Pakistanis have yet another reason to beam with great pride. On 27th May, 2014, Pakistan’s most respected and experienced haute couturier, Nilofer Shahid, was officially awarded with “Le grade de chevalier dans l’ordre des Arts et des lettres” in recognition of her contribution to the development of Art, Culture & Fashion Design, also making her the first Pakistani fashion designer on whom this honour has been bestowed.
This prestigious award was presented to Nilofer at a pristine ceremony held under the patronage of the Governor of Punjab Mohammad Sarwar, at Darbar Hall, Governor’s House, Lahore. The Award was presented by H.E. Mr. Philippe Thiébaud, Ambassador of France to Pakistan.
Those who came out to attend and witness the grand affair included distinguished guests such as Justice Dr. Javed Iqbal, Mrs. Surraya Anwar, President SOS – Mrs Attiya Enayatullah former minister population- Kamran Lashari, DG Walled City – Mrs. Mira Phailbus Obdus woman – Rukhsana David, Principal Kinnaird College – VC PIFD – Ms Hina Tayyaba, and ofcourse the greats from the fashion fraternityTariq Amin, Nabeela, Vaneeza Ahmad, Imran Qureshi, Azeem Sani, Usman Peerzada and Samina Peerzada. The event management was done by J&S whereas Public Relations was handled by Pitch Media Inc.
At the ceremony, a citation was read out by H.E Mr. Philippe Thiébaud after which the award was conferred on NiloferShahid in the presence of media and guests. A brief documentary titled ‘Nilofer Shahid’s Journey in Paris’ was also screened.
Speaking on the occasion while presenting the award, H.E Mr. Philippe Thiébaud stated, “In Pakistan, no one deserves this award more than Mrs Nilofer Shahid. These awards are one of the oldest awards in French history. They were started back in the times of the French monarchy by the King who wanted to acknowledge poets, writers, artists and designers who excel in their respective fields. Mrs Nilofer Shahid has been touted as the Dior of Pakistan and her achievements in France are outstanding,especially her haute couture presentation in 2007 about Empress Josephine Bonaparte and Empress Nur Jehan, was more than a fashion show. It was dialogue amongst civilizations which helped create closer links between Pakistan and France. Paris is the capital of haute couture and we definitely need more designers from other countries who represent their cultures”.
On the occasion of receiving the award, Nilofer Shahid proudly stated, “I am truly humbled by this award given to me by the French Government. My work is heavily inspired by our culture and traditions. World Renowned poets such as the great Maulana Rumi, Allama Iqbal and Kahlil Jibran have been the inspirations behind my clothes and it is their greatness which reflects on my work and makes them into pieces of Art. It makes me a very proud Pakistani!"
Following Nilofer Shahid’s acceptation speech, Governor of Punjab, Mohammad Sarwar also addressed guests highlighting that “Pakistan is very proud of Nilofer. She has been an ambassador of our culture to France.” Once the award had been presented and the speeches had been given, attendees had the opportunity to congratulate Nilofer Shahid individually. Speaking regarding Nilofer’s proud moment, actor/director Usman Peerzada said, “It is a great honor for Pakistan. I feel very proud of Nilofer. It is not just an honor for her, it is an honor for the entire country.”
Nilofer Shahid has been working relentlessly for the past 35 years in fashion with a passion and volcanic creativity; with her highly researched collections. She has reinvented the classic vision of Haute couture garments and accessories. Her haute couture maison “Meeras” which literally translate as heritage, opened in 1991.
Nilofer Shahid received prestigious award in recognition of her contribution to the development of Art, Culture and Fashion Design.