LAHORE: Peshawar is set to host its own fashion week in 2011, but the reaction in the fashion community in Lahore and Karachi has been fairly stereotypical and ironically similar to the stereotyped coverage fashion week received from the international press.
But the recently formed Peshawar Fashion Council is not deterred.
“I had been working with Style 360 for the last six years and even when I approached my friends in the fashion industry, they started to laugh at me. But I felt that if every major city can have a fashion week, why not Peshawar? We also have a lot of talent that just needs to be unearthed and nurtured. There are many women designing and selling clothes from their own boutiques and lots of photographers are here as well. With the right kind of media projection even these small scale designers can become Hassan Sheheryar Yasins and Khawar Riazes,” said Waqas Ahmed of the Peshawar Fashion Council.
“We did not make any formal announcements as yet since we are still finalising the logistics and our media partner. I want to dispel the image of Peshawar as backward which is very wrong. Even last month we had the design students from Iqra University present their thesis as a fashion show,” said Ahmed.
Large-scale events in Pakistan come with security risks, but Ahmed promises to manage security at a private hotel which shall be the venue of the event.
So far Pakistan has four scheduled fashion weeks, two per season from Fashion Pakistan and Pakistan Fashion Design Council, amongst a plethora of corporate-sponsored fashion events and the recent additions of Islamabad Fashion Week and Bridal Couture Week. With only a small segment of the society that can participate and create avenues for business at these events, there is serious concern that the business angle to the fashion industry will be lost with the increasing number of events.
Ahmed defends this concern. He told The Express Tribune, “Everyone associated with the fashion industry, whether they are make-up artistes, models or designers, are making considerable money. If this industry was not profitable, even if it is just for a privileged few, people would have adopted different professions by now. So there is scope for work here.”
“It is just about projecting things in a good way. No profession is good or bad; it is only people working there that make it so. If we make it a respectable forum then good people from honourable homes will come forth to participate in it,” said an optimistic Ahmed. “I am going to try my best to make this venture a success and with the support of a few famous designers and models I am sure we can set this project off on a positive path.”
Published in The Express Tribune, December 9th, 2010.