Even tension-ridden Srinagar has room for dreams. Twenty-nine year old Zubair Kirmani is a good example of that: the fashion-obsessed youngster stood firm against security-providing careers and now is ready to display his talent at the Wills Lifestyle India Fashion Week, that begins on March 21 in Delhi.
Kirmani had been interested in fashion even as a child. "When I was in standard VI painted my T-shirts and reconstructed the trousers I bought according to my own specifications on my mother's sewing machine," recalls Kirmani. "And my parents would tell me to focus on my studies instead of fooling around with fashion."
It was natural for his parents to give him that kind of advice. Kirmani's father is a government engineer and his two older brothers are doctors. Kirmani himself attempted a BSc in electronics, but dropped out after the first year.
So his parents sent him to engineering college in Bangalore, where a motorcycle accident showed him his true calling. While recovering from the accident, Kirmani realised that he could not visualise a future in engineering.
So he switched to a fashion designing course. "It was in Bangalore that I realised that there are various means of earning a living and fashion designing is one of them."
He set out to learn everything he could about fashion. One big thing he learned was professionalism. Deadlines had to be met. Next, he learned, creativity is not enough. "I started designing clothes but realised that I lacked professional know-how," says Kirmani. "So I went to Mumbai where I worked with Provogue for about six weeks. Then I went to Delhi and assisted Abhisek and Nandita for about four months. It was only after all that that I went independent. In April 2005, I was ready with my collection."
The collection sold out completely Kirmani's USP is neatness, with an emphasis on cut. And there is no embroidery as of now. Later, when he is less of a neophyte, he will go back to his Kashmiri roots and bring his home state's sense of aesthetics into the mainstream. Now, he says with great sincerity, he is stil1 1earning.
"But now when my parents visit me, they feel reassured," says Kirmani. Kuch toh yeh ladka theek kar raha hai.