Designer Huma Adnan, known for her eponymous brand FnkAsia, joined hands with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in 2018 and since then has been relentlessly working with a large number of refugees that reside in Karachi. Her mission is to not only empower them financially but also polish their business acumen. She has been working with them to develop a range of handcrafted jewellery, under the label Craft Stories.
Huma Adnan recently showcased the new vibrant spring/summer 2020 collection by Craft Stories at the fashion trade show, ‘Who’s Next’, held at Place de la Porte de Versailles in Paris.
In its 25th year, ‘Who’s Next’ is a biannual show that takes place in Paris over a period of four days, where around 50,000 visitors attend the trade show. The show regroups approximately 1,500 French and international brands. According to Huma Adnan, ‘Who’s Next’ is more than a trade show; it is a source of inspiration for the fashion industry. The four-day event features a number of conferences and workshops along with showcasing ready-to-wear, accessories and beauty and lifestyle products.
Craft Stories, which showcased colourful hand sculpted tribal jewellery made by the artisans especially for the event, was also featured in the VIP Buyers list book.
Speaking to Instep about being the only Pakistani brand chosen for sustainable fashion development in the world, Huma Adnan shared, “We are very proud to have been selected among a great number of brands to be included in the ‘Who’s Next’ VIP Buyers book, which was sent to more than 7,000 buyers ahead of the show.
“In addition, we received noted interest in our products from the press, and the goodgoods magazine with whom we recorded a podcast, which will release in the coming days.”
As for how the trade show will benefit the artisans in the longer run, the designer said, “By attending shows such as this one, we aim to ensure that the artisans will be given an opportunity to grow and sustain themselves and their families in the future. Bringing the craft of these artisans to Paris has opened windows to the global market. In fact, it is the first foray of Craft Stories in the global market and the quality of feedback and appreciation for our brand has been truly encouraging.” She went on to talk about sustainable fashion and stressed that it is the future and that “the viability of a project depends on its supply chain.”
Huma Adnan explained, “The number of refugees in the world is now exceeding world population. These displaced individuals need to survive and at Craft Stories we are proud to offer one such avenue, enabling refugees in Karachi to earn a living in a dignified manner.”
Huma confessed that she is always looking for opportunities to learn new techniques as well as work closely with refugees at the camps in Karachi to produce beautiful art and craft pieces. “The women I work with have seen their skills improve greatly and this is enabling them to realize they have the tools to make their lives better.”
So what’s next for Craft Stories? “For now, we are trying to work on spreading its retail network in Pakistan. Craft Stories products are going to be sold across the country in Amir Adnan stores in a total of 25 outlets located in 5 cities. Each store will have a dedicated Craft Stories seller.” She added that they are plan to attend the ‘Who’s Next’ trade show in September.
On a parting note Huma Adnan shared, “I wish Pakistan were known for producing mindful, creative products and services as well as inventions of global and positive importance. While this may not be the case for the time being, the future is in our hands and things are changing!”