Mastakiya sets the trend with NYFW first

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Sara Tabbani, Maleeha Lodhi (Permanent representative of Pakistan at the United Nations) and Sania Maskatiya backstage at the CAAFD emerging designer showcase. (Photo courtesy: Sania Maskatiya and Lotus Pakistan)
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A backstage shot of the collection before it hit the ramp. (Photo courtesy: Sania Maskatiya and Lotus Pakistan)
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Models take the final walk for Sania Studio at NYFW. (Photo courtesy: Sania Maskatiya and Lotus Pakistan)
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Models posing in designs by Sania Studio. Sania Studio is the western wear branch of Maskatiya's fashion house, where the same Pakistani craftsmanship, fabric choice and Maskatiya signature prints are utilized with a non-eastern approach. (Photo courtesy: Sania Maskatiya and Lotus Pakistan)
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A shot of the make up and styling inspiration for Sania Studio SS/19. (Photo courtesy: Sania Maskatiya and Lotus Pakistan)
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Sania Studio on the ramp for the CAAFD emerging designer showcase at New York Fashion Week. (Photo courtesy: Sania Maskatiya and Lotus Pakistan)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Mastakiya sets the trend with NYFW first

  • Becomes the first Pakistani fashion designer to showcase at prestigious event
  • Talks about the experience and the market for Pakistan-based fashion products

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.


KP plans projects to boost tourism

Updated 23 September 2018
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KP plans projects to boost tourism

  • Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government plans to start a Rs 500 million project to promote tourism with cultural and religious attraction
  • South Korean embassy in Islamabad has expressed willingness to work on heritage sites in KP since many sites are considered holy by Buddhist monks

PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has decided to establish a dedicated authority to boost tourism industry in the province.

New projects are also planned by the provincial government to promote religious tourism in particular — giving much hope of a business boom to tour operators in the province.
“The proposed Tourism Authority would include representatives from the tourism, communication and works and local government departments, and all these departments would work jointly,” said the provincial Minister for Tourism, Atif Khan, while talking to Arab News.
Khan added that the new autonomous authority would ensure efficient coordination between different departments for the promotion of tourism.
“Currently, a lot of time is wasted under the existing mechanism when authorities approach another department for construction of a road to a certain area or the provision of some other facility,” he added.
The KP government also plans to launch a project worth Rs 500 million to promote religious tourism, Khan told Arab News. “This would also entail facilities for historical sites which are considered holy by Buddhists,” he said.
New hotels would also be opened to provide accommodation to foreign tourists under this religious tourism project.
The South Korean embassy in Islamabad has expressed willingness to work on the heritage sites in KP since many sites are considered holy by Buddhist monks, said Khan.
“Takht Bhai relics are also among the world heritage sites,” he added.
“There is a centuries-old Hindu temple in Bughdada area in the Mardan district, but there are no facilities for those who wish to stay at the place,” Khan continued.
Shamsher Khan, a local tour operator, told Arab News: “We also have the world-famous Takht Bhai archaeological complex that is considered sacred by Buddhist monks across the world, but there is no hotel for foreigners to stay in the area.”
“The decision to establish a tourism authority is a positive step because KP has much potential for tourism compared with other areas of the country, and we need to focus more on it,” said Nazir Ahmed, another tour operator.
Nawazud Din, research officer at the KP Directorate of Archaeology and Museums, said: “Peshawar has Gor Gutri’s complex, which is holy for Hindus and Buddhists. The complex is around 400 years old.”
He added that the directorate is also working to set up a park at Elum Mountain in Buner district, which is a holy place for Hindus and Buddhists alike.
“Before the 9/11 attacks, foreigners, especially Buddhists, used to visit the archaeological sites in KP. However, due to the wave of terrorism that hit this region, many stopped coming and now their younger generation is unaware of such sites in KP, said Din.
“We plan to promote religious tourism through exhibitions, online portals and printed books about such sites in KP,” Din added.
Gurpal Singh, an elder of the Sikh community in Peshawar, says that the government should revive the religious places of all communities.
“Now that peace has been restored, the government should give visas to foreigners and facilitate foreign tourists to visit the country. The Gurdwaras [temples] of Sikhs should also be opened for tourists,” he added.