Status Report on the role of Pakistan Fashion Design Council [PFDC] in the business of Fashion in Pakistan
With the completion of the fifth PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in April 2012, the PFDC has successfully entered into its third year of the platform, indeed growing annually in their commitment to giving fashion a consistent and tangible business platform.
With this status report, the PFDC endeavors to specifically bring to your attention an overview of the council’s role in the business of fashion, its social responsibility and its growth. The following points will be addressed:
- Franchising of the PFDC store in India: Delhi, Bangalore and eventually Mumbai.
- The signing of an MOU with the World Fashion Organization making PFDC the official representative of the WFO in Pakistan.
- The introduction of Fashion Incubators in Pakistan
- Buyer Orders following the 5th PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in April 2012
- Social Responsibility:
I) The PFDC’s role in the project: Resettling the Indus
II) The forging of a partnership with the United Nations World Food Programme in Pakistan
1. Franchising of the PFDC store in India: Delhi, Bangalore and eventually Mumbai.
The PFDC is proud to announce official expansion into the Indian market with its own PFDC brand name and standalone multi-label retail stores representing Pakistani designers. To this end the first franchise store will be opening in Delhi in India on the 30th of July at Malcha Marg franchised by Rubaaiyat by Mini Bindra of BV’s (Bindra Ventures) who also attended the fifth PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week and has a seasoned history in retail in Delhi with their West Avenue Store, a multi-label outlet for men and women’s fashion.
The PFDC have further expansion plans within India and to this end another franchise in Bangalore has been finalised with buyers Ariffa Jaffer Moosa of KYRA Boutique who also attended the fifth PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week. Their current store, Green Hills, specializes in leather goods and accessories and is located at The Forum Mall, one of Bangalore’s leading retail spaces.
The PFDC within this year are also currently exploring the possibilities of a Mumbai store.
2. The signing of an MOU with the World Fashion Organisation making PFDC the official representative of the WFO in Pakistan.
The renowned World Fashion Organization has signed an MOU with the PFDC thereby empowering the PFDC as WFO’s official representative in Pakistan. To this end, member of the board of directors of the organization and CEO of World Fashion Week Paco de Jamies and his team attended the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week this April and spoke to the press and media on how the WFO were impressed by the organization and professionalism of the event. He further appreciated the diversity of high end design and textile on the ramp. The World Fashion Organization itself is the global parent entity of the world fashion entity, national and regional chapters, and the World Fashion Week. The World Fashion Week and World Fashion Organisation are endeavours to help bring together the global fashion industry on a single, unified platform.
Indeed the PFDC is currently Pakistan’s largest single representative body for designers with over 65 members and is also importantly, a not for profit organization. Thus their association with the WFO, with its influence, reach, social responsibility and similar values, came as an organic partnership.
The envoy from the World Fashion Organization has selected Hassan Sheheryar Yasin to represent Pakistan at World Fashion Week in New York in 2013. This partnership will the WFO and WFW will also be opening doors for the exchange of knowledge, enabling the PFDC to garner access to global best practices in fashion to implement within Pakistan.
3. The Introduction of Fashion Incubators
This season, the PFDC introduced to the fashion industry the global concept of fashion incubators through seasoned expert Carol Hanlon, flown in from Australia to attend PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week and to plant the seeds for fashion incubation in Pakistan. With over twenty years of experience in wholesale, retail, fashion design and export in Victoria, Australia with her own fashion label, Carol’s key focus is now, to assist designers across the globe ensuring that they have the right educational tools to make their businesses successful. Carol will further be holding webinars through the PFDC offering direct training to those member designers should they be interested on a regular basis.
During her time in Pakistan, Carol Hanlon identified the current PFDC Lahore store as a model of fashion incubation within Pakistan itself given that it lends space free of cost of a period of 6 months to new designers such as Akif, Mohsin, Zonia and Batur for instance. She also identified this practice as in line with what is now also being implemented by multi label stores and collectives across the world.
4. Buyer Orders following the 5th PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in April 2012
The PFDC has consistently flown in regional and international buyers to attend PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week since its inception. To this end, the PFDC has encouraged outright orders and sales from such buyers, indeed in opposition to the sub continental tradition of stocking with percentage based sales and results. The PFDC believes this method of business allows for more liquidity for designers, thereby enabling them to invest more directly and heavily within their production. To this end, the PFDC’s new franchise partners in Delhi and in Bangalore have/are purchased collections from designers outright for retail in India. The council is particularly keen on pursuing this line of retail buying thereby allowing designers more flexibility with production.
Furthermore, in addition their franchise partners in Delhi and in Bangalore and specific to the fifth PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, buyers and agents such as Margaret Rushe Farrell, Maria Linker, Dirk Luebbert and Gail Sturrock are currently in negotiation with design houses such as such Karma, HSY, Layla Chatoor The House of Kamiar Rokni, Fahad Hussayn, Libas, Nickie Nina, Asifa & Nabeel, Élan, Mohsin Ali Sonia Azhar, Sitara Textiles and Lala Textiles.
Additionally, the PFDC have also ensured that designers who showcase at their fashion weeks are now equipped with all the business know how necessary when dealing with outright buying houses and individuals through workshops held by the council.
This season these workshops resulted in a state of the art exhibition space, where every designer had a stall each day of the week complete with fabric options, mood boards, pricing in all major currencies et al.
5. Social Responsibility
I) Resettling the Indus Initiative
Resettling the Indus is an initiative set up in response to the 2010 Floods in Pakistan, by a group of architects and designers, with a vision of empowering communities through a self-sustaining process, without disturbing the indigenous cultures and lifestyles. The Pakistan Fashion Design Council is proud to be part of initiative from its inception which initially started working on rehabilitating the Indus after the devastating floods, with an initial donation of 6 Million rupees which consequently resulted in the building of the Model village; Basti Mochiwala located in district Muzzafargarh now replicated across the disaster area Today, with the PFDC bringing multinational support to the organization, the council feels proud to have been able to contribute sustainably towards disaster relief.
II) United Nations World Food Programme in Pakistan
In line with their commitment to social responsibility as a council, this April the PFDC has partnered with the United Nations World Food Programme [UN WFP] to create awareness about food insecurity and malnutrition that is affecting more than half of Pakistan's population. The partnership was announced at PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week with the UN WFP present daily through a campaign booth at the venue. Both organizations will be working closely together in the future towards the goal of zero hunger in Pakistan. Indeed the PFDC will be promoting cause awareness and ensuring that all future PFDC fundraising activities support the WFP’s livelihood projects to contribute towards the effectiveness and sustainability of such activities.