Yousuf Bashir Qureshi’s talents and passions range from fashion design, photography and painting, to food science and farming. The cultivated man has been successful at anything he touches, including his recent project ‘United Pakistan’, a social program that he initiated amidst the recent flood disaster in Pakistan.
Qureshi graduated from the University of Nebraska with a major in Food Sciences, a degree that would prepare him for his expected career as a landowner in the Interior Sindh of Pakistan. His transition into the art world began while he was working in the United States as a horse trainer, yet another unlikely inspiration. Qureshi’s creative streak was recognized immediately when he began to design clothes for himself for his work. The designs became very popular and brought an Indian cavalier charm to the horse shows. After graduation Yousuf opened a fashion café in Lincoln, Nebraska, called the Silk Café, after the Silk route that runs along the Pakistani border. It was here that Yousuf learned the technicalities and craftsmanship of fashion design.
The designer moved to Los Angeles in 1997 where Hollywood noticed the unique South Asian artistry of Bashir’s aesthetics. His clientele reached the status of Oscar winners and notable figures alike. His talents impressed celebrities such as Sheryl Crow, Angelina Jolie, and Denzel Washington. The music industry also took notice of the prevailing far-east grandeur of Bashir’s fashion, upon which Bashir designed Madonna’s “Om Shanti” music video.
Yousuf went on to design for some of fashion’s biggest brands; including Kenneth Cole’s first women’s line Geisha. The self-made designer began spreading his imported style into fashion houses, by serving as a in-house designer at Givency, the House of Christian Lacroix, Bebe, BCBG, Arden B. and Lapis, to name a few. His designs were sold to major department stores- Nieman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman, Barney’s, and Nordstrom.
During this time, Qureshi’s passion for the arts was not limited to fashion design. His creative ability stretched in the realm of visual arts. His photographs have been featured in National Geographic, Dawn News, Libas, Newsline and Expoze, while some of his paintings are held in the Blue Room of the Pakistan Navy house. *
Yousuf Bashir returned to Pakistan in 2002, and in launched his fashion line YBQ with his first collection ‘Fresh Difficulties’. The presentation of the collection was unmatched and holds as a true testament to Bashir’s unconventional and harmonious talent. For the first time in Pakistan, a fashion show was presented in the form of a short film, with classical elements that have inspired Bashir since his days as a horse trainer. The film was in the context of ‘Maya’s Dream’ a retrospective into the Indo-Hellenistic styles of Grecian drapery as well as a traditional Pakistani essence that collectively describes his personal creative journey and the inspiration for his first collection.
Yousuf Bashir noticed a Pakistan that was exuding with young talent, yet there seemed to be a missing link between the arts and the community. The patriotic designer, with a feudal background, felt that it was his responsibility to unite and embrace the artistic evolution that was taking place in his home country. Qureshi brought light to the concept of the Commune Artist Colony. His vision for the Colony is to provide a healthy environment for artists of fine and visual arts to work without boundaries.
Qureshi is involved in all aspects of the creation process, a true artisan. Indicted with the vision that he has been following for years- teaching the young generation. Yousuf has always been involved in education, whether it is alternative or academic. He is a resident professor at Indus Valley School and also has been invited to speak for numerous courses around the world. This is an integral part of Bashir’s vision and future for Pakistan’s art community.
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