Ignore the suicide bombings in Pakistan, ignore the Taliban but don’t invite foreigners. Such were the measures for a successful first Pakistan Fashion Week in Pakistan’s ‘New York City,’ Karachi. Over 30 of Pakistan’s elite designers gathered to flaunt their brainchild and toils, but there was an underlying message altogether.
The show was an unbridled act of defiance against the Taliban, whose edicts over womenswear – namely restricting women to burqas – were punishable by torture or even death.
“This is our gesture of defiance to the Taliban,” Ayesha Tammy Haq, CEO of Pakistan Fashion Week, told The Associated Press.
The Associated Press makes note of textiles as Pakistan’s majority, 60%, of exports, or a $12 billion a year industry. The story elucidates the exquisite quality of clothing that sells for little. “The country’s cotton and silks are among the finest in the world. But the industry has failed to grow in recent years amid political unrest, violence and chronic power shortages.”
With it’s first fashion week, the Pakastani fashionistas are taking one step in the right direction. Will the event grow as large and as exclusive as New York, Milan or Paris? It’s unlikely, but their brave efforts are not going unnoticed domestically and abroad. I’d say their message was delivered.