There are some people who have the luxury to stand by idly and watch the world plummet into darkness. I do not have this luxury. It’s not in my nature nor is it in my favour to do so. Besides, I would much rather be a cactus than a wallflower any day.
– Laila Shalimar, interview for Norafinds.com
Laila Shalimar is a Desi Australian pin-up and blogger from Perth, Western Australia. As an immigrant Australian, Laila’s love for vintage stems from a deep-seated need to connect to her Afghan-Pakistani heritage. She takes great delight in researching the history, fashion and culture of the Indian subcontinent and Middle East from the early to mid 20th century.
Laila identifies as a reformist Muslim and a third wave feminist. She believes that celebrating vintage fashion should not mean harkening to vintage values, particularly those that uphold oppressive power structures in the vintage community or in broader society. Laila has contributed to several publications on the issue of racial and ethnic diversity in the Vintage and Pinup subculture. She has also previously volunteered as an admin with Pinups of Color, a social media platform that aims to promote and connect racially and ethnically diverse pinups around the world. In 2015, she worked closely with Studio Damascus and The Blue Room Theatre to produce, Once we were Kings, a play reflecting the experiences of the Queer Muslim Community in Australia.
Laila is currently in the final year of her Bachelor of Criminology/Counter Terrorism. When she is not hitting the books, she is involved with pinup and rockabilly culture in some form of the other. Whether it’s styling aspiring models, writing articles for Australian and international publications, dancing to her favourite rockabilly bands on the weekend or posing in front of a camera, she invests her heart, soul and passion in everything she does.