Fashionable Walk

The decision to open a multi-brand showroom after earning an MBA in UK met resistance from friends and family. But Adnan, a part-time model, was focused. Heena Muzzafar tells his story

When Adnan Ahmad Shah, 28, an MBA from Cardiff University, United Kingdom, instead of joining a multi-national, decided to start a business venture in Kashmir, he knew there would be opposition.

Hailing from a business family, Adnan’s parent’s first reaction was: why not join your father?

But Adnan had something else in mind. He wanted to create his own identity. “Wanted to create a brand name,” said Adnan.

His dream of owning a fashion brand was rooted in his passion for modelling. He had rubbed shoulders with Bollywood’s who- is –who including Amitabh, Akshay, Katrina, Kangna and Kareena and many more.

Adnan, has walked on the ramp wearing designs created by Karan Johar, Varun Behl besides others.

It started in 2008 when Adnan was shortlisted as face of Bangalore. “It was during my college days in Bangalore,” recalls Adnan. “On my friend’s advice, I participated in the competition.”

The journey on the ramp last for three years till he completed his Bachelors in Commerce from Bangalore.

“My parents never opposed my ramp-walks as they knew it is my passion,” said Adnan. “I could have made a career out of it and earned a good deal of money. But I chose to fulfil my childhood dream of starting a business.”

However, Adnan found it difficult to give up modelling completely. “Modelling gives me confidence,” said Adnan.

Five years of first-hand experience in fashion industry helped Adnan to understand fabrics and brands.

In 2013, Adnan’s contacts with known designers helped him to establish a multi brand outlet: Fashion Fiesta. “My market research revealed Kashmiri youth are highly brand conscious,” said Adnan.

Despite criticism from parents and relatives Adnan opened an outlet in a rented space in Srinagar.

“My dad said, ‘did you do MBA from Cardiff, UK, for selling clothes?”

But it was too late to change his mind as he had invested his entire earnings from modelling into business. “I started with just one employee,” said Adnan.

Adnan tied up directly with the manufacturing units for stocks.  “I get clothes on discounted rates and sell them on cheaper rates,” claims Adnan.

In last four years Adnan has added another outlet and a franchise showroom. Adnan also owns a large godown at Rajbagh from where he sorts and sends stocks to his outlets.

At present Fashion Fiesta employs twenty people, who get handsome salary, perks, and pick and drop facility. “I try to give best to my employees.”

In coming days Adnan is planning to open franchises in Budgam and Shopian districts. “I want to cover other districts as well,” said Adnan.

Despite hectic schedule Adnan still manages to find time for fashion shows. “Now I walk on the ramp for my friends only,” said Adnan. “I don’t do it for money anymore.”

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