So you rose to the top of your game. Captured the heart of a nation and firmly cemented yourself in the annals of cricketing legends. Endorsements are a plenty and your face is instantly recognised wherever you go.
Surely Shahid Afridi needs no introduction, but a sportsman this great needs to have his credentials laid out on the table out of respect!
He is the holder of the fastest ODI century ever which he racked up in his debut innings at the tender age of 16, smashing the hundred off just 37 balls!
With his big-hitting reckless batting style, he was born to play Twenty20 cricket and was named player of the tournament for the inaugural edition in 2007 leading Pakistan to the title two years later.
Having racked up over 300 games in ODI, he has scored over 7000 runs (a feat matched by only 30 odd cricketers around the world ever) and taken over 340 wickets.
So what do you do next? Well following on the footsteps of Junaid Jamshed and Ali Haider, you launch a pakistani clothes fashion brand of course!
Named ‘Widyaan – The Fashion Valley’, its debut collection consists of a line of pure silk chiffon and georgette outfits, hand-embroidered and offset with intricate motifs and embellishments.
The brand is the dreamchild of Afridi and his partners Shahzad Miannoor who brings industry experience and designer Sadia Murtaza.
At a Karachi press conference held to to announce its launch, Autumn 2011, Afridi commented,
“When I started off with men’s kurtas, there was a huge demand from my female fans that I should launch a collection for them as well. So I decided to launch a collection of pure silk and chiffon designs under my name. The collection will consist of affordable, formal eastern wear. Like cricket, I hope that this venture will be a success. All I need is people’s support.”
Interestingly, in a departure from the usual glitz and glam of the fashion industry, Widyaan’s photo collections are modelled by stylishly veiled women and mannequins have been used at presentations to display the ensembles rather than slinky women strutting up and down a catwalk.
Whether this is part of an ongoing effort to marry Islamic ideals and marketing in an industry that celebrates femininity or a unique approach for the debut line is yet to be seen. In the glitzy world of haute couture, such principles whilst noble may make it hard to maintain the competitive edge.
And we all know how competitive sportsmen can be.
widyaan by shahid afridi