Pakistani designers on the brink of Int’l stardom
KARACHI: The fashion industry continues to boom and make us proud. Having been nominated for the prestigious International Woolmark Prize (IWP) this year, designers Misha Lakhani, Sania Maskatiya and Omar Farooq have proven that Pakistani designers are well worth of receiving international applause.
“Pakistan has been getting so much bad press lately that it has totally overshadowed the beauty and potential within. Being part of the IWP highlights the good stuff,” Misha tells The Express Tribune. “I feel privileged and am grateful to The Woolmark Company for creating this incredibly fantastic platform to support emerging designers,” she adds.
First held in 1953 as an initiative of the International Wool Secretariat, the award was won by Karl Lagerfeld and Yves Saint Laurent, last year. According to a press release, the IWP recognises and commends outstanding design talent from across the world. The prize claims to promote the fresh cropsof fashion stars. Now, more than 60 designers from over 20 countries are in the running for the award.
Being part of the ceremony for the first time, Misha is in the process of brainstorming the designs she will showcase to the judges, and plans on representing her aesthetics through them. “It’s an exciting opportunity to apply the same curiosity to wool at the fashion industry’s most respected platform,” says Misha, as she talks about working with the assigned fabric.
Omar, whose designs were modelled by Fawad Khan at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week 2015, said he is ‘honoured’ and ‘humbled’ to be nominated for the second time. “It is gratifying to be recognised for such a prestigious award,” says the man behind Republic. “The nomination means everything for my brand. Once you’re nominated, you have tangible reason to promote your unique achievement in the industry, both locally and internationally,” he adds.
While Omar may see this as an opportunity to tap the international audience, Misha plans on solidifying her brand’s name locally. “To tap into the global market would be a dream, but my focus is on Pakistan right now,” she asserts. She also gives a word of advice to newcomers venturing into fashion design. “Be true to yourself, don’t be swayed by reviews or opinions that don’t make sense to you and work hard. Nothing comes easy.”
Winners of both the menswear and womenswear finals will receive Australian $100,000 to assist with fabric sourcing and marketing of their collection. In addition, both the winners will have their collections commercialised through key international retail partners, including Harvey Nichols in the United Kingdom.
Nominees will present sketches of a Merino wool capsule collection, comprising six outfits, with one full outfit to be produced. The collections will be judged by a panel of local and international experts, whose names are soon to be announced. We wish the very best to all three of our very own nominees. May the odds be in their favour.