising costs to banking issues to accepting online payments to global outreach, everything is an issue. On the plus side, we have good fabric and great artisans.
You! How long does it usually take for you to design an outfit?
AK: I design collections and it’s an evolving process.
You! What are you currently working on?
AK: I am working on introducing more variety and colours in my new collection.
You! What advice do you give to young designers?
AK: Have a unique vision and come up with something different.
You! What kind of future plans do you foresee for your brand?
AK: I want to see Arizai as a global brand.
How old you were when you started wearing makeup?
What is one cosmetic you cannot do without?
When stepping out, do you wear makeup all the time?
No, just occasionally.
When it comes to cosmetics, which brand do you usually use?
What’s in your beauty bag?
Eyebrow pencil, compact powder and lipstick.
Your go-to lipstick:
Can’t name one.
Your favourite local stylist or beautician:
Tariq Amin and Rukaiya Adamjee.
Your favourite beauty hack:
Coconut oil and baking soda.
Are you fond of using too much makeup or you prefer a good skin with minimal amount of makeup?
Where do you go for your makeup shopping?
What is beauty to you?