LAHORE-SadiaSiddiqui, CEO & Creative Director of Mustang Productions has brought in a unique understanding of the creative and commercial sides of fashion over the last five years through the renowned platform Fashion Parade.

Having represented South Asian fashion in London with events at the Kensington Palace, Saatchi Gallery and Mandarin Oriental, this year she has taken the platform to Christies New York City USA.

Hosting six South Asian designers, four from Pakistan and two from India the platform celebrates diversity while bridging cross cultural divides by bringing talented artists into the global limelight as designers and fashion experts collaborate under one creative avenue. We caught up with Sadia on her latest edition of Fashion Parade.

Since when did you start planning for Fashion Parade NY?

Fashion Parade started in London and is a well-established platform that celebrates South Asian culture, art, and fashion. Wanting to expand this platform, New York had the perfect market for Fashion Parade. However, it was difficult to bring this platform to New York due to logistical issues. Until moving to New York, I began to work on Fashion Parade during the winter of 2018. During this time, I met Raja JawadAkram, an enterprising man who loved the idea of Fashion Parade NY. Together, we worked to bring Fashion Parade to New York, and his advice and help have been instrumental in putting fashion parade together in New York.

Which designers are participating at Fashion Parade? What were the criteria for the selection?

The participating designers are FaizaSamee, Ali Xeeshan, Delhi Vintage Co., Elan by Khadija Shah, Rabani&Rakha by Raaz, and KamiarRokhni. These designers are masters of their craft. My team and I have chosen our designers very carefully, ensuring that their work is not only stunning but also unique from one another.

Why do you think there is a need to promote South Asian designers

in the west?

Generally, when discussing South Asian fashion, we don’t tend to think about South Asian couture. We rather associate it with major western retailers than South Asian designers.

Contemporary South Asian fashion designers who are not only designing for a local and modern audience but also international audiences are often forgotten by the western world. South Asian designers are working hard towards preserving local and artisanal craftsmanship that is slowly and gradually disappearing due to the growing international demands for fast fashion. South Asian artisanal craftsmanship reflects our heritage and culture.

How would you describe Fashion Parade to a person who is not familiar with the platform?

Fashion parade is a platform that is reclaiming South Asian identity through celebrating its fashion, culture, craftsmanship, and heritage. Fashion parade as a platform sets out to celebrate diversity and change perceptions in the West about South Asia.

We heard that you work closely with the designers in terms of what collection they should show, thus given that aspect what brief did you provide to participating designers in terms of ramp showcase?

We speak and work closely with our designers to guide them towards the overarching theme and aesthetic of the show. Although the designers have full creative freedom in the creation of their collections, our responsibility lies in the overall style and cohesion of the runway, therefore speaking with our designers to help and guide them towards the theme, ensures that we reach our vision for the event.

How does this help the overall goals for Fashion Parade?

Fashion parade wants to build a platform for South Asian designers to showcase their works of art to the western world. Oftentimes, these designers are not given a space to showcase what they and South Asia have to offer. Fashion Parade NY is the first show in NY to showcase the works of South Asian designers, this is a massive leap for Fashion Parade’s mission. This event will be fundamental for South Asian designers to be recognized in the western world of fashion.

You have worked in the UK and Pakistan, two different continents and very different work ethics – how have you incorporated your experiences within Fashion Parade NY?

I have a considerable experience working on Fashion Parade in the UK and Pakistan, and New York could not be more different. Comparing my past experiences organizing shows in both the UK and Pakistan, I have never encountered such a distinctive environment like New York. This city works at an incredible speed and requires a great amount of focus and precision to achieve goals. There are many strict forms of regulation, countless rules that are needed to abide by, and overall requires a different and strong mindset. New York runs on a system that I have just newly encountered, and in many ways, I have had to relearn processes and elements of assembling a show like Fashion Parade in New York.

You have a global team working on Fashion Parade i.e. New York, UK, Pakistan & India – how has this assisted the platform in achieving its goals?

Fashion Parade cannot be achieved without my incredible global team, who all work tirelessly twenty-four-seven preparing and organizing for Fashion Parade.

It is very functional and efficient to have a devoted team that work well together in a cohesive fashion. I have members stationed globally, in London, New York, and Pakistan whom all play critical roles in carrying out the creation of Fashion Parade. I see my team members as a family, bringing the best out of each other and push each other to our limits. We work very closely I have a deep appreciation for my devoted team who work nonstop to put the show together.