CNMI Sustainable Fashion Awards 2022 - Milan Fashion Week Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023© GettyImages

Kulsum Shadab Wahab On What Keeps Her Grounded & More

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HELLO!: How do you feel about being recognised for your charitable efforts?

Kulsum Shadab Wahab: “I’m humbled and grateful, especially for the constant support from the incredible HELLO! team. During my journey, Ara Lumiere, our empowerment brand, became a sanctuary for creativity, where the survivors and I grew and learned together, while the Hothur Foundation is an integral component to uplift and celebrate giving.”

H!: Share some highlights of 2022 and what you most look forward to in 2023.

KSW: “The year 2022 started with much more progress than anticipated. Ara Lumiere released its first apparel line. The workshops with the survivors seemed to get more advanced, though skin banking and reconstructive surgery drives were my personal peaks. The Hothur Nutri Meals drive reached a record-breaking number, which was followed by three of our headstrong survivors taking their first flight to showcase our new apparel at Milan Fashion Week. Next came the ground-breaking announcement at the CNMI Awards, which was an emotional night as we received the Social Impact Award. In 2023, I look forward to newer opportunities and potential prospects to help. Overcoming and retaining is one of the main ideals to follow this year, as the journey to empower continues its battle to pave a better path for the future.”

H!: Your thoughts on South Indian achievers enjoying the spotlight today.

KSW: “South India is so rich in its culture that it’s evident in our day-to-day lifestyle. Our culture enriches our core values and beliefs, which extends to hard work and the will to overcome hardships. It’s our grit that defines us, and the fact that we practise. Both keep us going. We progress. We achieve.”

H!: How would you define your style?

KSW: “I’m very experimental. I love to explore designs and designers. The new line of designers are the future. But while travelling, I end up treasuring the artisanal value of fashion, art and history. I love to mix styles with local culture and fashion.”

H!: What keeps you grounded?

KSW: “My surroundings. I’m exposed to the true horrors of the world every day. We’ve just started, and I’ll definitely not stop until change and growth reside permanently within our communities. Ara Lumiere uses fashion as an expression of art and empowerment. Hence, work keeps me grounded and motivated.”