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One of London's top tailors Imtaz gets MBE

One of the first female tailors in London has just been awarded a MBE and asked to join the Fellowship ofImtaz and Mishal the Royal Society in 2010 for her service to the Fashion Industry. Imtaz Khaliq has battled her way to the top in an industry that was traditionally dominated by male tailors.

Almost 20 years ago Ms Khaliq started up her business by going door to door to the boutiques with her garments and managed to sell her first suit to Hollywood A-lister, Michelle Pfeiffer. That was just the start of her celebrity clientele, having recently designed Sian Lloyd's wedding dress which appeared on the front of Hello! Magazine, and a suit for BBC News presenter, Mishal Husain (pictured).

In a career filled with awards and acclaim receiving the MBE has marked a high point to date. Having overcome adversity in her own career Ms Khaliq is using her high profile to campaign for equal rights for both women and ethnic minorities in fashion as well as inspiring young women to make their mark on fashion. "Girls have told me they went into tailoring because of me," Imtaz says. "I broke the mould of what's traditionally expected of an Asian woman, setting up a successful creative business in a male-dominated industry. I try to show what you can achieve through determination and hard work. I'm not an overnight sensation; I got here through a hard slog. I've never allowed myself to be limited by people's perceptions."

Ms Khaliq is now passing her skills down to the next generation of tailors and volunteers her time in various universities to inspire young women who seek to make their own mark in fashion. She has taught at  the University of Westminster and London College of fashion and  in Newport as a visting lecturer on fashion marketing couture tailoring and pattern cutting.  She also works on Government's Design in Education advisory board, and Skillfast, the Skills Council for fashion and textiles. Furthermore she offers one to one private tuition and sewing classes for all levels of ability. Not only do students get to learn a new skill but they get to take home couture patterns and new garments too.

Imtaz Khaliq MBEFor more information about Imtaz Khaliq, her tailoring services and sewing classes, please visit her website www.imtaz.com