Amir Adnan is a name that needs no introduction today; he is the veritable sultan of traditional men’s clothing. But things weren’t always this grand for the menswear designer who stepped into the business of fashion with a simple collection of neck ties and then hand block printed jeans. Adnan’s evolution will go down in the history of Pakistan’s fashion industry as an inspirational success story but this evening, at his Karachi home, he decided to take a stroll down the memory lane by celebrating 27 years in the field. It was an odd selection of a year – people usually go for ‘25 year’ milestones – but there is absolutely no rule that determines when one should celebrate their happiness. This was one of those moments for Amir Adnan.
“There is no significance of 27 years,” Amir Adnan laughed when I asked. “We wanted to do a solo show and it happened to be our 27th year and that’s why.”
His home was transformed into a show arena, with a white catwalk constructed alongside the pool area and onto the garden. A media-wall had blow-up images of press coverage of his brand through the years. Stationary stools scattered around the garden served as mini-stages for models who stood or sat down, wearing his creations. It was a happy, festive soiree that allowed people to mingle over delicacies.
The show itself was a display of what the brand Amir Adnan stands for – traditional men’s wear, or groom’s wear in particular. Male models walked out in kurtas and sherwanis, some classic and streamlined while others hinted at accents of creative liberty, like the jacket with the calligraphic scrolls embedded in its seams. As Adnan’s wife also designs and is the creative head of brand FnkAsia, the men’s wear of the evening was complemented by wedding wear by Huma Adnan.
“The collection is called Enchanted Wedding as 2018 is all about fantasy and fairy tale,” Adnan explained the concept behind the clothes. “Huma showed her wedding wear and she will be opening her bridal studio very soon,” he added.
While the clothes were the main characters in this presentation, the highlight of the show, it has to be said, was none other than the ageless diva, Meera, who is looking better than ever these days.
“I will be making a comeback into movies next year,” Meera hinted at what to expect from her in 2018, though she refrained from giving too much information away.
Other prominent celebrities of the evening included Zahid Ahmed, who opened the men’s wear segment and Ahsan Khan, who closed with a lot of energy as well as Junaid Khan and Hina Bayat, who are true Amir Adnan loyalists. In the front row one saw Arif Mahmood and Tapu Javeri, Shamaeel, and dozens of friends of the hosts. Frieha Altaf managed the event and choreographed the show, to which Adnan commented, “It is a pleasure to work with Frieha today as she did my first tie exhibition and she stands with me even today.”
“I also wanted to thank Nabila, as she was the first person who supported me and that support has lasted me 27 years,” the designer continued. “Nabila styled my first shoot as well as my first display window. I was very excitied that she styled the looks for this show too. Frieha did my first tie exhibition and it was Samina Ibrahim who put the first article promoting the brand in Newsline. These three people have supported me since day one. From then it started rolling.”
I asked him how he saw the next 27 years of Amir Adnan?
“I see new generations moving in,” he said. “It’s already happening as the second generation is here; my daughter Parishae has joined the business. I see growth and consolidation. The key to succession is the new generation and passing on the ideology of the brand. I see another 200 years of Amir Adnan.”
This article was first published in Instep, on 27 December 2017