Inside the the Bradford boutique designing red carpet…

Inside the the Bradford boutique designing red carpet fashion

A BROTHER and sister duo from Bradford are behind luxurious, handcrafted outfits made for red carpet, A-list events like the Baftas and Met Gala.

Huma Humad on Leeds Old Road has become a destination for haute couture bridal and party wear in just four years of opening.

Run by Humma and Hummad Ilyas, the siblings draw from their years of experience in the fashion, textile, and design industry to create each outfit.

Dr Amir Khan, a full-time GP, author, and TV doctor, wore the brand’s custom-made green jacket to the Baftas last weekend.

Delicately adorned with tiny beads and nature-inspired patterns, Dr Khan told fans his outfit was a “hit” at the prestigious ceremony.

But the journey to making fashion for the stars and glamorous weddings has not been an easy route. Humma, who worked in London for many years, and Hummad, opened their store in the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Facing restrictions and local lockdowns, Huma Humad was online only for quite some time. 

“It was a struggle for the first two years,” said 39-year-old Hummad.

“It was so hard because of the economic crisis.”

After a glitzy business event with key figures, they attracted investment from Natwest. The siblings recently created an intricate outfit for Met Gala guest, influencer, and author  Shabaz Ali, also known as Shabaz Says’.

“Shabaz came with his family for his brother’s wedding,”  said Hummad.

“As they were placing the order he goes, ‘are you guys designers? It’s really rare to see this kind of talent, I’ve got a couple of events, would you be able to do X, Y, Z?’. I said we’re up for challenges. Next thing I know, Shabaz is sitting down with us. There was so many late nights.”

Designed to honour Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s theme, ‘Garden of Time’, the outfit took three months to make.

“It was a lot of pressure,” said Hummad.

“We’ve never done anything like this. It was a massive honour and gratitude towards Shabaz for trusting us to do this.

“He’s had big-name designers approach him from Pakistan, India, and the full-on trust with us in delivering what he wants is amazing. We’re small people compared to these big designers.

“We flew out to Pakistan to get this started with the production team. We were there for two and a half weeks. We were sitting there with threadworkers.”

Humma, 32, and Hummad live in the Heaton area with their family. In a message to young people growing up in Bradford, the former Rhodesway School student said: “Dream big, don’t ever dream small.

“Even with opening our shop and boutique, we went really big on this. Why should we always think small?  Don’t think you can’t achieve anything. People start from nowhere and get places.

“There’s lots of talent in Bradford, Daniel [Lee], the head designer for Burberry. Anything can happen for anybody, you’ve got to reach for it.”