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Interviews: Shehryar Sumar
Most people may know him as Vaneeza Ahmed's ex fiance, but it's time to get to know this individual who is not only providing our country with a sense of tourism, but also embarking on the world of fashion with his I LOVE KHI shirts and V9 lawn brand. In a simple question and answer interview, you will get inspired by the words of this young man who has just recently moved back to Pakistan after living in New York and Argentina for many years.

How would you introduce yourself to our readers?

Shehryar Sumar, interested in low-cost, functional design and the mass market.

Tell us about your background - where you grew up, education and family.

I was born in Karachi on November 24, 1973 and did my initial years of schooling at the Karachi Grammar School till 1992. I attended Carleton College in 1996 and studied philosophy and social theory magna cum laude. I then went onto study at the University of Minnesota Law School and was on the dean's list. I gained some work experience at the Hunton and Williams law firm in New York where I worked from 1996 to 1997. Rejecting offers from law firms in New York and Frankfurt, I decided to move to Buenos Aires in 1999 where I worked for Time Out's prototype issue in Spanish and taught English at the Wall Street Institute.

Upon returning to Pakistan in October 2002, I joined Mohammad Farooq. I then moved to Lille, France and set-up a bed linen boutique FIL D'ANGE with shops in Spain, Belgium, France, Portugal, the Canary Islands and Tunisia. I continued working with Mohammad Farooq's export business, where MFTM is the largest exporter to France, not just in bed linen, but in any category.

You are currently working at Mohammad Farooq Textiles what is it that you do for them and what new projects is the company coming out with?

I returned to Karachi in October 2006. Having launched V9 LAWN PRINTS earlier in March 2006, I concentrated on the domestic market and expanded sales into HABITT and MAKRO while taking the company into nationwide exhibitions sales.

I established suma project V and came out with casaVcasa, which is fine embroidered bed linen together with V9 LAWN PRINTS and sexy MF, bridal bed linen by Mohammad Farooq.

What is the story behind the 'I LOVE KHI' t-shirts?

I LOVE KHI started with the mess on May 12, 2007 at first it was just the graffiti which I did with my chawki and my cook. Then I created the I ? KHI t-shirts, which I gave out on the streets. The I LOVE KHI tees went on sale in November 2007, initially stocked at boutiques in Zamzama, then at the malls and at hypermarkets such as MAKRO. I LOVE LHR and I LOVE ISLOO were also sold in exhibitions around the country.

What is Suma Project V all about? What prompted you to enter this field and create a company involved in various business activities?

ART communication LIVING fashion DESIGN ENTERTAINMENT social RESPONSIBILITY and public OPINION-suma project V [five percent to charity] An interest in design.

Tell us in more detail about the different aspects of your business (i.e., B A S E M E N T cafe, V9 Lawn etc.).
My brother and I established the B A S E M E N T in 2005 to have a presence in the music scene by providing a venue and ethos for like-minded people. Live acts, bands, DJ's etc. play and perform regularly. V9 LAWN PRINTS was the result of a marketing strategy: bold design, modern color mass market and desi glamour best lawn quality in the country. V9 C A S U A L S pret-a-porter featuring new designers from across the country, is a platform to expand the local fashion scene and convert fabric into ready-to-wear.

How has the experience been of having a business in Pakistan? What problems have you encountered, if any? Would you suggest running a business in Pakistan to those living abroad?
With nerve and passion, one can accomplish grand things anywhere.

What plans do you have for the future, and where would you like to see your company go in the next five years?

I LOVE KHI database, internet services, product design, publishing, guest houses, limo services, farmer's markets, parks, city guides and maps and V9-other fabrics besides lawn such as V9 LATHA etc. and ready-to-wear, to name a few projects.

Lastly, what is your message to the readers of

Forget style icons and brand names, concentrate on design not designers and remember quality and distinctiveness.

Posted on Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:44 am by Admin Sat Jul 19, 2008 7:44 am
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