Fashion DNA Pakistan 2016-17
Fashion DNA Pakistan is a designer mentorship programme for Pakistani fashion design businesses organised by the British Council and led by UK industry experts. The programme was launched in 2015 and the participating fashion labels in the first cycle included The House of Kamiar Rokni, Wardha Saleem, Zaheer Abbas and Akif Mehmood. The UK mentors included fashion business consultant and the international best-selling author of 'How to Set up & Run a Fashion Label' Toby Meadows, fashion creative and stylist Rebekah Roy, curator/researcher and Lecturer in Design at Goldsmiths University of London Ruby Hoette, and management consultant and retail specialist Malcolm Newbery.
Based on the success of the first cycle, this year the programme will take the format of an 8-month-long intensive training, including face to face sessions, online sessions, UK catwalk show/showcasing, and Pakistani catwalk show/showcasing. Specific skill focusses will include understanding fashion as a business,understanding international fashion systems,understanding your brand DNA and brand identity, business strategy, internationalising your label, seasonal merchandise and range planning, research and development, design skills, technical delivery, supply chain management, customising production, sustainability and ethics, profitability and competitiveness, retail logistics, digital presence, image-making and presentation (trade stands, fashion show plans, look books, photography), communication, marketing and market positioning etc.
The mentorship will result in the development of a line of ready-to-wear apparel with a clear brand positioning utilising the skills acquired in the workshops of research and design, marketing through fashion imagery/film and a digital presence, and production of samples for a catwalk that meet the blueprint of sustainability and fair practice. The collections will be showcased in London at Fashion Scout, which is one of the UK's largest fashion showcases throughout London Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week and Kiev Fashion Days.
The mentorship will run from August 2016-March 2017. A group of 5-8 design businesses will be selected to participate in the programme. The first round of mentorship with selected designers will take place in August 2016 with face to face sessions happening in Karachi. Online, remote mentoring will follow between August and November 2016, with a second round of face to face sessions happening at the end of November in Lahore (the designers will be expected to bear the full expenses of travelling between Karachi and Lahore if and when required). More eMentoring will follow till February 2017 when the developed collections will be shown at the official off-schedule London Fashion Week platform Fashion Scout, and the designers will attend a customised market entry boot camp in London. (The design houses will fund their own collections while the British Council will bear the full expenses of travelling to London). The mentorship will conclude in March 2017 with a formal evaluation process.
Fashion DNA Pakistan aims to:
- Create a platform which provides long-term support to exceptionally creative young/mid-career designer labels which are interested in producing for foreign markets and taking socially conscious business approaches
- Create a platform which brings together British and Pakistani fashion professionals and institutions through workshops and showcases
- Create a collective identity for spunky, edgy fashion from Pakistan to make its overseas offer more coherent