Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) claims it is moving towards progress, reiterating that there are no musical chairs going on in the council. An insightful and in-depth discussion with chair person Shamaeel Ansari helps us get a better look at the whole picture.
With dirt being thrown around and allegations being hurled in various newspapers, constant press calls to the Fashion Pakistan Council members were largely unattended. However, after more than two months, Ansari finally decided to speak up. “Fashion Pakistan Council is a registered body. There is a procedure and a timeline that we follow. We did not rush into things as we’re a democratic body, requiring everyone’s consent before making any public comments. We were waiting for the paperwork to be completed before speaking out,” said Ansari.
There were allegations that the council’s accounts were mishandled and responding to which Ansari said, “It’s wrong to accuse us. There’s no misappropriation of accounts. It’s just that we’ve taken time to do the paperwork, which we hadn’t done before!”
Speaking on the democratic nature of workings in the council, the designer highlights that in Fashion Pakistan Council there is a process of elections that is in place. “After every three years we have elections and positions holders of this elected board take their respective seats. It is on this platform that we encourage fashion designers to learn about the business of fashion, how to give back to the profession, to learn about the industry and to air their views.”
However, the council has been mired in issues in recent months, which Ansari calls “teething years”, pointing out that all organisations have their share of problems in their initial years. “We have to put the system in place despite what media has to say. Everything needs to be transparent,” she adds.
Regarding the controversy surrounding Amir Adnan’s resignation, who called it quits as the CEO in May this year, Ansari said, “Even Amir Adnan pitched in around 50 per cent of his contribution and that counts.” However, with Maheen Khan holding the seat now, Ansari feels there is faster movement and progress.
But with rumours suggesting that the governing body is loose, some people have even suggested that the council should shut down. Reacting to that, Ansari says, “There’s a passion behind it. A lot of equity is as well. It’s truly got the best board. It’s worth taking it forward. We hope that we will work to put the best and many of the best, in this group, too.”
Interestingly, there are two major fashion councils in Pakistan — the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) in Lahore and Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) in Karachi — and others have popped up in Islamabad and Peshawar as well. “It’s sad that there are two councils. However, since these two have been there from the beginning, they are the genuine ones. The new councils, however, offer nothing besides fashion weeks, events and shows,” added the designer, regretting the emergence of fashion councils in every nook and corner.
When asked when the next fashion week will take place, Ansari smiles and says, “Hopefully in Karachi in December this year.”
Published in The Express Tribune, July 24th, 2011.