Fashion in the time of coronavirus

By Iqra Sarfaraz
Tue, 05, 20

Interestingly, three more Pakistani fashion forces have joined to unite and pay tribute to the front liners and volunteers, who are working day and night to fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic....


The coronavirus emergency has erupted the use of digital space. Many online initiatives are taking place to reduce the stress caused by the outbreak of the virus and facilitate revenues at the same time. After Italy announced a digital Fashion Week in Milan in the month of July, our Pakistani fashion houses couldn’t stay behind and are joining the bandwagon by taking part in a virtual Fashion Week entitled ‘Catwalk Cares’ under the aegis of Catwalk Event Management & Productions and its CEO Frieha Altaf. 

Frieha Altaf

“The future is digital and at this time, the Pakistani fashion industry needs to be united. Virtual fashions weeks are going to be the new norm and my plan is to set the wheels in motion. The ball has already begun to roll with models being chosen and allocated to designers and taught how to film themselves from their home’s corridors, runway-style and under the correct lighting!” opines Frieha.

Interestingly, three more Pakistani fashion forces have joined to unite and pay tribute to the front liners and volunteers, who are working day and night to fight against the global COVID-19 pandemic.

The trio of additional fashion dynamos include the brands Khaadi, Sania Maskatiya and a fashion week regular Nida Azwer.

Shamoon Sultan

Shamoon Sultan, Founder and CEO of Khaadi, has vowed to donate 100 unstitched outfits to frontline workers and volunteers for Eid. “In these times of uncertainty, our support for each other has never been more crucial. This initiative enables us to collectively share our moment of creativity with a larger audience, contributing their part by staying home. 

It also lets us play our part in uplifting spirits through our platforms in order to show that we have hope and positivity through our actions,” shares Shamoon. “We strongly believe that these unprecedented times call for us to bring out our best in support of the brave heroes committed to performing essential services to keep our people safe,” he adds.

Sania Maskatiya

Sania Maskatiya and Umair Tabani (CFO at the fashion house) are also enthusiastic about the virtual fashion week initiative and expound, “Nobody really knows what the world will look like on the other side of the COVID-19 pandemic. The only certainty is that it’s bound to be different. The crisis has already resulted in an economic recession and will definitely have an impact on consumers’ lifestyles; how we spend, and even how we dress. That in turn pushes us as creative professionals even more towards a focus on sustainability and creating new avenues for design. The virtual fashion week initiative is an innovative one, paying heed to the importance of going digital during the time of COVID-19. This is a time that has forced us designers and creative professionals to think outside the traditional realms of how fashion is showcased and taken in by consumers.”

Nida Azwer

An equally passionate Nida Azwer adds, “It’s a great initiative to organise a visual fashion show. I am looking forward to being a part of something that will entertain people in these trying times. It’s a new concept for us, and maybe the new way forward for fashion shows. We will be showcasing six outfits and will also be donating an outfit to a frontline doctor.”

These bright additions will join an existing roster of 15 Pakistani fashion luminaries from both Karachi and Lahore in one united front including pioneers Amir Adnan, Shamaeel Ansari, Generation; Shehla Chatoor, Sonya Battla and Nomi Ansari. Furthermore, designer brands Élan, Huma Adnan and Asim Jofa; women’s wear couturiers Faraz Manan, Maheen Karim and Ali Xeeshan as well as leading menswear designer brands Ismail Farid and Republic by Omar Farooq. Each of the 17 designer brands who will showcase two to three outfits each from their current collections has hitherto pledged to donate an outfit and accessory to the myriad front-liners for Eid-ul-Fitr. The virtual fashion week rather than live-streamed on leading digital platforms on one single day will instead be spread across three separate days during the festival with models creating their look by the help of the event’s official style partner Nabila at their homes to film their videos. The three-day streaming will garner maximum impact for each collection and will also minimise the viewer fatigue. Moreover, the digital showcase is also to encourage industries to invest and generate resources for e-commerce businesses and to help promote online sales for the participating and other designer brands.