Diamond rush

Published: January 22, 2011

Designer Bushra Aftab says she is inspired by what is around her. This pair of earrings was inspired by a waterfall. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL/ EXPRESS

Designer Bushra Aftab says she is inspired by what is around her. This pair of earrings was inspired by a waterfall. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL/ EXPRESS Designer Bushra Aftab says she is inspired by what is around her. This pair of earrings was inspired by a waterfall. PHOTO: NEFER SEHGAL/ EXPRESS

KARACHI: Amongst a handful of socialites and celebrities such as designers Nazneen Tariq and Umer Sayeed, TV show host Mishi Khan and models Tooba Siddiqui and Mehreen Syed, jewellery designer Bushra Aftab unveiled her collection consisting of fine diamond jewellery and kundan polki at Grandeur on Friday evening.

Intricate and beautiful, the designs were simple and elegant, they were classic pieces that appeal to almost everyone.

Aftab has been in the business for the past 15 years, primarily working from home and holding private exhibitions. Jewellery is her “passion” and she chose to expand recently by launching her flagship store in Lahore in November 2010.

Speaking to The Express Tribune, Aftab said, “I find inspiration in everything. I once designed a necklace inspired from candle wax that burnt and fell to the ground, another time a waterfall became my inspiration for a set of ruby and diamonds earrings.”

Aftab feels her work “stands apart in quality, material and substance.” her reasons being high quality manufacturing, “I keep minimal profit margins but refuse to compromise on the quality of the product.”

Aftab is a specialist in kundun polki sets and about five years ago she ventured into diamond jewellery.  “Traditional pieces remain invariably in fashion. All the brides (in Pakistan) wish to wear kundun polki on their weddings whereas diamonds are selected for the valima.”

The designer believes that, “The bridal collection remains the demand of the time. More and more brides come for polki and diamond sets now and they are looking for significance and style!”

Aftab does not experiment with many stones, “To me sapphires, emeralds and rubies compliment diamonds like no other stone can. So I primarily only use these stones for my collections.”

Aftab’s son Waqas Aftab is the Executive Manager of the brand, he said, “For the past seven months we have been re-branding the brand. We wanted to come to Karachi to create brand awareness and once we get a nod from Karachi then we move ahead.” Bushra Aftab added, “Karachi is a place where people have understanding and appreciation of jewellery design.”

The brand intends to hold an exhibition in St Louis in America next month and possibly even move onto Washington DC and Dallas. Designer Umer Sayeed was spotted in the crowd buying a set of diamond earrings, “I love the collection. I love the polki as well.”

Model Mehreen Syed, who is the brand ambassador for Bushra Aftab, said, “I love her approach, she has within her a sense of style and fashion, which is why (I opted to) I became brand ambassador for this brand.”

The exhibition continues till Saturday at Grandeur.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 23rd, 2011.

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