Imran Khan has been campaigning relentlessly for the last few months and striving for seventeen years to bring a positive change to Pakistan.Today during a political rally in Lahore he fell from a twenty feet high lifter and suffered head and back injuries, shocking the nation. The news of Imran Khan’s fall went viral at home and abroad. He is said to be recovering and gave an extremely emotional address from his hospital bed. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Imran Khan his family and supporters.
We had the pleasure to interview him before the 30th October 2012 Lahore Jalsa. Imran Khan on the cover of Paper July 2012
Photographs by Mobeen Ansari and Irfan Younas
Eight years ago when Stoneage entered the (at the time, almost nonexistent) western apparel market in Pakistan, there wasn’t much competition. But that fact notwithstanding, the brand certainly set standards in terms of quality and design and if you happened to be present at any of Lahore’s private colleges, every third person could be seen wearing a trendy pair of Stoneage jeans topped by a brightly coloured polo tee (with the collar popped, invariably). Stoneage was the local Abercrombie. Over a period of time, however, the brand failed to keep up with changing trends and going to a Stoneage store over the past few years made one feel as if time had stood still – because there was nothing new the brand seemed to offer.
Fast forward 2012 and we have a new young and dynamic team led by Associate VP Babar Rashid Khan and Brand Manager Amer Mushtaq. Style on Paper was invited to an exclusive store preview on Wednesday, 17 October – two days before the official launch and the excitement in the air was tangible. The new location at MM Alam Road (next to Nando’s and opposite the Shell pump) houses the store as well as the office and we were given a detailed tour of both by the Stoneage team, with Babar energetically taking us around, taking extra care to point out the eco-friendly aspects in terms of materials used, lighting and space. Walking around the well-spaced racks, displays and shelves (made from recycled material) with the skylight above makes for a truly international experience. “The entire focus while designing the store was to make the shopping experience for the customer entirely enjoyable,” explains Babar. There is an extended range of clothing on display for both men and women and making another trip only to shop is definitely on the cards.
Moin Khan of A Different Agenda fame enters and we settle down in Babar’s office where we are filled in on the various CSR activities they have planned for the near future. Having chosen Meesha Shafi and Moin Khan as brand ambassadors due to their energy, positivity and potential to be icons of inspiration for the youth, Stoneage intends on addressing social causes with their influence. One such initiative involves Moin training women to ride motorcycles in order to be more self-sufficient and avoid the hassles of public transport, “If it can happen in India, why not here? We have pretty much the same social fabric,” he says.
The brand’s updated vision of encouraging and celebrating individuality is very much evident in the clothing line, shoes and accessories – and quality consciousness is top priority. Babar states the penalty for any of the team members making a typo or grammatical error: a Rs. 50 fine. Being late to work also counts for the same. “We imposed a new rule that instead of paying up Rs. 50, the offender had to do the Gangnam Style dance but turned out that people didn’t mind doing that, so we had to re-instate the fine,” he says, looking slightly amused. The store and office also open up its floors for community-based activities such as unplugged musical performances, book clubs and talks on environmental and societal issues.
The new Stoneage team is definitely brimming over with creativity and innovative ideas, and just a visit to the store makes that quite apparent. With these essential elements in place and Meesha and Moin representing, we look forward to relevant and stylish clothing for the urban youth as well as interesting and engaging activities coming out of here in the time to come.
(Photographs courtesy Lotus PR)