Pakistanis have always been in international headlines for the wrong reasons. However, no one talks about its fashion brands that have been all the rage since their inception. Whether they’re old established brands or new players, they all have something unique and stylish to offer. Most of them are affordable and have official websites where you can shop their fashions. Whether you love unstitched cloths or ready-to-wear, all these brands have got you covered.
A brand that is literally in every Pakistani woman’s wardrobe is Khaadi. Founded in 1999, it specializes in hand-woven fabrics, mainly khaddar, which is mostly worn in winters. Around 2008, Khaadi started to explode in the Pakistani and international market with their unstitched collections that come out regularly throughout the year. Their products are versatile, stylish, and durable Their prints have a unique blend of modernity and tradition that always catch the eye. Whether unstitched or stitched, they come in very affordable prices and can be worn on multiple occasions.
Shop on their website: www.khaadi.com/
2. Nishat Linen
Like Khaadi, Nishat Linen originally started off as linen fabrics, then later moved towards lawn and ready-to-wear. The fabrics in both stitched and unstitched products are quite luxe yet very individualistic in style and print. This brand is great for the person who wants to go for something low-key yet timeless. Their earrings are beautiful and you also have the option of buying unstitched cloth separately, instead of buying the usual three pieces that comprise of a suit.
Shop on their website: www.nishatlinen.com
3. Sana Safinaz
This is the brand that made lawn and Pakistani retail glamorous and awesome! Founded by two women, they began their journey in fashion with their first lawn collection around 2008 and there was no looking back. Their unstitched and ready-to-wear products have a couture feel to them. From graphic art to appliques, there is nothing traditional or conventional about them and they’re always churning out something better than the last. This is the stop for those who want to buy something that just looks it came from the runway.
Shop on their website: www.sanasafinaz.com
This brand can easily compete with Sana Safinaz for its quality and couture feel. It’s less than a decade old yet its style has everyone on their knees. Founded by one of Pakistan’s elite fashion designers Khadijah Shah, they’re now a cult favorite among shoppers who are looking for couture but with a sophisticated touch. Their shoes are comfy yet versatile in their style and wear, with half of them made from materials other than leather. Just make sure you are there in time on their flash sales online-items get sold out in minutes!
Shop on their website: www.pk.sapphireonline.pk
5. Ideas by Gul Ahmed
This is one of Pakistan’s oldest fashion brands that originally just dealt with unstitched fabrics. Founded in 1953, many generations of Pakistani women have been building their wardrobe from this company, and only Al-Karam could rival it (more on that below). In the last decade, however, Gul Ahmed has branched into ready-to-wear whose popularity has never waned since. For the ones who want to have a slice of Pakistani heritage that is fondly remembered to this day.
Shop on their website: www.gulahmedshop.com/
6. Alkaram Studio
One of the few brands that can match Gul Ahmed with its history and lineage, Alkaram became an well-loved brand after its rival after its launch in 1986. It started out with unstitched seasonal fabrics, though their prints had the reputation of being avant garde that time. Come 2010 and the brand placed a solid foot in Pakistan’s pret territory. From changing their name to Alkaram Studios to creating collections that are adventurous yet modern, the brand has solidified its status of providing styles for those who prefer styles with a twist.
Shop on their website: www.alkaramstudio.com
7. Junaid Jamshed (J Dot)
Started by Pakistan’s iconic singer-turned-preacher, Junaid Jamshed’s clothing brand has surprisingly won hearts and wardrobes at home and abroad. The brand’s style veers towards Eastern conservatism in almost every way; their campaigns do not feature any models, only mannequins or creative visualization of their products. Apart from its unstitched and ready-to-wear lines, the brand has also started eponymous makeup and perfume lines, which are quite popular. For those who love fashion but don’t want to stray from their Islamic roots, J Dot has you covered.
Shop on their website: www.junaidjamshed.com
For every other time the world is informed of a recent terrorist attack in Pakistan, there should be a story of its burgeoning fashion industry. It’s still making inroads in the international fashion scene, and it is still behind more recognizable Western brands in terms of marketing and glamor. Yet Pakistani fashion has the perfect alchemy of style and culture that other South Asian or Middle Eastern brands have not yet perfected. It has plenty to offer for those who love ready-to-wear and those who love creating new outfits from scratch. And now that these brands are internationally shipping their products, get those credit cards out and start shopping!