A cut above: Feeha Jamshed expands retail business

    In Karachi, designers like Sonya Battla emerged with a stronghold on design and business. Events like the Lux Style Awards and the Carnivale de Couture gave designers platforms to flaunt themselves on until fashion weeks rolled in 2008. And that was the beginning of a new age altogether.

    What we see these days is the ultimate corporatisation of fashion. In a way it’s good because it urges designers to collaborate with industry-level players, as Maheen Karim and Sanam Chaudhri have with Bonanza, Adnan Pardesy with Working Women etc. Sana Safinaz and Sania Maskatiya are two names that have stepped into large-scale retail through flagship stores. All this means a better look for the high street at a lower cost.The downside, however, is that not many young designers are committed to reviving craft and focusing on the gorgeousness of fashion. It is important that a balance be struck and one hopes that brands like Sana Safinaz, Sania Maskatiya, Elan and Umer Sayeed will manage to keep the legacy alive.

    The ’80s also witnessed revolutionary changes in Pakistan — politically, and in response to the oppressive time that the country went through under General Ziaul Haq, literally. The winds of change also affected fashion. There was an urge for liberation. Sehyr Saigol started designing under her label Libas (initially she and Maheen Khan worked together) and stocked in Lahore at a fabulous place called The Art Centre. In 1987, Herald published its very first fashion cover, which took fashion to an entirely new level.

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