Yahya Parveze Rana talks to Fashion Central

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1. Kindly take us through your professional career and where you stand today?

After completion of MBA from Lahore, I was keen to be into the corporate and the advertising/media industry. I was hired by one of the ISP’s in Lahore in 2002 and they planned to start their online fashion magazine named as ElleNouvelle. I worked hard for this magazine and it was a great success at the end and dramatically I was very much smoothly in the fashion industry. Though I believe that entering this industry is one of the most difficult things, but it was my luck to enter appropriately very well. Starting my career in the fashion industry with this magazine, Alhamdolillah now I am an established Fashion Media Consultant with good contacts all around the country and internationally.

2. As a founder of PFDC do you feel that PFDC has reached a stage of development about which you feel satisfied? And do you feel they have missed out on certain things?

Well actually, what I think is that PFDC is still missing out on many things and haven’t really reached that hallmark which they should have attained in the past 4 years or so since its birth. PFDC right now is not running as a single fashion body in Pakistan and the Karachites and the Lahoris always follow different paths, resulting in different bodies for each city.

One must acknowledge that PFDC is the real concel, registered and based in Lahore. In my view point they need to work a lot strictly on a few matters like the registration of designers with them with certain pre-requisites like having minimum experience of 6 years with a fashion degree and especially keeping in mind that PFDC is the spinal cord of fashion in our country, promoting the Pakistani fashion internationally.

3. The business you are in is full of challenges, and it would be interesting to know how you have been able to cope with them?

Well, yes. This industry is extremely challenging and most of the times you feel like to get out of it forever. But once you are very much established in it and have got a name, you can succeed by proper strategizing.

4. You had a chance to work with some big names like Nilofer Shahid, Mehdi, Maheen Khan, Deepak Perwani, Ritu Kumar and Tariq Amin. Whereas this sounds great kindly tell us your contribution towards their progress? Do any of them still want you back?

I have worked permanently with Nilofer Shahid and the rest of the names you have mentioned, I have worked for them on project basis or as a freelancer. I am not sure whether Nilofer wants me back or not because we haven’t talked on this issue, since I left her.

5. You have had exposure to doing shows all over the world; tell us where and some details of the prominent ones?

Alhamdolillah, yes I have worked all around the world as far as fashion shows are concerned. Pakistan obviously, India, The Emirates, UK, France, Italy, Greece, Oman etc. The best events I have done and enjoyed working include Nilofer Shahid, Kahllil Gibran’s Collection launch at Jumeriah Bab Al Sham Resort Dubai in 2006, a series of fashion shows for a new Pakistani designer Sara Hashmi who has now shifted to USA; in Athens, Rome and Paris, another show for an Omani designer Hala Ramzi in Doha and then lastly the Pakistan International Footwear Show 2009 in Lahore.

6. Your association with Style360 was it a useful experience and why did you leave them and also do you regret not having continued with them?

Yeah I do regret leaving them because now they are really huge. The reason to leave was personal. Yes of course it was a very useful experience. Because of it I came into the fashion television production and did a number of programs on a number of occasions, covering a number of events and shows, as well.

7. A special feature evident from your profile is that you joined Nawai Mamlekat- Peoples World as ‘Group Production Manager’ in the year 1996; that makes you 15 years old at that time, which makes it a little amazing and you deserve to be complimented?

Lolz… well whatever it is, this is very much true. My father actually is one of the senior most journalist administrators of Pakistan and still runs his own 2 monthlies, which are actually views papers and not newspaper, distributed amongst the elite including, politicians, bureaucrats etc. Yes I joined working for these publications at that time, and was officially put on position of Group Production Manager, by the Directorate General of Public Relations, Government of Pakistan, as I already had considerable know-how of the print media and all, though I was very young.

8. In your, a decade plus career, you have work for about 8 employers, which does raise a few questions. Why did you change so frequently?

The major reasons for this were personal but yes at some avenues, salaries were not paid in time, compelling one to think of other options.

9. Any special successes in your career? And what are your plans for the next 5 years?

Yes of course, I feel and really have achieved a hallmark in this young age to have gone that far successfully and in the next 5 years I plan to promote the Pakistani fashion all around the world, all based on my personal efforts. And that I have already started.

10. By virtue of interaction with the outside world, what has been done to promote Pakistan’s image?

Honestly to tell you, I don’t want to name anyone or any organization, but not enough; only the designers personal efforts are taking us forward.

11. Your family life, has it been affected by business demands on your time?

Not really, I am comfortable and get all the needed support.

12. Along the way, have you been successful in developing a team?

Yes, Alhamdolillah, I have my people all around the world who work for me anytime whenever required. Of course I pay them for their certain jobs they do for me from time to time.

13. Where do the ideas flow from; self thinking or watching competitors and tracking their creations?

Initially you need exposure and a strong know-how of whatever you re going to do. Inspiration is one of the major most things that bring creativity and innovation. Some people copy things and change them slightly and call it a creation, but that is totally cheating. Creation is something you get it out of your mind, or what you call it ‘self creation’ or getting inspiration from something and implementing it some other way. And yes, reading your competitor’s mind is really important to be successful.

14. Any message for the new entrants in this field?

For the new entrance, whether they belong to the media or are designers, I just want to suggest one thing which is really important, just come up with extra ordinary and innovative ideas, use your mind a bit, do something different and see how far your efforts will take you. And just never ever copy anything.

I feel and really have achieved a hallmark in this young age to have gone that far successfully and in the next 5 years I plan to promote the Pakistani fashion all around the world, all based on my personal efforts.

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