THE first time I met Zara Khalique she was painting the faces of drunk people in Antwerp Mansion, a neglected Victorian mansion-turned-club down a backstreet in Rusholme. She was dressed in a Pikachu onesie. We soon clicked after she painted a rainbow across my forehead. It was then I’d learn about Keep It Bright, her then fledgling online fashion brand and positivity movement – the face painting was just another way to spread her own personal brand of cheer. I’ve bumped into her a few times since and each time she’s self-expressing; covered in glitter, jewels and positive slogans.
Clearly enamoured by her glitter-speckled positivity, I wrote about Khalique the ‘pint-sized, Rapunzel haired beam of light’ and her brand back in 2013. Things have changed considerably in the years that followed.
They thought I was from LA because my Instagram page is all bright and sunny but I’m just a local girl from Manchester
These days her clothes, self-help books, charity work and sunny disposition have taken her brand worldwide – she has bagged some high profile customers too. Scroll down the Keep It Bright Instagram page and you'll find Miley Cyrus practicing yoga in Keep It Bright leggings; the LA-based Wrecking Ball singer is continually papped in Zara’s unique denim blazers emblazoned in cute, positive slogans. Our personal favourite: Miley Cyrus in a head to toe smiley-faced crop top and leggings as she dined out with a member of The Flaming Lips. The Daily Mail headline was ‘Smiley Miley’.
“We talk over social media sometimes,” giggles 25-year-old Khalique. Today she’s wearing giant shades and her signature denim jacket, similar to the one Miley Cyrus wears regularly. It’s hot out, so she ends up changing into two t-shirt dresses during our interview – one reads ‘blessed’, the other proclaims her love for ‘nachos’ and ‘palm trees’.