“Men are the new women,” is a slogan at Khawar Riaz’s salon
By Marian Sharaf Joseph
Men are the new women,” is a slogan at Khawar Riaz’s salon. But do slogans like these actually sell in a country like ours? Known as KR, his domain is a strange mysterious world that an average guy may not have the nerve to experience. But take my advice. Give it a shot.
Khawar Riaz has been around for over a decade now, a time when Lahore was hardly a part of the fashion gang, when women dominated the men in the fashion industry. KR is the mastermind running the male modeling industry in Pakistan. He’s created gods like Farooq Manan, Muna Mushtaq, Ahmed Butt, Daniyal, Ameer Zeb Khan and ‘the boy next door’ – Abdullah. He took the plunge and created a brave new world against all odds.
“Models should not be the only good looking people around. Everyone has a right to look beautiful,” says KR, explaining his philosophy. “A mother of two, corporate professionals, college girls, sportsmen, peacekeepers and even my butler, KR salon was an outcome of this idea.” He finally set up his flagship salon in DHA, the first ever men salon in Pakistan; nothing ‘metro’ about it. He only wants men to be an equal part of the fashion world. KR salon has a branch in Gulberg as well, the crew also goes out of city on special appointments. KR salon is a chic neat place to relax and freshen up. Situated above Maria B and Imbias in DHA and KFC on MM Alam Road, the façade stands out because of its distinctive yellow color! Stairs leads you up to the sa- lon. A display of KR’s styles on the wall of the stairs gives his clients a perfect idea what they are in for. There are separate rooms for services such as hairstyle and cutting, massage, facials, manicure/pedicure, groom’s room and dressing room. Clients can also take a shower if they want before getting ready for their event. “Usually we have grooms who are late for the wedding,” he explains. Khawar Riaz has done the interior himself. He has carefully chosen the furniture, floor tiles, washroom and accessories. He’s kept it contemporary. If at any time he feels something isn’t right, he makes an instant makeover.
Although the place has a snooty vibe, once inside the salon you’re treated with light hearted jokes, snacks and a pleasant crew. Key at KR are the comfy interiors and high levels of service; don’t be shy, check it out, you won’t be disappointed. You never know, you could come out feeling like a new man. ■
This article was originally published in the print edition of Valuemag, issue 3 – July 2008