Asian Enterprise and Eastern Eye Journalist Aditi Khanna paid a visit to A.Kahn Design HQ and interviewed the world's most avant – garde designer.
There are few entrepreneurs who can boast of being the designer of choice for Hollywood actors and Premiership footballers.
The reason is hardly a mystery as Afzal Kahn
is among the top five designers of bespoke vehicles in the world.
He excels in taking on world class car brands like Aston Martin, Bentley, and Range Rover, stripping them to the core to create a whole new Kahn vehicle. His strength lies in unique wheel designs and state of the art accessories created by his automotive design company in Bradford.
“As a kid I couldn't help looking at car dealerships and knowing deep down that I could, in some way, contribute to the automotive industry in a very positive manner. That is what we do here with a team of 60 talented staff,” says the design icon.
A classic example of his genius is in the James Bond car, DB9s, that sells for £120,000 or the swanky Bugatti Veyron that he cruises in.
His company sells an average of 250 bespoke vehicles a year but Kahn is not one to rest on his laurels. He has developed a parallel property business under Kahn landmark and had a buying power of over £75 million with properties worldwide.
In January 2007 Afzal made the headlines by snapping up the cherished reg F1 – the most expensive in the UK for a cool £440,625.
F1 now adorns the ground breaking Kahn Cosworth Sport 300. “I wouldn't call myself a car fanatic but more of a designer. This is taking the luxury 4x4 market to the next stage. The UK has been out of the limelight from the world's motoring industry for too long, we are aiming to put it back on the map with this innovative new creation. Our select consumers will be delighted to own distinctively styled cars with Cosworth tuned engines.”
The son of an ice-cream man, Kahn recalls the days when he had to go to school in Wellington boots because his family could not afford proper school shoes. But it was his sheer passion and hard work that prevailed.
"I was the first manufacturer to design a wheel with a spoke that ran to the very edge of the rim. It's strange that now this particular style has become one of the most replicated in the world. It's just good to see that all those hours of hard work finally paid off.”
Before long, Kahn had expanded his business from wheels to designing car accessories, exhausts and body kits; In 2001 he set up V12 power Ltd, now one of the most prestigious bespoke vehicle specialists in the UK. But keen to move away from dealing with standard manufactured vehicles, Kahn decided to go one step further and bring his own touch to bespoke vehicles and Project Kahn was born.
Now the most successful automotive design house in the UK, Kahn is adamant that his company ethos remains unchanged.
“The company's ethos is all about British styling. We make tailored vehicle solutions for bespoke clients who want to break free from the conformities of standard manufacturers. For me, it's all about meeting people who are creative and talented, coming up with fresh ideas and developing concepts that can take my company forward.
“Don't listen to anybody who says that you can't achieve your dreams and be prepared for a hard slog – be prepared to work at a hundred miles per hour,” he stresses.
This is exactly the mantra he has lived by and his list of achievements speak for themselves. As for the future, it's simple: “I am No. 1 designer in the world and I will remain at the top.” E: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel:
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