A fashion designer from Oldham is breathing new life into Pakistani traditions.

Maryam Maqbool, who graduated earlier this year with a law degree, said her love of Pakistani clothes has led her to pursue designing as a career.

The youngest of four, Maryam, 23, incorporates nostalgia with tradition to create unique outfits.

Maryam spoke about her intimate connection with Pakistan and how her passion for design is hereditary.

“I’m very British, but there’s a very strong Pakistani side to me.  I love Oldham and I love the community I live in.

“My parents together made sure that we all had a connection to our roots and took us on yearly trips to visit our family in Sargodha.

“I still remember the bazaar trips with my Nani in the back of a rickshaw, sipping on ice cold Mirinda Orange whilst we dodged our way through the tight streets and alleyways. 

“My heart has always been set on Asian clothes. I am so attached to the Pakistani traditions, clothes and culture.”

Asian Image:

Pictures courtesy and copyright: @tha_maqq (Instagram)

Asian Image:

Maryam designed her first outfit at the age of thirteen. Her creations are a distinct fusion of east and west which she shares on her Instagram page @tha_maqq. 

Combining striking textiles with classic pieces, Maryam transforms authentic Pakistani clothes into modern, innovative interpretations. She revealed much of her inspiration came from own home environment. 

“I love flicking through my mum’s old photos and trying to mirror the looks she created.

“I even pinch items from my mum's wardrobe like her old parandas and dupattas to pair with my own designs. 

“I never bin an outfit. Fashion is never dead. Styles keep coming and going making it really easy to recreate a whole new look with old items.

“This is my favourite thing to do because nobody ever remembers your old outfits and when you mix them around, it’s something nobody else has and is almost brand new and it's done without breaking the bank.

“From a very young age I have always tried to replicate what my sister wore or how she dressed.

“Her style has always been different and unique and I have always admired how confidently she carries each look. 

“I feel like both my mum and sister have always been way ahead of the fashion game and as the years have gone by it's something that has rubbed off on me.

“I have become so much more confident in myself that I like being different and not following the crowd.”

Asian Image:

Picture courtesy and copyright: @tha_maqq (Instagram)

The deeply unique designs by Maryam are drawn from her philosophy of merging her British and Pakistani identities, thus creating her own signature style.

“To put it simply, I am both eastern and western. 
“As a teenager I felt like I was one of a few British Muslims within my school that had a genuine strong love for my Pakistani background and to me fusing the two only came naturally because it is who I am. 

“Coming from a Pakistani background is such a big part of me as is being British, so I can't create without the influence of one or pick one over the other. 

“Everything you see on my Instagram page is inspiration from both of my identities. 

“Growing up with the ability to escape into both cultures through fashion is something I'm so very grateful for because I have learnt that if I cannot express myself through one part of my identity I can through the other.”

Maryam aims to amalgamate her love for fashion and her law degree for a philanthropic cause after what she witnessed in her travels to Pakistan.

“One of my future goals is to combine my education with fashion to help raise awareness for the everyday issues that are going unnoticed such as the treatment of women in third world countries. 

“I was inspired by the stories I heard around Pakistan and the injustices that were taking place and decided to pursue a career in law with the intention to further study international human rights.

“I'm extremely passionate about designing my own outfits and I like making the extra effort to have them produced by individuals who don't have the same opportunities as me but are equally, if not more, talented.”