For its sixth year, Shaan-e-Pakistan has introduced its first-ever Fashion Summit. Attended by the who's who of the Pakistani fashion industry, the event took place in Karachi on Friday with discussions revolving around how to make it big in a barely-there industry and how it has changed after the ongoing pandemic.
The CEO and founder Shaan-e-Pakistan, Huma Nasr, commenced by talking about the journey she embarked on six years ago. "It has been a memorable one," she said. "We started off with a very small team and now, we have a full house! This, however, is the first time we have organised a fashion summit and it's high time we have a discussion about the industry. We need to have a conversation about what happens behind the screens."
Nasr, shedding light on the importance of the fashion industry, added, "Fashion should be more important than sports. The downfall is that it isn't explored enough. We need to talk more about it."
In the first session, the panel - comprising of designers Huma Adnan, Humayun Alamgir, Sadaf Malaterre and senior journalist Maliha Rehman - discussed the struggles of making it big, the ins and outs, with host Anoushey Ashraf. "We all have had our struggles," Adnan began. "For me, it was about a huge transition from being a full-time banker to marrying an established designer. When you are living with so much creativity around you, the thought of starting your own brand is natural."
Recalling an anecdote, Adnan shared it was after a trip to Florence that she realised what Pakistani fashion lacks. "I came back and started my own label, Fnkasia. It took quite a while to be where I am right now but I love the struggle. I always have."
"Over the last 10 years, we have evolved a lot and that too, positively," Alamgir commented. "Where I started was very different from where I am now. The industry has gone through a major transition. The struggle is there, we still have a way to go."
Malaterre, who is renowned for her eccentric palette, shared she was initially told she would not succeed because people would not understand her style. "I was told that what I do is very offbeat and different," she said. "But I have always stayed with my aesthetic. I have always believed what I did would be a success, so yes - it has been a struggle nonetheless." The couturier added, "But it was always so interesting to see how your vision comes to life; the way your thoughts are translated on to the fabrics with your kaarigars. It's pure joy."
Showcase by Huma Adnan
The summit also discussed the pros and cons of living in a technologically advanced world. "Everything is at your fingertips," Adnan commented. "This has its pros and cons. Yes, thanks to websites and social media, our sales have rocketed, but it is such a task to keep the negativity at bay. Most of my pieces are sold on social media."
Talking about the same, celebrity stylist Tabesh Khoja, aka Khojii, opined, "Youngsters are always on Instagram. The world has been compressed into a phone through social media. It really is the need of the hour." However, he also shared that thanks to the same medium, there is so much competition that talent has saturated. "Everything is fake. You can easily pay someone Rs10,000 and they will praise your work and flaunt it. There is no authenticity left anymore."
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