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Khawar Riaz: The Fashion Icon of Pakistan

Khawar Riaz, an icon of fashion world, who has introduced and groomed many models from ordinary background and turned them into celebrities. He is a stylist and a photographer and is called “A wizard with a camera.”

Khawar has opened “Ocular” the first ever registered modeling agency of Pakistan. He has received many awards for his efforts but according to him, “The satisfaction he gets from his work is more rewarding than any award.” Khawar riaz has also contributed to film industry, some of his contributions are Waar (2013), Heart Talks (2000) and Tere Pyaar Mein (200 0)

On being asked what would he say about the invasion of Hindu culture in Pakistan, he cross questioned that what do I thought Muslim culture was? Do you want our models to wear hijaab in fashion shows? He continued saying that a fashion designer presents his vision in his work, it’s like a painting that is in his mind and he portrays everything he wants to but it doesn’t mean they take it towards vulgarity.

I agree there are some limits but we cannot mix this fashion thing with the religion. Religion teaches you ethics, we cannot combine religion with culture. It depends on your mentality, if you think positive backless girls would not bother you otherwise even covered ones will be naked for you.

According to him, It is our media that opens up everything to outer world, the countries which glamorize everything and hide their mishaps are the ones where if a girl is out at 9 pm, she is being raped. Pakistan is a safe country as compared to other countries. So if you want to adapt any profession you have to choose to be a human rather than being a girl or a boy. Mishap can happen with both a boy or a girl, all we need is to trust Allah Almighty and have courage.

“A mature person knows when and where to stop”, said Khawar Riaz while introducing his profession. He further told that we lived with Hindus for more than hundred years, of course there will be some of their traits that we have adopted.

When I asked him about his academic background, he said “Academically I am not that impressive because I was not that keen to go to school, it was like a jail for me, I always waited for the bell to ring”. However, after failing more than once in FSc he decided that it is the right time to discover himself. He lived in a century where everyone considered doctors and engineers to be paths of success, he decided to be a diamond. He is much satisfied with that decision and now everyone appreciates and praises him, so his education didn’t give him what his skills gave him.

“I discover diamonds from ordinary people, their skills, talent, traits and abilities. I try to find the internal talent from ordinary people and polish them” he said while talking about his abilities. On being asked about the start of fashion industry he said that it wasn’t his thing, he wanted to search for new faces, he loved beauty and got this from his mother. To reach this goal; beautiful faces, he took support of a channel called Camera and by this he picked up another one called Fashion Photography and became a fashion photographer. He said, “I am more of a stylist than a photographer or a makeup artist”

I asked him about this profession for girls. He said, girls should adapt any profession. One should be a human rather than being a feminine or masculine. According to him, Pakistan is the safest country as compared to other countries. It is only our media that is crazy. It does not matter if there is some news or not, all they do is a chorus, basically more than news, they create sensation.

When I asked what does a producer needs to run his show he said, “a producer needs a vision to show how he wants to portray things and how he wants to execute them, success depends on his vision. If you have no vision, it’s like you are running nowhere”.

Today most people do not consider censorship as their medium, what would you say about it?

Fashion is very serious business. It connects you globally with the world. The problem with our fashion shows is that we have considered them a source of entertainment. Anyone can come to flirt with girls and take selfies. It’s more like a “Meena Bazar” for them. We need to invite buyers, critics, magazine editors, and talents from around the world for the sake of promotion of the new talent and our business.

He continued, there is no such criteria for a model here, anyone, even a 2 feet duck can be a model these days and then they present girls like “Devdas’s sluts”. They have to promote the dresses not the girls as how they walk around and expose themselves, u know, this is a sin!

When asked about how males models are made to wear feminist outputs in various shows he said, “It is about those who have a gay hidden in themselves so they will portray a picture of a gay. If you talk about a show in which men wore Sarree’s so there was a time in Hindu Sanskrit when Brahmans used to wear feminist stuff but in a very masculine way. However, some of our fashion designers don’t know how to portray it without knowing exactly about the history.”

“You can be anything if you have such approach towards that profession”, he said on being asked about the people who do not have background in mass media. He further said that all you need is some talent, if you have that talent in yourself you can be anything anywhere, even a journalist, if one is capable to do research and provide people with the best of news he has.

I have always tried to pace with time because I want new people to understand my work as futuristic. If you want to be successful in the market, you have to think 10 years ahead of them otherwise you will lag behind, he said. Social media has now made things so easy that anybody can be famous these days. However, it has a disadvantage as well, as teenagers are being destroyed by these “Androids” . It has made people shameless and it has broken our family system.

Coming towards social media’s benefits, if it is used in a good way you can earn from it by sitting at home just shipping your stuff and get paid. Being a fashion stylist I will admit that in earlier era you had to be in a magazine to be famous but now through social media you can earn a name worldwide.

There is some stuff that is not published but through social media it it being promoted and everyone gets to know about it that I am still here and I am still surviving. Social media is important and it has started a biggest competition which has reduced original artists. You can be famous overnight by getting hype from social media but it cannot give you work, you need some talent for it.

Coming to the biggest news, when I asked him about the new face “Arshad Khan (Chai wala)” he simply stated that it was the conspiracy of agencies. In those days there was a clash between India and Pakistan so to calm things down they popped a new thing in the market. You can understand it if you look into all this a way more deeper because in our society, we start going in the direction everyone’s going without using our brains. You see, it sent every issue like Imran Khan’s protest and a huge blast in Baluchistan behind shadows and all we heared was “Arshad Khan chai wala”, everywhere. There are many people more handsome and attractive than Arshad Khan. Famous designers are not approaching him, he said, it is media that created the hype just like “Justin Bebies”.  They are not found anywhere anymore.

You don’t know which channel is working for whom. So to divert peoples mind, they can create any kind of news and we Pakistanis only need a trending news to follow like black shepherds. Nowadays, news are being made and not delivered. Journalists nowadays are expert in making news. Due to such news foreigners think that Pakistan is a desert where women wear “Topi walay Burqay” and all that can be heard is gunshots every where.

I asked, there are times when one fails completely and cannot overcome that failure, how do you tackle your failure? “I am a big manipulator”, he said. “When you come to know how is it played you get everything around. I am a very good coordinator, I can develop things well and I have my own fashion sense which I use everywhere from interior designing to cooking and from hair styling to makeup. I have learned everything from my failures rather than from my books.”

There was a time when I failed completely, and to hide that I started telling lies, I used to hide from people. One of my friends developed carelessness in me. He taught me to love myself.  He said if someone leaves you for what you have, let them go. When I developed this in myself, I stopped telling lies and started accepting this fact in TV shows that I failed, I used to draw beautiful portrays of women in my paper either in physics or in mathematics.

When asked how do you cope up with Negative comments about your profession he said, we need to switch off our minds. We cannot explain anything to those who do not understand us. All you need is to work, work and work and deliver your inner talent. I never wanted to impress people, I wanted to explore myself. When I got out to explore myself, a big house or expensive car weren’t my goals. I still roam around in sleepers, I get up, fetch my bag, take a flight and move to Europe just like I am.


Finally for the newcomers he stated that, “I always urge to find new talent and new faces. If someone wants to contact us we are always available on Facebook, mails and almost every social site. If someone tries to explore himself and thinks that he can be something. He should come to me. I am there to polish the diamond out of him/her.”

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