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High street Eid collections in Pakistan exceed sales’ expectations online

RAWALPINDI: With Eid Al-Fitr just a week away in Pakistan, high street fashion brands found themselves facing their most profitable season of the year without traditional brick-and-mortar sales on their side-- and were forced to release their collections online.

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Islamic festival of Eid Al-Adha brings out sartorial best in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The annual Islamic festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha bring out the sartorial best in Pakistan. Celebrations that often begin at the mosque call for an ensemble that is respectful of the occasion but also ups the ante for your daily wear. Arab News spoke to some members of Pakistan’s fashion fraternity on how they craft Eid capsule collections twice a year and the alignment these collections have with their brands.

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Who does Pakistan’s fashion industry represent?

Diversification within the fashion industry is on the up rise, now more than ever, if one goes by international ramps and campaigns. With designers showcasing their designs on a range of body types, skin tones, gender identities and ages, consumers are able to identify with many variations of beauty rather than trying to fit themselves into the standard of beauty/fashion ideals that are otherwise presented. The world is redefining the definition of both and designers are in the forefront expressing this change.

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As the Pakistani fashion label Generation turns 35, we look at what makes the brand tick

I’m looking for a way to tell the story of Generation, a Pakistani ready-to-wear women’s clothing brand, that turns 35 years old this year, to you, a reader across the border in India who may never have heard of the company. How do you tell the story of a brand that is one of a handful to have survived for more than three decades here, its presence so indelible in the Pakistani retail landscape that scores of women know it by a misnomer – “Generations”, plural – that has been around for too long to correct now?

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Why everyone’s talking about Generation

ISLAMABAD: “I wouldn’t say we are tackling skin colorism. I think we are just challenging norms of beauty and want the debate to become wider and more inclusive in every way,” said Khadija Rahman.

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PAKISTAN'S FASHION DESIGNERS TACKLE STEREOTYPES, FEAR AND HATE

For a country obsessed with weddings, Pakistani clothing brand Generation’s choice of a marriage ceremony as the theme for a campaign last December appeared unsurprising. But there was nothing regular about the campaign called Shahnaz ki Shaadi, or Shahnaz’s Wedding.

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Generation continues its ethos of inclusivity

Generation, one of Pakistan’s pioneering high street fashion houses, has spent considerable time, through its many campaigns in recent history, to remind us that the rigid ideals of beauty and age that were once promoted excessively and exclusively across the world and in some ways are still promulgated through fairness creams endorsed by movie stars and size zero models at many, if not most fashion weeks, were and will continue to remain half-truths.

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Generation celebrates feminism again, this time with illustrator Shehzil Malik

Fashion meets art in a limited edition collection that is about to get stocked at Generation stores across the high street – and we’re not referring to your usual, phool-patti artistry here.

Instead, joining hands with graphic designer/illustrator Shehzil Malik, Generation is seeking to make some strong feminist statements: a girl wearing a hijab riding a motorbike; another, with her hair open; girls with piercings, tattoos fair-skinned, dark-skinned; staring boldly out at the world.

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Cover Story – The Pret Effect

Two decades ago, urban Pakistan was a pretty dull place in terms of branded shopping. There was barely any organised retail and the ubiquitously unflattering ‘free size’ kurta was the only option available to women who wanted reasonably priced ready to wear clothing. But then again, Pakistani women were more than happy to buy unstitched fabric, along with buttons, lace and piping and then take the lot to the tailor for a custom-made jora, even if the process was hassle-ridden at the best of times.

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The dot that walked out of line

Khadija Rahman, hot on the heels of her debut success for Generation at Fashion Pakistan Week, talks about revamping the brand and reinserting some intellect in todays ‘it’ world of fashion.

This year marks 33 years in the business of fashion for Generation. Surviving, if not thriving for more than three decades in retail is an accolade in itself for any brand and Generation has more than merely survived. A staple of the fashion circuit in the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s when there weren’t many options available for ready-to-wear, the iconic brand suffered a slump through the first half of the new millennia, only to pick up its game and return to consumers with a new identity but retaining the same eclectic ethos. Spearheading this revamp is creative director Khadija Rahman, taking on the baton from her mother Nosheen.

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INTERVIEW: KHADIJA RAHMAN

She is young, charming, entrepreneurial and very well grounded. We sat down with Khadija Rahman, Creative Director of GENERATION who is one dynamic business woman and a hands on mom!

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The new Generation

The massive red brick structure is imposing yet grand; trees that have lived through the rise and fall of decades of fashion trends line the courtyard and the lush green patch of greenery outside conjures up visions of lazy Sunday picnics with the family.

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Trip through refined aesthetics

LAHORE: Even when prêt wasn’t all the rage and women were still making their rounds to their tailors, Generation set the precedent of having ready to wear available in ‘small’, ‘medium’ and ‘large’ sizes. It has dominated the fashion front for a long time is Generation. People associate with the label as one of the pioneers of fast fashion.

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The Generation of clothes

With seven stores countrywide, Generation is a household name when it comes to women’s fashion in Pakistan. Playing true to its name, Generation strives to serve one generation of women after another, with sincerity. Unlike other garments which underwent mass-production, its clothes are dyed, screen-printed and embroidered by hand. Here’s a look at the design process in Generation’s factory on Ferozepur Road in Lahore. -Text and photos by Nushmia Khan

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‘We make practical clothes for real women’

KARACHI:Whether it’s a casual day at her workplace or an evening out with her family, 25-year-old Sobia Asad is usually dressed in a Generation outfit. Asad said the realisation that this was ‘the’ store for her came a few years ago. “My mother used to shop for me and often would buy clothes from Generation. But I realised this was the perfect choice for me when I started to shop on my own. They have outfits in all sizes, the designs are good and the fitting is simply perfect.”

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