You are an industry veteran; a fashion designer as well as a costume designer. For someone who’s spent years in this industry, in what ways have you seen it developing, progressing or even staggering? Fashion in Pakistan is like a grape vine. The vines have spread quickly and very fast during the last 35 years. I see a vibrant industry that will go from strength to strength if given the right direction and proper mentoring. Tell us about your journey. How did you get involved in this profession?I grew up in a family of stylish and accomplished women so it’s no wonder that the seed was sown in me. It was up to me then to nurture that plant to become the tree that I live by and lean on. Fashion has been my life and will continue to do so. Tell us about the very first design that you created and your most recent one. How are they different in your eye?My very first ensemble was in sift, nude silk; a wide palazzo with a short empire line top. It had a scoop neckline and a little beading which I had done myself. Your work takes you all over the world. Which place is your favourite vacation spot?Honestly?I am happiest at home. “Fashion in Pakistan is like grape vine. The vines have spread quickly and very fast” You introduced the popular and trendy prêt brand Gulabo. How did the name come about? I wanted something very Pakistani so I asked all my workers to suggest three names. We took a vote and Gulabo was born! You have done many international shows. Which has been the most memorable and why? Milan Fashion Week definitely! Showing alongside the fashion greats was momentous. The Italian press dubbed me as the Coco Chanel of Pakistan. “Showing alongside the fashion greats was momentous. The Italian press dubbed me as the Coco Chanel of Pakistan” How did you bag the designing for ‘Snow White & The Huntsman’? Tell us about that experience. I set up an embroidery house with Diane Holmes in 1998. We have worked on many projects including ‘Snow White’ and ‘Cinderella’. What according to you has been your biggest achievement till date? My two children who are everything a mother would dream of! What is your vision for Pakistan? What does it mean to be Pakistani for you? Pakistan is a truly great country. I would not live anywhere else. I used to pray for Pakistan to be what it was in the ’50s and ’60s… But I realise there is no going back. We have to move onward and upward. The country continues to face challenging problems, including overpopulation, terrorism, poverty and illiteracy. We at Daily Times, consider you one of our national heroes. Who are some of yours? Maulana Edhi who stands in a place which is his alone! The people of my beloved country who sacrifice their lives and their loved ones , who suffer unimaginable pain and poverty, who are daily forgotten by the country and the institution and still stand up to say “Pakistan Zindabad”! Achievements An Industry PioneerFashion and costume designer Maheen Khan is one of the pioneers of the Pakistani fashion industry. She started her career as a designer in 1972 when the market was still young. Raking In The AwardsMaheen Khan has been recognised both nationally and internationally for her work. She has bagged several prestigious awards like the Lux Style Awards for Best Designer, Style Icon Award, the Benazir Women Excellence Award for Best Women’s Wear Designer, the Women Achiever’s Award, the Ladies Fund Women Entrepreneurship Award as well as the Fashion Pakistan Award for Best Designer. Khan is the proud recipient of the Silver Shield from the government of Pakistan in recognition for her tireless efforts to establish a fashion industry in the country. Multiple Fashion LabelsKhan is a multitasker and has managed multiple renowned fashion labels like The Embroidery House, Maheen and Gulabo. International StarKhan has showcased both in her home country and abroad as well, numerous of time on prestigious platforms. Maheen has designed many costumes and embroidery for Hollywood films like ‘Snow White & The Hunstman.’ Khan also showcased her collection at the Milan Fashion Week where she got the title of Coco Chanel of the East. High-Profile ClienteleKhan has a very high-profile clientele, that has included Benazir Bhutto, Jemima Khan, Ghinwa Bhutto, Princess Sarvath al-Hassan and Princess Salimah Aga Khan. A proud moment for her was being commissioned by Harrods to make a replica of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth’s coronation dress for the 60th anniversary celebrations.