Noor Rashid Butt
Fashion Design, Class Champion
The moment you start thinking out of the box
Can you tell us about your background and family and whether this has played a role in your decision to pursue a career in the creative arts?
I’m from Pakistan, but I grew up in Qatar, so I also consider Qatar to be my home.
I grew up in a family that is more business oriented, but my parents are also very creative and visionary. Learning from them and seeing how they perceive and envision things has always inspired me to do more in my work.
I grew up watching my mother design our own house. I think this has played a major role in my interest in art. I pursued fashion design because I saw my mother designing her own clothes, which is the fusion of Pakistani and Qatari traditions. And when I saw her doing it, I really wanted to expand that and create something from that. I really wanted to design something based on cultural identity and cultural heritage, because I believe the culture is integral to our roots.
I believe that receiving this honor is the result of my hard work, dedication, and academic achievements. I always excel at everything that I do and always try to go the extra mile. I don’t hold myself back.
Within Asian culture, often the focus is on Indian craftsmanship. But Pakistani craftmanship has not been seen by the world. So, I really wanted to bring the cultural heritage of my country to the world – take the artisan craft and translate it into a modern contemporary perspective.
That is something that I’m also trying to do right now with my senior collection – fusing cultures, the Pakistani culture and the Qatari culture and trying to show the craftsmanship, embroideries, the block printing, natural dyes that come from the villages and other such little details that are rarely seen by the world. I aim to showcase this hidden talent through my work.
When I first started my fashion design career, my father told me, “Noor, I want you to design something innovative that I hope one day Her Highness will wear.”
And that day, when HH Sheikha Moza wore my abaya and I learned about it from social media, I was so surprised and overjoyed, and I told my dad, “Do you remember your words from 3 years ago telling me to design something that Her Highness would wear? I did it.”
I really believe that you should always have the courage and take on any challenge as an opportunity to grow. The moment you start thinking out of the box, that’s when you are capable of doing anything.
I would definitely like to continue my education. I want to pursue a Master’s degree.
I am currently working on starting my own fashion line.
I think how I envisioned my life at VCUarts Qatar has more than been fulfilled, and there have also been many more challenges and sleepless nights than I imagined. But, VCUQ does provide many challenges and opportunities that I don’t think many other universities provide. I started my journey in fashion design during Covid lockdowns, I basically learned how to sew online. But, the support that I received from my professors really helped shape me into who I am today as a designer. This support is very important and motivating. I think VCUQ has really helped me explore my vision and understand what I want to do in the future.