ISLAMABAD: In a first for Pakistan, fashion designer Sania Maskatiya showcased her collection at the New York Fashion Week (NYFW) on Monday.
“This is a big breakthrough, not just for me but also for Pakistan’s fashion industry,” Maskatiya said, adding that by participating in the NYFW, “the world will get to know more about Pakistan’s craftsmanship and that we as Pakistanis have so much more to offer”.
“I am super-psyched… after all the NYFW is one of the most prestigious fashion weeks worldwide!,” she said.
Considered as one of the most-coveted fashion events in the world, ever since its conception in 1943, the NYFW is a semi-annual, multi-day event which sets the tone for the fall/winter and spring/summer fashion seasons, including twice-a-year international ramps -- starting in New York -- making its way to Milan, Paris and other cities.
The Council of Aspiring American Fashion Designers (CAAFD) -- a non-profit organization founded by a number of pioneers in the fashion industry -- aims to seek out, provide a platform and promote designers looking to increase brand awareness in the United States.
It has a long-standing tradition of producing an ‘emerging designer’ to showcase at the NYFW each year. This year it was Maskatiya’s turn.
Debuting with Sania Studio, a Spring/Summer 2019 collection that’s “reflective of the brand’s vanguard fondness for combining modern reduction and antique fantasy”, Mastakiya said she tried to play with rhythmic patterns, borrowed from ancient cultures, to “create a playfully-pulsating effect, draped with futuristic playfulness and poise, as its signature element”.
Over the past few years, Pakistani designers have taken their brands to not only an international audience but to a wider diaspora of shoppers, too.
The move, Mastakiya said, is a conscious effort to blend in the east with the west. “Some of the designers are also thinking about it. I sincerely believe a designer needs to challenge herself and by catering to a non-eastern target market I am setting new goals for myself,” she said.
Others to follow suit include Faraz Manan who opened a flagship store in Dubai, Khaadi which has stores across South East Asia and the UAE; and Elan.
Maskatiya’s models walked alongside those showcasing collections by Patricia Wijaya from Indonesia, Helene Bajaj-Larsen from France and Yufash from Estonia.