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Ten heading for the top
There are always icons to every era and from musicians and avante garde fashion designers to publicists who put professionalism in an energetic new light, here's Instep's list of ten people who will define the decade in terms of presence.

Ali Hamza (Musician)
From singing with his brother Ali Noor to strumming the banjo for Ali Zafar and Saieen Zahoor at Coke Studio, this year has been the comeback of Noori and the spotlight is now on Ali Hamza. His voice has an unmistakable signature and with time Ali Hamza has proven that not only is he a fantastic singer but he is also versatile enough to carry 'Jo Meray' and 'Aik Alif' with distinct style. Fans of Noori have always wanted to see more of Ali Hamza and 2009 has made all their dreams come true! Ali Hamza burst out onto the music scene years ago with the incredibly tongue in cheek song based on an expletive, and over the years he has evolved - via countless performances and two stellar albums with Noori - to emerge on his own as one of the beacons for the Pakistani music industry. This year's Coke Studio saw him passing on his own experience to the house band's backing vocalists, and we expect to see more of Ali Hamza in the years to come.

Aaminah Sheikh (Model)
Its not just that Aaminah Sheikh is a great model who has literally been the face of this summer with her numerous campaigns, particularly for Sonya Battla's first lawn collection. It's that she shines out with her vivacious personality and thoroughly engaging manner.  She's definitely the new Aaminah Haq - someone who doesn't need the runway to make her mark as a model, but leaves a definite impact with her work for print and television. She's been modelling for the past two years and the amount of work that has come her way - including some high profile brands such as Limited Editions and now, Clear shampoo - and the praise her fans and photographers have showered on her prove that she definitely has the looks and the attitude to make it big!
Fawad Khan (Musician/actor)
Ever since he appeared on television for the now-iconic Battle of the Bands competition that gave birth to Entity Paradigm (EP) and Aaroh, Fawad Khan has emerged as a star to look out for. Often compared to Tom Cruise (not for the erratic behaviour and mad sofa-hopping, but as far as the clean-cut heartthrob look goes) and hugely talented: he's not just a great singer, but also a talented actor and performer. His role in the hit film Khuda Kay Liye and dance performance at last year's Lux Style Awards catapulted him onto every television channel, and to top it off: he's erudite and charming and can hold his own (and look gorgeous too!) while Aaminah Sheikh swishes her hair against him in the flirtatious television advertisement for Clear shampoo.

Gumby (Musician)
He is not a conventional choice but then Gumby is anything but conventional. He is the best drummer in the country and no one else has been able to usurp his throne as yet. Scratch that - no one has even come close.
Gumby's playful attitude and his ability to adapt from artists to genres is astonishing. He can play jazz blues with as much style as rock music. At concerts, Gumby has become iconic. From children to adults, the man commands attention. He may not have billboards or endorsements like pop acts but Gumby's star has been on the rise since he started out as a teenager. His roster of work is immense, he's incredibly popular with musicians and his versatility makes him adapt to everyone, from young acts like Kaavish as well as now-established and super popular bands like Strings. He never gets boring: Gumby plays a different tune every time. His style - from the quirky ponytail to the straight mane - that he's been sporting during Coke Studio is as varied as his music, and Gumby has literally emerged as one of the biggest musical icons of our time.
Selina Rashid (Publicist)
Celebrities do not have publicists in Pakistan. Or at least they didn't until Selina Rashid came along with her company Lotus PR and put a brand new spin on the profession altogether. Trained in London, this young girl came onto the scene almost two years ago, lending her expertise to celebrities and companies who then began flocking to her for assistance. And one has to say that Selina has created a benchmark of how to handle things professionally. She carries her smart and amiable persona to everything she is involved in, whether it is a fashion designer's showing (Nida Azwer, Kamiar Rokni, Sara Shahid and Nickie Nina are some of her clients) or the coverage of Coke Studio. And when she's at the helm of things, one can rest assure that everything will promptly fall in place. In times when tardiness and inefficiency comes as second nature to most people, Selina makes an extra effort to make sure things happen like clockwork, whether it's creating a pre-event hype for a client or sending out post event press packages and photographs. That is highly appreciated! The fact that she sings and has great camaraderie with most musicians just makes her all that much more interesting.

Omran Shafique (Musician)
If anyone knows how to make a stunning mark, it's Omran Shafique. Within a short span of time, Omran has become an integral part of the music industry. He fronts the punk-funk outfit Mauj and his talent is splattered all over their self-titled debut record (currently available online for purchasing) and that's not all. Omran is a part of Co-VEN and he is a part of Ali Azmat's live as well as studio band. And then there is Coke Studio where Omran has proven his mettle as a pure musician.
As a performer, Omran Shafique has just the right attitude onstage. He's cool, laid-back and he can play with the best of them. His ever-changing looks - from long curly hair to short, slight stubble to clean cut to a French beard - Omran's always experimenting with his look, quite like his music. And he knows how to pull it off.

Omar Bilal Akhtar (Musician)
Front man of the upcoming band (the rather creatively titled) Aunty Disco Project - Omar Bilal Akhtar may just be the next musician to truly personify rock star after Ali Azmat. OBA, as he is popularly known, has garnered quite a fan following not just because of his music and the rock star vibe he gives out at concerts, but also because of his highly witty blog ( where he talks about everything under the sky, including the trials and tribulations of trying to make it big in the Pakistani music industry. It's the same irreverence and attitude and the same penchant for leather pants that Ali Azmat was known for during Junoon's years of glory, and Omar is definitely on the radar of musicians on the verge of becoming Pakistan's next big superstars.

Feeha Jamshed (Designer at Teejays)
The torchbearer of the grand Teejays legacy, Feeha Jamshed is paving the way forward for Pakistani fashion in all ways possible. A brilliant designer whose sole focus is on retail - such a rarity! - Feeha's a regular on the best-dressed list because of her offbeat sense of style: given how she creates a look culled from her own designs teamed with finds from Sunday Bazaar. Its rare to find someone so absolutely determined to work on a mass-retail approach, and with every collection, Feeha raises the bar, if the swiftly emptying racks at Teejays stores are anything to go by. This pretty woman is definitely Pakistan's hottest new designer.


Rizwanullah (Designer and red carpet host)
His hair spikes sky high and his personality usually flashes brighter than a helium bulb: in a nutshell, it's impossible to miss Rizwanullah on a red carpet or in the front row of fashion shows where he's usually seated. Designer by day and red carpet host by night, what makes Rizwanullah such an icon is that he is fashion creature 24/7. His quirky sense of style has made him every society photographer's dream shot and he certainly knows how to strike a pose; his picture perfect pout is always on the go! But unlike most models of the moment, what makes Rizwanullah a designer to watch out for is the fact that he knows his fashion and he sure knows how to flaunt it. Though he is extremely diplomatic and cordial on the red carpet, his front row critique is always spot on and it makes one wish he would take up a pen and write! Best of all, he has a sense of humour to match and if the fashion industry needs anything, it would be a sense of humour most of all.

Sanam Saeed (Model and actress)
Sanam Saeed has been around for a while, first as a veejay on Cafe Current and she always dabbled in theatre. Her turn as Roxie Hart in Chicago heralded her arrival into the big league - she's talent to be reckoned with. Always a superb catwalk model, with that bohemian personality Sanam can carry off any look, her theatre persona gives her added allure. And that self-assured walk and uber-confident demeanour make her a pleasure to watch. It remains to be seen where Sanam Saeed goes from here, but one thing is for sure, her star is on the rise. It always is for those who choose to follow their hearts, even as they use their heads.