It was indeed quite a surprise when Karachi’s Fashion Pakistan Council (FPC) set up a stall at the Trade and Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) 6th Expo Pakistan, whilst TDAP has collaborated with Lahore’s Pakistan Fashion and Design Council (PFDC) to bring forth PFDC Fashion Week, which kicked off on October 20.
Just as Pakistan is multicultural with diverse ethnicities, there are various fashion councils that have sprung up in the recent past. From a fashionistas point of view, however, only two hold some legitimacy in the foreground, the PFDC and the FPC.
Fashion designer and CEO of FPC, Maheen Khan, who was present at the event, said, “The government is often initiating the marriage between the designers and textile mills. But setting up a stall has a lot to do with the fact that we need to learn about export marketing and the right product and processing.” Khan also added that, “If designers are given such platforms we will learn enough about the local trade fair so that when we represent Pakistan at an international event abroad, it won’t be a disaster.”
At the stall FPC showcased Maheen Khan’s line called Gulabo, Deepak Perwani’s casual line and accessory designer Mahin Husain’s handbags, amongst others, for the sake of export, which in Khan’s word should be more like, “a learning experience, rather than the concept of selling their product.”
Deepak Perwani’s Operation Manager Noreen Mujtaba revealed that they were placed at a TDAP sponsored event because, “Neighbouring countries like China and India are well exposed in the buyer’s market and foreigners need to know that Pakistan too has a good number of creative designers.”
When asked about the price tag of Deepak Perwani’s casual kurtis and handmade bags, Mujtaba said, “Export prices for international buyers are placed at lower bottom by our brand.” Mujtaba did not quote an actual price of the designer wear, nor did she place a price tag on the displayed products.
Accessory designer and FPC member Mahin Husain said, “This platform is a stepping stone for us. I have always believed that the tag ‘Made in Pakistan’ should come forward and hence I have deliberately kept the prices cheap and affordable for my leather hand bags. We plan to catch the buyer’s attention.”