In February 2015, Hamza Bukhari was jointly selected by the Pakistan Institute of Fashion Design and the British Council to represent Pakistan in the UK. His work was showcased in the Next In Line exhibition which was a part of the International Fashion Showcase (IFS) 2015 taking place during London Fashion Week.
We asked Hamza to share a little bit about himself and the experience.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your background
I graduated from the prestigious Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design in 2012, majoring in fashion design. Immediately after, I was recruited by Stoneage, which is similar to a high street brand in Pakistan. After some time, following the experience I had gained in retail, I started a brand under the name of JEEM with two other business partners. JEEM is now an emerging womenswear brand.
If you were to choose one thing that inspired you on this trip to the UK, what would it be?
As a creative individual, I brought so much back to my country! I particularly loved the street fashion in the UK. It was inspirational for me to see how people are comfortable wearing whatever they like, expressing themselves through clothing, without fear of being judged.
London, which is where the IFS 2015 took place, is a culturally diverse experience as a city in itself, and being part of that global space was incredibly enriching for me. In terms of what i saw there, I really enjoyed the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Fashion collection as it allowed me to gain valuable insight into the history of dress or clothesmaking.
What was it like to represent Pakistan on a global platform such as IFS 2015?
It was an absolute privilege being part of the IFS 2015, where I was able to represent my country among a big group of international designers. I took this opportunity to show the world a different side of Pakistan, and talked about the creativity and brilliant craftsmanship found here. We have so much more to offer than what the media headlines often portray.
In your opinion, how has this opportunity benefitted your work? And in light of that, what would your next steps be?
For me, seminars by veterans of the British fashion industry, led by the London College of Fashion, were the most enriching experience of the International Fashion Showcase. This trip also introduced a whole new network of international buyers to me. I have already been in touch with a few of them since my return. Besides this, I am looking forward to applying the new knowledge I gained to my business, specifically in improving our PR services and our brand’s digital presence.