Rising from rubble: Meet the inspiring Pakistani designer who overcame an earthquake

The turn of events would eventually lead her to build her own luxury bridal brand. (Photo courtesy: Rani Emaan)
Updated 12 February 2018

Rising from rubble: Meet the inspiring Pakistani designer who overcame an earthquake

LAHORE: With a life that has taken her around Pakistan, Farzeen Irtizaz of design house Rani Emaan had the upbringing of a child raised in the military due to her father's position as an officer.
“I come from Murree but grew up at the different stations (throughout the) four provinces of Pakistan,” she told Arab News. “Wherever my father was stationed, we (were there) to accompany him.”
Prior to 2005, Irtizaz found herself in the Bagh district of Kashmir due to her husband’s posting. It was there that the couple, along with their two young daughters, lived through the destruction of one of the most devastating earthquakes to hit that part of South Asia.

With a  magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter Scale and casualties that have been estimated to be close to 100,000, with similar numbers injured and catastrophic damage left in its wake, Irtizaz was forced to embrace a new life and did so with eyes newly opened.
“The quake defined the destiny of many lives and it thoroughly transformed my vision of life. For the very first time I felt being so ephemeral … here today and gone tomorrow.”
The destruction left Irtizaz with two fractured legs.
“Where (an) uncountable (number of) beings had to depart this world, I was thankfully fortunate enough to be a survivor and only suffered the fractures.
“The solid house that I passionately decorated was liquidized in fractions of seconds,” she said. “My two little girls along with my husband could not (find their way around the remains of our home). It was the soldiers around the house who (came) and pulled the whole family out from being stifled to death in debris.”
The unimaginable calamity required residents to be moved almost immediately. “After spending a disastrous morning, afternoon and evening in the vast ground that housed infinite dead bodies, army officers’ families were driven to the nearest safe place for them. For me it was Islamabad, my parental station.”
The turn of events would eventually lead her to build her own luxury bridal brand. “The stay at my parents’ place proved to be eventful as it (was the catalyst) for the establishment of Rani Emaan,” named after her first born daughter Emaan and that of her friend and partner Deeba’s, Rania.
“Rani Emaan’s first ever bridal gown was designed by me for a close family friend’s wedding while recovering in Islamabad,” she explained.
When asked if the brand itself functioned as a way of healing and rebuilding, the designer said: “Rani Emaan has always been a motivation for me. Beyond work, it supplemented my emotional strength and fortified my belief in my abilities and work ethic.”

Rani Emaan’s designs are known for their glamorous take on bridal wear without relying too heavyily on fleeting trends. There is a strong focus on elegance and keeping the cuts simple and focused on presenting the wearer in the best light. Her studios, both in Islamabad and in Washington, DC, where Deeba resides, are a mainstay stop for brides and wedding parties. When asked why she went with bridals initially, she said that designing bridals allows for her to tap into her appreciation of regal touches, throwbacks to times where royals influenced what kind of garments were worn on wedding days.
“(It is) thoroughly gratifying to have hands on experience for reincarnating (that) royal (feeling) in my work from the inception itself,” she said.

Shanina Shaik spotted on and off the runway in New York

Shanina Shaik attended the Diesel x A-Cold-Wall party during New York Fashion Week. (AFP)
Updated 11 September 2019

Shanina Shaik spotted on and off the runway in New York

DUBAI: A-Cold-Wall, founded by Virgil Abloh protégé Samuel Ross, and Diesel Red Tag unveiled their hotly-anticipated collaborative capsule collection during New York Fashion Week via an installation, which took over SoHo’s Grand Street on Sept. 10. Ahead of the big reveal, the brands celebrated the launch by hosting a glamorous dinner that was attended by a drove of celebrities, including Karrueche Tran, Kehlani, and Shanina Shaik. Nearly everyone in attendance was wearing pieces plucked from the new Diesel Red Tag x A-Cold-Wall Spring 2020 collection.

Victoria’s Secret model Shaik chose a tie-dye splattered t-shirt, which was neatly tucked into a pair of black, slim-fit jeans. Shaik, whose father is Saudi-Pakistani and whose mother is Lithuanian-Australian, accessorized the casual, laid-back look with a miniature leather handbag and a pair of black, pointed-toe pumps. With her black hair pulled back into a sleek, low-hanging ponytail, Shaik exuded effortless cool.  


The NEW @diesel X @acoldwall collection out now @for.successful.living #diesel

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The 28-year-old has been keeping quite busy this NYFW. Following the dinner, Shaik attended Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Spring 2020 show on Tuesday. Additionally, she’s been spotted at shows by Tommy Hilfiger, Carolina Herrera, PrettyLittleThing x Saweetie and the Harper’s Bazaar Icons party. And when she’s not turning heads on the front row, she’s stealing the scene on the runway, including at LaQuan Smith’s Spring 2020 showcase earlier this week.   

Indeed, it appears that the model hasn’t let her recent divorce slow her down. News of her split from longtime beau Greg “DJ Ruckus” Andrews took the internet by storm when It was first announced in June. The model filed the paperwork in the Los Angeles County Court in July, citing irreconcilable differences, according to TMZ.


PLT tonight @prettylittlething

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News of their split came as a shock to fans as, earlier this year, Shaik spoke to British model Rosie Huntington-Whitely about starting a family.

“Personally, I’m thinking about a family and when to settle down and have all that as well,” she told the website Rose Inc. “But there are so many things on my dream board that I need to tick off and want to do, and hopefully I’ll do some more movies as well. If I can do all of that, I’ll be very happy,” she added.

The model married Andrews on musician Lenny Kravitz’s private island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas in May 2018.