Native Manchester

Native Manchester

Name: Zara Khalique

Age: 24

To kick off our Native series; a sequence of interviews exploring young creatives around the world who are inspired by and embody their city, we have called on Manchester's own Zara Khalique.

Self-described as a ‘warrior of light’, although we think better described as a prism, because Zara Khalique refracts light to emit a spectrum of colour.

The Manchester native has made her name on a local and international scale, capturing the imaginations of the likes of Miley Cyrus and Miranda Kerr with her positivity movement. We know the creative for her impact on our city; it’s unlikely to be from Manchester and not have crossed paths with the work of the designer & writer.

We had a chat with Zara to find out what influenced her journey and how she draws inspiration from the City that she calls home.

 Zara wears: The Attenborough Parka

 What do you do and why do you do it?

I live to spread light; to help people find their inner peace and become their best selves via my lifestyle brand & positivity movement Keep It Bright and have been doing since 2008. I do it because I know that simply changing the way you think can totally change your life.

How has growing up in Manchester impacted your style?

I feel totally blessed to have grown up in Manchester, especially as there are so many totally different styles here, it gives you the chance to see and explore so much style-wise and pretty comfortably too, as there is just totally different styles everywhere you look! I definitely have super eclectic taste when it comes to clothing and all the different ways I love to dress, I’m just as happy in super oversized sweatshirts, sweatpants and trainers as I am in 6inch heels and show-stopping dresses.


What is your favourite Native Youth piece?

I adore the collection, it's so easy to mix and match any of the pieces with each other or things already in my wardrobe, but my 2 favourite pieces from this season have to be the Longline Brushed overcoat, (I’ve worn it every day since I got it, so perfect to throw over any outfit and make it instantly classier!) and from the men’s collection; the Oversized Stitch Tipping Knit sweater in burgundy, it's the perfect jumper-dress, gorgeous and so warm!

Zara wears: The Oversized Stitch Tipping Knit | Longline Brushed Overcoat Longsleeve Knit Top & Brushed A Line Mini Skirt

What excites you about Manchester?

So much. The vibes at any event, bar, gig, club. The people. The talent. The potential. The friendliness!

Miley Cyrus Keeping it Bright

Top Manchester tip/secret?

For the tastiest cheap eats you could want, make sure you hit up Falafel on the curry mile.

What advice would you give your younger self?

To make the absolute most of all the free time I had before major responsibilities and to save as much as i could for all the travelling I’d be doing in the near future! Also to love and accept my body instead of wasting time criticising it, because once i did, it changed so much and made me feel really free.

What does the future hold?

So much from me & Keep It Bright; i just launched my new YouTube channel, so i'm going to be creating lots more video content in the coming year, including travel vlogs, i'm putting out more new products than ever before and i've just released my brand new, most complete book yet; The Keep It Bright Book, which is available to order now! i am so excited about the future, and it's looking 100% bright if i have anything to do with it!

 Follow KIB on Instagram via @KeepitBright

Photography | Nick Street