The glitter and glamour of the Lakme India Fashion Week has rubbed off on the neighbours too. Pakistan will also see the tinsels sashay the ramp wearing Indian and Pakistan designer outfits in October in Lahore. But for ARY Digital, organisers for the show, this is going to be serious business. IMG/TWI has also been appointed as international consultants to organise the event.
ARY Digital was also one of the sponsors at the Lakme India Fashion Week. Asked on what really led them to initiate the fashion week, Salman Iqbal, CEO and President, ARY Digital, said, "Pakistan Fashion Week has been conceived with the objective of creating business relationships and facilitating a dialogue between designers, trade buyers and media. In the first year, primary task would be to create brand awareness and open avenues for business."
Iqbal said that business prospective at the Pakistan Fashion Week will be as robust as LIFW for both the domestic designers as well as the Indian ones. "PFW is expected to provide a platform to develop business opportunities for designers, encourage investments and professional input in design labels and aid the growth of ready-to-wear lines," he said. It's too early to put numbers, he added.
Iqbal pointed out that the development of an entire fashion supply chain through backward linkages with suppliers and textile mills, and forward linkages with the retail and distribution network is estimated to create employment for a large number of youth in Pakistan. For the Indian designers, he said, it's an opportunity to highlight their creativity and tap a new market.
As of now, the identity of the event is the Pakistan Fashion Week. "If and when a title sponsor is taken that brand may be added to the title," he said. Presently, the company is still scouting for co-sponsors for the event. "We are organising and broadcasting the event while the sponsorships have not been finalized as of now," he added.
On the participation, Iqbal informed that from India, ARY is finalising five of the top designers and from the Pakistani designers the entire fashion industry that includes 25 top designers would be taking part. The four-day event will include 16 shows, exhibition stalls and business sessions. The number of international buyers that would be invited is also unclear.
"We are still working this out and will be sitting down to jointly decide on which markets and consumers to reach out to. However, we will be inviting buyers from India and those countries which have significant South Asian population," he said.
Interestingly, in Pakistan, designers have also planned to set up a fashion council to promote local fashion in the international media. The council is scheduled to launch this year and is an attempt to consolidate the fashion business in the country.