KARACHI: They were the first to bring the concept of fashion week to Pakistan, yet for the last two years, the Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) has been mired in controversy for being practically defunct. From a near comical musical chairs of its CEOs to rumours of the council’s bleeding financial state, FPC lost its credibility and lustre as its rival, the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (dubbed the ‘Lahore council’) built on the fashion week platform and rose consistently in its absence.
However, in its first concerted appearance in two years, the FPC members held a press conference to announce on Monday that they were set to launch a third installment next month with 32 designers from all over the country. FPC’s official chairperson, designer Shamaeel Ansari, wasted no time in announcing the dates for the upcoming fashion week: April 6 to April 9. She then went as far as to state that “gauging from the attendance today we can tell you have missed us…the first council to have ever launched fashion weeks in the country, the first council to have been the internationally sighted…is now back with a bang. ”
With the British Deputy Head of Mission, Daniel Tarshish, as the chief guest, it was apparent that FP3 means serious business and is to bring in as much clout as the PFDC that regularly ropes in the foreign media as well as international fashion consultants and buyers.
Tarshish talked about the rapid rise of the fashion industry in Pakistan while making references to its recent cultural mission under the banner of the exhibit ‘Reconstruction’ being held at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture which he hoped young local designers would take inspiration from.
While Ansari stressed that their fashion week would stand out for its ‘content’ compared to the other fashion weeks in the country, veteran designer Maheen Khan, the CEO of the council, emphasized, more crucially, that “with the rise in retail in the last ten years in Pakistan, we need to concentrate on the high street and ready to wear. Therefore the theme for FP 3 will be ‘high street’.”
Also, with Hum TV Networks on board, FP 3 will ensure that its presence is felt on mass media as well to seriously drive the point home. “We will be making profiles of designers on TV,” promised CEO Hum TV Duraid Siddiqui.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 13th, 2012.