Published On: Sat, May 28th, 2016

Second edition of Fashion DNA Pakistan



Pursuing the triumph of the initial cycle, the British Council proclaimed the initiation of the second edition of Fashion DNA Pakistan, going to happen in August. The program was instigated previous year to assist Pakistani fashion designers elevate benchmarks in the name of novelty and learn to display their products in a much useful manner.

This year, the program will extend more than eight months, consisting of rigorous training, interactive sessions with foreign specialists, and a catwalk gig and displaying by contributing fashion houses. The brands that joined the program in its entrance year involved The House of Kamiar Rokni, Wardha Saleem, Akif Mehmood and Zaheer Abbas, all of whom interrelated with UK-based professionals in a variety of fields linked to chic.

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Talha Mufti, who is the British Council Manger Arts, stated in an interview and clarified what one can anticipate from the second cycle. He told that “Pakistan has always been known for its textiles, excellent manufacturing, and quality craftsmanship standards with hand-finishing,” he further added that “However Pakistani labels have never emerged on mainstream fashion in the UK. Most showcases of Pakistani fashion focus on the Pakistani or South Asian Diaspora as their target market for bridal couture and traditional apparel.”

He elaborated that with the exemption of some alterations in the name of eligibility criteria, the program will work in the similar way as it did in 2015. He said that “This year, Pakistani retail brands can also apply whereas last year we offered the program to only designer-led businesses. Also, last year we were looking at labels which had been around for five to eight years, but this time, the program is open to brands that have been around for three to 15 years.” One more prominent alteration is that this year, the British Council has initiated a countrywide open call for applications, while in 2015, Council mentors Maheen Khan and Zahir Rahimtoola were appealed to display proposals. The nominees were then appointed straightforwardly with offers.

Mufti also stated the triumph of the freshly set up Khaadi flagship store in the UK that has met an overpowering reaction from the locals. He said that “The recent opening of Khaadi’s store in London generated interest in Pakistani fashion in the UK. With its success comes a clear indication of the great potential of Pakistani designer apparel to make a breakthrough in European markets.” He further stated that with the right marketing tactics and product branding abilities, much retail fashion brands from Pakistan can shape bigger customers in European countries. He said that “This is the gap that Fashion DNA Pakistan aims to fill. With the GSP Plus status afforded to Pakistani exports to the EU, this is the ideal moment for Pakistani fashion businesses to open up to wider market possibilities.”

Zaheer Abbas stated that the primary cycle of Fashion DNA Pakistan was an implausible learning experience. He told in an interview that “I had an idea of what’s in store for on-ground training in London before the show but witnessing the ground realities was a different experience altogether,” Abbas continued by saying that “You have to have a regular presence in order to be taken seriously,” he elaborated that “It’s not about showing in London at a prestigious event but the whole idea is to generate business and that’s only possible if one is regular at such events. I’ll definitely do it again if given the chance.”


About the Author

Sidra Muntaha

- Sidra Tul Muntaha is a journalist (MA-Mass Communication and M.Phil in Mass Communication) based in Lahore. She is working as an editor at fashion, style and entertainment in the section of the Kooza. She writes fashion and entertainment articles for The Kooza News.