Pakistani designers take back bagfuls of business - and memories

The four-day trade event proved to be a winner for the designers, capital's fashionistas and food lovers as it wasn't just clothes alone that sold well -- the demand was equally high for authentic Pakistani food -- nihari, biryani and tikkas, that were being served at stalls too.


Designer Shezray Husain says she had a fulfilling experience in India.

"India is the second largest market for us after Pakistan. So I am extremely satisfied with the business. I think the Indian consumer appeared to be equally satisfied with our product too," Husain told IANS.

"My store witnessed thousands of consumers and we managed to sell over 300 pieces within the first two days. It was fantastic to be a part of India. I even received lot of queries from wholesalers and multi-brand stores," said Husain, who owns a brand named Ensemble in Pakistan.

The Lifestyle Pakistan Expo was organised by the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP), in collaboration with India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) at Pragati Maidan here.

The event witnessed over 100 Pakistani lifestyle companies showcasing their products and services.

Top Pakistani brands - Gul Ahmed, AlKaram, Hub Leather, Khaadi, Chen One - and designers Sahar Atif, Deepak Perwani, Kamiar Rokni, Faiza Samee, Maheen Khan and Rizwan Beyg exhibited a mix of salwar-suits, palazzos, kurtis and accessories.

These were priced between Rs.950 and Rs.80,000, but that didn't determine the inflow of crowds each day to the exhibition.

The event wasn't just about business, says Muhammad Iqbal of Bonanza Garment Industries Pvt Ltd. He feels it also sparked cultural exchange and a rare chance of interacting with locals.

"The response has been overwhelming and the best part about this exhibition was that we got the chance to interact with Indians. I have never been here before as a representative of the company and as far as business is concerned, it was outstanding," Iqbal told IANS.

Honey Waqar, the couture queen of Pakistan, was here too. She was more than happy to provide her inputs to people interested in draping clothes the Pakistan way!

"We came here to represent our country and the response to the show has been marvellous. People have loved the stuff and they are coming to us and asking how they can carry it," said Waqar.

All four days saw Indians come in hordes to pick ornate chikankari cloth, cotton lawn, embroidered chiffon saris, and lace palazzos.

The stocks were sold out by the last day -- so much so that popular designer Gul Ahmed's stall had to arrange for merchandise from their Delhi distributors.

"We were out of stock due to high demand on the second day itself. So we asked our Delhi-based distributors for the stocks. The response of the Indian public was very encouraging. We are very much satisfied with the business in the exhibition", Shehnaz Basit Ikram, director marketing, Gul Ahmed, told IANS.

"The response has been good. Our collection is meant for the common people, who love fashion and fabrics," she added.

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