We take 20 with the Zaim Kamal, creative director of Montblanc, and ask him how travel inspires his work.
What is your earliest travel memory?
My grandfather always used to travel by sea, never air. He had two reasons: one, he was a passionate bridge player and the voyage from Karachi to Southampton took 10 days, so he could play for nine nights. Two, he travelled with these big trunks that didn’t need him to fold his clothes. And airlines wouldn’t take his trunks. I remember his packing ritual: all his clothes would be laid out and the trunks were brought out and cleaned and then everything was packed meticulously in its designated space. To this day, when I pack, I do the same thing in my trolley. Everything has a designated place, so everything is intuitive—I know where the liquids are and where my laptop is.
What was it like growing up in Karachi?
I was born in the Clifton neighbourhood of Karachi. In those days, beyond our window was the sand and the ocean. I’ll never forget that. I had that view every day growing up. I went back many years later and they had pushed the ocean back. You couldn’t see it from my grandmother’s house anymore as it was completely built up. But Karachi in my childhood was amazing—it was glamorous, open, full of life and vibrant. I really enjoyed growing up there.
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June - July 2019