‘Incredible India’ luring fashion world with business sense: Pakistani designer

New Delhi, April 15: The Indian fashion industry, with its talent, craft, textile and business sense, is luring the international fashion world with a vengeance, says Pakistani designer Sahar Atif, who hopes for smooth trade relations between the two neighbours.

“There’s no denying that the Indian fashion industry and designers have managed to impact the fashion world over. They have not only impressed the world with their power, style and sensibility, but the country has a great understanding of the business dynamics of this colossal international industry,” Atif told IANS in an interview.

“Its effective projection of itself as ‘Incredible India’ has aided in luring international buyers to continue their relationship with the country and extend business links with people of Indian origin,” she added.

Atif, who graduated from the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design (PIFD) in 1998, showcased her first collection on the runways in 2010.

Atif also set up the Department of Design and Textile at the Lahore Grammar School in collaboration with the Cambridge University. She currently heads the department.

IANS caught up with Atif as she is in the country as part of the Lifestyle Pakistan Expo, a four-day exhibition which started Thursday. Over 100 Pakistani lifestyle companies are showcasing their products and services at the exposition.

She is here as part of her association with ChenOne, a chain of fashion and lifestyle stores in Pakistan, owned by the Chenab group.

Atif, who is a fan of Indian designers like Sabyasachi Mukherjee, Ritu Kumar, Satya Paul and Kavita Bhartia, feels that the contribution of the country’s design talent to the international market is outstanding.

“Indian fashion and its contribution in international fashion are commendable. It’s a pleasure to see sub-continental craft becoming a part of everyday clothing in the mass markets abroad.

“I’m sure that the way India is reviving craft and rural empowerment, soon we will see handicraft culture become a permanent feature in garments all around the globe,” she said.

Atif believes India’s reservoir of local talent and craft is a huge resource for international designers too.

“For the global fashion Industry, India is a very big exporter of fabrics and accessories. All over the world, Indian ethnic designs and materials are considered as a significant facet for the fashion houses and garment manufacturers.

“In fabrics also, India plays a vital role as one of the biggest players in the international fashion arena. We see the Indian fashion industry growing by many folds in next five years,” she added.

Talking of her favourite designers in particular, Atif said: “Satya Paul made us realise that print is the name of his entire game. We hugely admire the sound understanding of cut and pattern reflected in Kavita Bhartia’s work and the business acumen she possesses to manage a multi-label store of Ogaan’s standard.

“We admire Ritu Kumar for revival of craft and Sabyasachi for his ability to make cohesive thematic collections and a signature style very strong.”

Atif feels the Lifestyle Pakistan Expo will help in smoothening the trade tie-ups between the two countries.

“The demand on both sides for each other’s products is so high that there is no stopping trade, which at the moment is taking place through alternate means.

“Since the opening of fashion trade is bilaterally beneficial, events like ‘Lifestyle Pakistan’ will help pave the path to a smoother trade relationship,” she said.

ChenOne, which is famous for its home furnishings and cotton lawn collection Pareesa, is spreading its wings by taking a leap in the Indian market.

(Nivedita Sharma can be contacted at nivedita.s@ians.in)

IANS