In recent years, Pakistani fashion has been making waves in the international market. The international press mentions one Pakistani design store after another regularly. A recent example of this was the maiden visit of Duchess Kate Middleton to Pakistan. Pakistani designers put together her entire wardrobe which created quite an impact on local as well as international audiences.
There is something unique about Pakistani designer dresses that makes them exotic and appealing at the same time. It is something you can marvel at, yet something you can wear. Gone are the days when people viewed Pakistani fashion as a fancy dress. International buyers actively seek out Pakistan formal dresses.
Demand from the Diaspora
Part of the success and growth of the online Pakistani design store lies within the diaspora market. Huge numbers of Pakistanis live in countries like the USA, UK, Canada, UAE, Australia, and New Zealand. They enjoy Pakistani designers since it gives them a link to their culture while ensuring that their feelings are reflected in their clothes.
This blend between the east and the west is something that the new breed of Pakistani design store labels has aced. They are perfectly at ease offering traditional motifs in Pakistan formal dresses as they are at creating new silhouettes that suit a western design ethos. Come the bridal season, and all these Pakistani designers seem to have almost no time for local clients. The international market is where their services are the most highly paid. Dallas-based Shireen Lakdawala is a prime example of such success stories.
The Pakistani Design Store Reaches International Runways
The second arena where Pakistani design store labels have succeeded is the fashion week circuit. With some encouragement, Pakistani designers are finally starting to get noticed on the international stage and they are sought after by high profile agents in the business. In 2016, a small set of designers took part in the London Fashion Week and left audiences impressed with their unique Pakistani designer dresses. That paved the way for other designers to explore new arenas in the international space and create new markets.
Today, more Pakistani designers are known by the name and work in the international market than at any other time in history. This is also because the industry has become a bit more organized and a professional work ethic seems to have seeped into the industry.
The Rise of the Private Brand
In addition to independent designers, private brands contribute a lot to make Pakistani fashion a known entity at the international level. Notable Pakistani design store names like Shireen Lakdawala, Khaadi, and Al Karam come to mind as these have used their corporate resources to set up outlets in places like London and Dubai.
Through these stores, these brands have created an opportunity to highlight the culture and talent of Pakistan, and to portray what it means to be distinctively Pakistani fashion, without using regional influences as cultural markers.
It is time that the industry takes the next big leap in supporting independent Pakistani design store brands. Their creativity and initiative can do wonders to make Pakistani fashion appreciated internationally. Khaadi, Amir Adnan, Kamiar Rokni, and similar brands have shown what individuals can achieve on their merit. The only thing they need is the support of local corporations and industry resources.