Models dabbling into the craft of fashion aren’t a new phenomenon, even in Pakistan. Vaneeza Ahmed’s signature lawn collection is extremely popular in Pakistan and Zainab ‘ZQ’ Qayyum followed suit this year with a lawn line of her own. 1980s supermodel Atiya Khan launched a collection of breezy chiffon kaftans in 2009, and much sought-after designer Sadaf Malaterre used to be a model as well. Internationally, former supermodels such as Elle Macpherson and Cindy Crawford run successful designer lines of lingerie and home accessories respectively.
The newest addition to the illustrious list of model-turned-designers is Nadia Hussain, who is launching a line of shoes in Karachi this September.
The collection, called ‘Fetish’, is being launched to time with Eid.
Hussain is one of Pakistan’s top models. She stepped into the vacuum created by the departure of Vaneeza Ahmed, Zainab Qayyum and Aaminah Haq from the runways. Along with Iraj Manzoor, Hussain is the most recognisable face in a runway line-up, as she either opens or closes a show. Like Ahmed, it makes sense for her on a business level to use her name and face to promote the collection, but can Fetish make inroads in a saturated market that has seen the entry of several foreign shoe brands such as Charm, Charles and Keith and Lewre?
The supermodel, who is a qualified dentist and also works as a host, spoke to The Express Tribune about the line.
Why did you decide to launch a shoe collection?
I have always been fond of jewellery and shoes. This line is going to be something different. Karachi has very few shoe shops and sometimes I would ask for a particular combination and couldn’t get it anywhere.
I knew a shoe manufacturer in Karachi who manufactures shoes for export, so we came up with the idea of the shoe collection.
Are you bringing something new to the market with this collection?
Definitely. Right now, the same shoe designs are everywhere. I am using big chunky stones and diamantes in my collection. 70 per cent of the line will comprise flats.
What is the target market?
The target audience is the middle and upper-middle class and anybody falling in the age bracket of 15 to 75 years. The collection is for Eid, so it is going to be formal. The shoes are priced between Rs1,500 and Rs3,500.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 26th, 2010.
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