It’s impossible to imagine Pakistani fashion without the phenomenon that is HSY and it’s impossible not to love him for the value he adds to it. A brand that has the slickest marketing machinery in fashion, a label that is unabashedly consumer driven and a man that would be Pakistan’s Shah Rukh Khan had he stepped into films instead of fashion. Because HSY is a star more than anything else. I can imagine him waking up everyday and finding pleasure in media attention of any sort: interview or quote, picture or profile. The launch of HSY Prints, of course, takes his stardom to another level.
For someone who has never acted on television (not counting the interviews in which he may have had to be diplomatic), his recognition reaches far and wide. It is unprecedented for a fashion designer to be crowded for autographs and photographs but a halo of fans was exactly what HSY was surrounded by at the first day of his exhibition of prints in Karachi.
The prints – twenty different prints in three colour-ways each – were all very wearable, from the lightweight lawns to the heavily embroidered formal pieces. Nothing unconventional (except for the one ‘animal’ print that boasted a flurry of butterflies), one could see women going mad over each and every print. It was a ‘sold-out’ situation and several prints ran out of stock within hours of the exhibition opening.
“We will be printing nine months in the year to ensure that every woman gets the print she wants,” Hassan commented on the red carpet. “I believe that limiting the stock means limiting sales and there’s no point in not giving women what they want.” So the 35,000 joras released in Lahore were wiped out within two hours and the 40,000 that had been flown over to Karachi were literally evaporating over the hours. As HSY ensured, production will continue until the demand for HSY prints continues. It sure doesn’t appear to be waning anytime soon.