Pakistan has been hit by the worst floods in the country’s history which have affected every business, including the fashion industry.
On Tuesday, the Pakistan Fashion Design Council (PFDC) and Sunsilk released a statement saying that, “Both PFDC and Sunsilk believe it is essential that we all play our roles in providing relief to the suffering and have therefore decided, as an initial measure, to cancel the originally planned press conference and donate the savings towards interim relief measures.”
However, the Autumn/Winter Fashion Week scheduled for October will proceed as planned as “the week itself is a trade platform, thus representing the business of fashion; an industry that is a constructive contributor to the Pakistani economy through its strength as employers, cultivators of a skilled workforce and its sheer retail prowess both locally and abroad.”
In regard to the event not being cancelled, Chairman Unilever Pakistan, Ehsan Malik stated, “The PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week from the very outset committed itself to supporting millions of Pakistanis who rely on the textile and fashion industry for their incomes. Sunsilk and Unilever are proud to play their role in promoting the country’s most important sector.”
Kamiar Rokni, Council Member, PFDC said, “We thought that by holding a press conference we were wasting money, so instead we released a press statement. We have full intentions of carrying on with the week.”
The reasons given for this decision in the statement are that, “The Economic Survey of Pakistan states that approximately 38 per cent of Pakistan’s workforce is employed in the textile and fashion industries… the Fashion Week committee is determined to ensure that businesses continue to function as well as possible in order to continue to provide livelihoods and economic stimulus.”
The previous Fashion Week by PFDC and Sunsilk which took place in Lahore did not have any ticketed events. However, to raise funds this time around, the week’s finale will be a ticketed event and all proceeds will be “donated for the rehabilitation of flood victims through a diversity of charities and organisations”. Additionally, Sehyr Saigol, Chairperson of PFDC said “During the whole fashion week, we at least plan to give one show per night (meaning 4 shows during the entire week) which would be ticketed and the sale from which would go to flood relief activities.”
The exact ticket cost has not yet been decided but is expected to be between Rs5,000 and Rs10,000 and PFDC will donate through Hum Pakistani which is associated with Pakistan Red Crescent Society Punjab, Peace, Shirkatgah and Pakistan Medical Association amongst others.
The Autumn/Winter Fashion Week will not be a toned down event as “Full scale fashion weeks provide people business: from your design teams, to labourers, to set constructers, to karigarhs, to hoteliers, to transporters, the list is endless,” said Selina Rashid, Lotus Client Management and Public Relations.
Rashid told The Express Tribune that, “PFDC and Sunsilk strongly believe that people will indeed come out and pay for ticketed shows out of selflessness and also keeping in the mind the fashion value itself. Pakistan’s big cities often host charity events, auctions, shows and balls ticketed for charity so we do have the benefit of precedent.”
Published in The Express Tribune, August 19th, 2010.
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