Does responsibility trump affordability in fashion? This Pakistani designer thinks so

The Pink Tree Co. fashion brand was established in 2011 and has grown ever since. (Photos supplied)
Updated 29 November 2017
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Does responsibility trump affordability in fashion? This Pakistani designer thinks so

KARACHI: Those who are fashion conscious should look for the responsible, not the affordable, a leading Pakistani fashion expert has said.
“Affordable fashion means that somewhere, at some stage, someone was exploited,” Mohsin Sayeed, creative director of The Pink Tree Company, told Arab News.
He is unapologetic about his brand The Pink Tree being relatively expensive, saying: “Each piece we create carries lots of hard work and creativity. We don’t believe in mass production.”
The Pink Tree Co. was established in 2011 by three friends, including Sayeed, 50, who spent most of his professional life as a journalist before moving to fashion.

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“Our designs come straight from the heart. Our passion is to delve into the rich history of fashion and textiles, bring back something from the past and give it a contemporary feel. That leaves the viewer with a cozy, déjà vu feeling. Our identity is our design diversity,” said Sayeed, adding that the boom in the fashion retail industry comes at the expense of creativity.
“Ready-to-wear fashion can be affordable for many, but it doesn’t cater to the creativity that good fashion should carry,” he said.
“Art is an exclusive form of expression. It can’t be produced in factories like soaps and shampoos. Those who do that aren’t creating art pieces, they’re just making clothes,” he added.
“Responsible fashion means you take care of your costumes for years and, perhaps, for generations. It means all those craftsmen who made this piece have been paid properly and their work has been respected. Affordable fashion means you’re treating your dress as a tissue paper: Use and throw.”
Sayeed, many of whose clients are from the Middle East, said Arab women should not be obsessed with Western fashion trends.
“The new generation of Arab women is very fashion conscious, but unfortunately they consider Western brands as the ultimate fashion word,” he said.
“Asia, particularly South Asia, has more amazing creative fashion designers that can cater for style with a good understanding of their social circumstances. We in South Asia can proudly say we have the best craftsmanship.”
Sayeed said Pakistani craftsmen are among the best. “They’re not mere embroiderers or tailors. They’re like poets who create poetry on a piece of cloth,” he added.
“We have a history of craftsmanship as old as 500 years. We produce best fabric in the world. No one can beat us when it comes to creativity in fashion.”


Gigi Hadid hits back at paparazzi ‘stalking’ as photographer threatens legal action

Updated 21 October 2018
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Gigi Hadid hits back at paparazzi ‘stalking’ as photographer threatens legal action

DUBAI: US-Palestinian celebrity model Gigi Hadid is hitting back at a paparazzo who she says threatened her with legal action over a photo she posted on Instagram.

The model took to the social media platform over the weekend to reveal that she is being “legally pursued” for reposting a street style photo taken by a paparazzo, a snap which she has since removed from her social media feed.

“The photo is by a paparazzi and is of me on the street outside an event last week,” the 23-year-old told her 43.8 million followers. “I posed/smiled for the photo because I understand that this is part of my job,” Hadid wrote.
“These people make money off us every day, legally stalking us day in, day out,” she continued.
“It is not spoken about enough the mental/emotional toll that this kind of pressure has on people, days I (and countless others) have stayed inside because I don’t want my photo taken or to have that attention/suffocation while just trying to live as normally as possible,” the model added.

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Hadid went on to reveal the dangerous position some paparazzi put celebrities in on a daily basis.
“They drive dangerously close and extremely recklessly; they put the general public in danger in pursuit of a photo (I and many people I know have gotten in car accidents in cabs/car services because of paparazzi) and it seems that they can never get enough,” she wrote.
In the post, Hadid wrote that she found the uncredited image on Twitter and reposted in on Instagram, adding that she “had no way of knowing which of the 15+ photographers outside that day took these exact photos.
“If the person had just commented on my photo I would have been happy to tag and give you credit,” she added.
“To the paparazzi, I understand that this is how you make your living, and I respect that this is something I must accept with my job. But there is a line. We are human beings, and sometimes it takes a lot of courage to engage with you because of the resentment I feel for the negative parts of these experiences.”
Hadid’s statement garnered support from celebrities and models alike, with reality star Khloe Kardashian sharing her own experience in the comments section.

“I was sued for hundreds of thousands for posting a picture of myself. I don’t understand how it’s right that they literally stalk us and taunt us and they are allowed to sue us for posting our own photo,” she wrote.

Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, Emily Ratajkowksi Candice Swanepoel and Olivia Culpo also left messages of support on the Instagram post, which had more than one million likes as of Sunday afternoon.