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ABOUT HUMA ADNAN

Huma Adnan (born 23 July) is a Pakistani fashion designer and one of the first to introduce a fusion of European bohemia with a Pakistani twist, mixed with traditional crafts and contemporary cuts to give her label a very distinct signature style. She was born and raised in Karachi, Pakistan. Her designs are available under three distinctive labels namely FnkAsia (fusion wear), Huma Adnan (bridal, couture) and Craft Stories (accessories handmade by refugee artisans).

Early life and education

Born in a typical Pakistani household where women are expected to play stereotypical roles, Adnan was determined to pursue her chosen career. Adnan did her early schooling from St. Joseph’s Convent Karachi. During her childhood she spent her summers at her ancestral hometown near Faisalabad. Her maternal family owned textile business always intrigued her with crafts and colors from the village. Adnan did her undergrad in Statistical Mathematics from St Joseph’s College Karachi and Masters in Business administration in Marketing and Advertising from Institute of Business Administration, University of Karachi, Adnan initially started off in the banking career but later joined as a director for the house of Amir Adnan. Branching forth from her husband’s label -- The House of Amir Adnan -- Huma put her sartorial genius into designing a dynamic layering of colors, textures and prints to run her own fashion label by the name of FnkAsia in 2005.

 

INSPIRATION

With a gifted ability to detect aesthetics in flamboyance, Huma takes inspiration from every part of the world and translates it into traditional crafts with contemporary cuts that redefine elegance.In the world of fashion this is how originally Pakistani a brand could be. The all in one made in Pakistan concept was first created by her label Fnkasia. Getting inspired from all over the world and creating the rich diversity of culture through the brand and promoting indigenous hand craft by innovating techniques was her motto. Huma put her sartorial creed and genius in clever layering of colours, techniques, textures and prints to run her label, a decision that came after a trip to Florence where she was attending a few fashion workshops. Subsequently, she decided to fuse Pakistans indigenous craft with the inspirations from the historical city of Firenze, quickly garnering attention for her eclectic and non-traditional appeal. “My creations are an amalgamation of global fashion and my personal aesthetic, which draws from the art, craft and colours of Pakistan,” Huma explains what gets her creative juices flowing. The fashion house began to reach a broader audience after venturing into the bridal line recently – Huma Adnan’s coveted bridal trousseau specially caters to a Western clientele and young brides who are looking for a fusion of contemporary and traditional take on fashion and who want a flavour of Pakistan on their big day, whichever part of the world they may be. This, of course, fits perfectly with the designer’s creative philosophy as well because the Huma Adnan designs, “jewellery, pret, bridal, all have the same underlining signature; to promote Pakistan in one form or the other”. Known for creating appealing Pakistani-bohemian visuals through her work, the designer still eyes further expansion.

Career

Adnan was the first designer to open a flagship store in California Valley Fair Mall in the year 2010, however due to recession and economic forces, the studio had to shut after two years of successful operation. Subsequently Adnan had eight stores across Pakistan and three in the UAE.

Running a studio in Karachi at the swanky Dolmen mall by the sea, the designer produces both FnkAsia fusion wear and Huma Adnan bridal couture pret as well as the Craft Stories series consisting a line of handcrafted accessories made by refugee artisans based in various camps in Karachi. These craft workers are up skilled by the designer herself who collaborated with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to bring the best out of these refugees and providing them with a source of income. Hence, making the refugees self-sustainable in the business of fashion.

Besides Pakistan, Adnan has been invited to the prestigious Developments in Literacy Foundation (DIL) in San Francisco, Association of Physicians of Pakistani Decent of North America (APPNA) and Irvine Pakistan Parents Association. Besides several other shows in the USA, UK, UAE and India.

Huma Adnan’s coveted trousseau specifically caters to a diverse clientele that include young brides who want both contemporary and tradition infused within their fashion choice having a Pakistani essence on their big day, no matter in which part of the world they may be. This of course resonates perfectly with the designer’s vision because every design by Huma be it jewelry, pret or bridal wear; all have the same underlying signature which is to promote Pakistan in one form or the other. Known for visually constructing a Pakistani - Bohemian appeal through her work, the designer still eyes further expansion. In recognition of her innovative use of fabrics and patterns as well being a force behind a pioneer women’s brand.

Philanthropy

As a designer, Huma Adnan has always invested in experimenting with indigenous crafts. Being a staunch philanthropist at heart, she simultaneously worked with women from rural areas in as well as refugees in Pakistan to lift them into a sustainable economic atmosphere.

We as fashion influencers have the potential to start new economic cycles. My brand utilizes indigenous crafts from different parts of the world with underprivileged artisans craft and train their business acumen.” Huma says.

Working with various human welfare organizations and collaborating with the UNHCR, Huma has played a key role in training the refugees from Sudan, Yemen, Afghanistan, Burma and Uzbekistan living in Karachi.

“The refugee crisis is a humanitarian one. These people lost everything except their courage to move forward. It is up to us to recognize them as productive members of the society rather than a burden.” Shares Huma as she realizes her potential and responsibility as a prominent figure in the Pakistani Fashion Industry.

 

Refugee-made jewellery shines at fashion show

Vocational training offered to help refugees become entrepreneurs

Refugee women working together to handcraft jewellery under a joint initiative by designer Huma Adnan and UNHCR. Islamabad: Vibrant and bold jewellery made of ceramic beads, fabric, metal and stones at the fashion show “Craft Stories” in Karachi may be just jewellery for spectators. But for those refugee artisans who crafted them, it was a life-changing experience.

“I feel like I am making a difference, like I have finally found my purpose [in life],” shared Shareefa, an Afghan refugee and mother of four, who is now working as an artisan for six months now. She is one of the 25 craftswomen involved in the project – a joint initiative of designer Huma Adnan and United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR). The programme includes refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Myanmar, Yemen as well as Rohingya people. Considering the need for work opportunities among the refugee population in Pakistan, designer brand FnkAsia and UNHCR offered vocational training to them in jewellery and textile craft to help them become self-sustained entrepreneurs. Models showcase the jewellery made by refugee craftswomen involved in jewellery line project. Explaining the purpose behind the venture, Adnan told Gulf News: “It aims to create awareness among masses about global refugee crisis and to highlight the issues faced by refugees in terms of citizenship, dignity, acceptance into a culture and community building.”

Awards and Recognition

In addition to being internationally recognized, Huma has been awarded with Livelihood Training certificate by the UNHCR - 2018.

Huma Adnan also serves as the Pakistan board member of CalPak Education Services.

Statement of cooperation between UNHCR and Huma Adnan 2018.

In appreciation of her relentless efforts towards children’s education and women empowerment, she was certificated by Eric Garcetti, Mayor Los Angeles - 2018.

Awarded by Charlie Beck, Chief of Police LAPD - 2018.

Awarded by Ed Royce and Judy Chu, Members of Congress - 2018.

Huma Adnan was nominated at the Lux Style Awards

Received Ladies Funds –Women’s Achiever Awards - 2017

Speaker on the panel "Facing Futures " at the International Conference on 40 years of hosting Afghan Refugees in Pakistan organized by UNHCR Pakistan - Feb 2020

Huma Adnan was selected as one of the designers for Sunsilk Fashion Edition shampoo bottle in 2012.

Participated at International Fashion Trade Show Who's Next Paris - Jan 2020

Won the podcast pitch contest at the Good Goods Paris France for responsible fashion - Jan 2020

 

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