It seems as if Pakistani design aesthetics have become a source of inspiration for international fashion designers. Earlier we have seen Pakistani styles such as truck art, gharara, ajrak, Sindhi mirror work and many more being worn by models on runways and celebrities around the globe. Lately, we have spotted many designer brands introducing footwear styles that are culturally affiliated to Pakistan and most of them don’t seem to give credentials where it’s due!
Here is a rundown of five times international designers have taken a shoe inspiration from Pakistani culture:
The traditional pashto footwear has been in the global fashion limelight for quite sometime. It all started in 2014 when Paul Smith redesigned and sold our good old Peshawari chappal with a hefty price tag of £3o0.
We also saw similar looking flats titled ‘Imran Sandals’ in March 2019 at Christian Louboutin’s Instagram page. A vibrant and studded pair of shoes from their new collection were uncannily inspired by Pakistan’s Peshawari Chappal. However, these were inspired from Christian’s friend, Imran Qureshi, a Pakistani artist who has received awards such as ArtNow Lifetime Achievement Award 2016 and Artist of the Year in 2013 by Deutsche Bank.
Italian designer Gianvito Rossi recently introduced ‘Argo flats’ in his new collection. The designer claims that these Argo flats plus denim is ‘the season’s chicest uniform, inspired by the 70s’, however, we would like to correct him here as these are Kohlapuri chappals. Although this footwear originated from the city of Kohlapur in India, Pakistanis have embraced the comfort footwear wholeheartedly and it has been a part of the sub-continent’s cultural attire since forever.
Designer Alexander McQueen just posted a picture of these ankle boots from his spring/summer 2019 collection and do they look familiar? Yes, with floral and animal imagery hand-painted on the heels, this style replicates truck art which is quite popular in Pakistan.