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The Secret Word: Khadijah Shah Presents Zaha!
The Secret Word

The Secret Word: Khadijah Shah Presents Zaha!

The Pakistani fashion industry continues to develop with each passing year. New designers and new brands are introduced, and everywhere we look, there’s something new that’s always catching the wandering eye. Fashion has encouraged progression and nurtured aspiring designers into what they are now. Brands such as Elan are synonymous with feminine grace and opulent elegance. The captain who has been responsible for steering Elan in the right direction is none other than Khadijah Shah. A woman who is greatly appreciated all over for her loyal dedication and creative genius towards her brand. Khadijah has always been full of surprises, from bringing Elan to where it is now, to opening Pakistan’s first Maison in Karachi, to now launching her second clothing brand, Zaha. A brand created for the girl who wants to be a head turner. A range of clothes for not just the fashionistas and socialites, but for those who are out there everyday trying to change their pieces of the world. We are fortunate to have spoken with Khadijah about what the brand represents and what she hopes will come from this new chapter in her designing career. Scroll down to check out our full interview with the fashion maven herself!


1. What inspired you to start a second brand? 
I felt there was a vacuum in the high street market for clothes that were both affordable yet desirable and fashion forward at the same time. Zaha is meant to fill that gap and set a new standard. Its high fashion for the highstreet and therefore totally unique in its orientation.
2. You’re known for being a designer who prides herself on developing unique aesthetics – what brand aesthetic does Zaha possess? 
The Zaha aesthetic is chic, vibrant and fun. I hope to marry current trends with age old favorites and develop lines that whilst complementing a wide range of clientele don’t look jaded or forgettable.


3. How did it feel when you first started Elan? Are you anticipating any of the same challenges with Zaha?
The fashion industry was in its infancy when I started Elan. You had to make up the rules as you went along. With Zaha we are entering a market that already has many players and that of course has its own challenges. However I believe Zaha has something that no one else can offer and that is an emphasis on design and quality based on our time tested Elan experience. Zaha like Elan will become an industry leader.
4. What is the market you’re hoping Zaha will attract? 
We want to attract the fashion forward woman who wants affordable everyday clothes but doesn’t want to compromise on design and quality. She may be an entrepreneur, a student, doctor, teacher, pharmacist or an activist; Zaha will cut across the professional divide and create a feel good factor with wide ranging appeal.


5. You’re a woman who continues to surprise everyone by creating new levels, are there more ventures we can expect from you? 
At the moment I’m focused on the various lines under Elan and the launch of Zaha but one can never rule out anything . My vision and aesthetic have never been static so I will always be thinking of the next project I can add to my repertoire.
6. What does the Zaha woman represent?
The Zaha woman is strong and independent and above all a head turner. She can slip from morning to evening with effortless panache and confidence wearing her Zaha attire in a blink of an eyelid.


7. How did you come up with the name Zaha?
I am deeply vested in the brand and I wanted every aspect to have meaning and a personal relevance. Zaha is a combination of the names of my two sons Zaydakbar and Hakkan and I have also named my newborn daughter, Taalia Zaha. The word ‘Zaha’ itself stems from Arabic origins and means ‘to blossom’ which is how I envision the future of Zaha as well as the lovely women who will wear it.



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