Manchester Art Gallery

Make Space: Fashion Styling

Join us for an evening of fashion and styling in our South Asian Design Show.

Manchester Art Gallery
Thursday 2 November 2017, 6pm–8pm


Hear about the future of British Asian fashion from founder of The Cactus Agency Zaf Shabir. Find out more about international South Asian Design from Creative Director Aneesa Kiani. Discover how to create concepts for campaigns in a styling drop in session by artist and fashion illustrator Rubbia Ullah and meet Manchester based designer and style blogger Alia Raffia who will be on hand to tell you more about raising your profile in fashion online. Come along to talk fashion with friends among music and drinks.


6pm – Illustration / styling workshop by Rubbia
6.30 – 6.35pm – Introduction to Fashion Styling from Alia Raffia
6.35 – 7.05pm Styling from a Creative Directors Perspective by Founder of the Cactus Agency Zaf Shabir
7.05 – 7.25pm – A Designers’ approach to Fashion Campaigns by Aneesa Kiani
7.25 – 8pm – Illustration / styling workshop by Rubbia and opportunity to meet bloggers and stylists

Zaf Shabir

The Cactus Agency, Founder & Creative Director

With over a decade in the industry of fashion, graduating in Fashion Design, a career in fashion buying, a colourful venture in modelling and now founder of UK’s most exciting creative agency, Zaf Shabir is the creative head behind The Cactus Agency; an authentic yet revolutionary vision for creative clientele worldwide.

Having directed and produced fashion shows and campaigns for a multitude of global clients, from designers, brands, couturier and lifestyle, Zaf has extensive experience as a Creative Director. With styling being a huge factor in his work, Zaf will be sharing his approach on how to create concepts for campaigns and runway shows as well as an insight into the future of South Asian fashion.

@zafshair @thecactusagency

Aneesa Kiani

Creative Director

In 2009 after graduating, Aneesa Kiani was instantly hired by an FE college as a senior Fashion Lecturer and her personal progression in the FE sector empowering young creatives was soon recognised. Whilst teaching Kiani curated her own fashion week which is a platform for young budding designers to showcase their talent with industry specialists and opportunities to be scouted by Fashion Scouts. In 2014 Kiani developed her own brand and began with her official campaign shooting with pioneers of South Asian fashion. Kiani developed the campaign with renowned Ather Shahzaad and international model Zara Peerzada. Aneesa will talk about her experience in the British Asian fashion industry and the influence this is having on South Asian fashion.

Instagram @aneesakiani Twitter @kiani_aneesa ?

Alia Raffia

Designer and Style Blogger

Growing up sewing was a big part of Alia’s upbringing and as a teenager she learnt how to sew. As a result of this, she discovered a passion for design and fashion. Alia is particularly interested ethical production and this is a theme she explores through her work. As well as designing and creating her own unique outfits, Alia was Fashion and Beauty Editor at Asian Leader, Asian World and Eastern Times. Alia shares her passion for design as a style blogger and has developed a large international social media following. She will be on hand to share tips on how to develop your profile online.

Instagram @AliaRaffia Twitter @AliaRaffia


Artist and Illustrator

Design and illustration are not only a career but a passion for Rubbia. Having worked as a creative practitioner and artist Rubbia is interested in how fashion and style influences this. She has worked with brands to create fashion illustration campaigns. Through her drop in session, Rubbia will be showcasing fashion styling through illustration and how this can influence your practice.

Instagram @RubbiaRubbia Twitter @RubbiaRubbia