LAHORE: It was inevitable, they’re all saying, some in hushed whispers, others more blatantly: It was only a matter of time before designer Amir Adnan would resign as CEO of the crumbling Fashion Pakistan Council.
The organisation may have been the first to kick start the concept of fashion weeks in the country, but as more players entered the arena, it became clear quite fast which would have the strength to last.
Ever since Adnan took the reins, he had been stating that an enormous amount of legalities and paperwork were bogging the council down, keeping it from moving on with its objectives. “I have been trying for the last six months to cover the backlog. I can’t do it anymore because I just don’t have those kind of resources, time or man-power. Plus, all of this work pertains to the previous council members and I don’t have much information on them,” he explained.
A seasoned player in the market, who is managing not only his own label, but also lending support to his wife’s label FnkAsia, it’s quite easy to see that his hands are full. “Just because I can’t do it doesn’t mean I should hold onto the office, and not let anyone else attempt it,” spoke Adnan candidly, as he dropped the bombshell that his resignation as CEO also means his departure from the council, despite the fact that he is a founding member.
Adnan has been an active part of the fashion week scene throughout the year, with FnkAsia showcasing at the PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week, as well as the Islamabad Fashion Week. With outlets all over the world, the man is only interested in the business that it can yield him. “Having spent time in the council and as an observer for the last few years, the output of designer wear is very limited in a market which is very small. From an economic stand point, all this exposure has lead to diminishing returns,” he says, citing that expecting a two-year-old to give a matriculation exam is ludicrous – an allegory to the situation of the fashion industry at the moment.
“This country just needs one fashion council, and at best, two fashion weeks in a year,” he says, voicing what nearly everyone in the industry, save those clutching onto power, have been saying for the past three years. Of course, there’s no guessing which council has the technical, commercial and design prowess to carry the mantle.
So will Adnan be joining the ranks with the PFDC? He firmly denies the suggestion. “Joining PFDC is not a relevant situation right now, nor it is a consideration. I showed at the last fashion week that they held and will keep supporting them. I don’t see the Lahore-Karachi divide. It’s all about Pakistan, and if someone is doing something well, we should all just join hands and promote it,” says Adnan who, from day one as CEO, kept insisting that he would welcome unity between both councils. The future seems rather bleak for the council: With trumps like Adnan Pardesy, Feeha Jamshed, Rizwanullah and Zaheer Abbas showing with the PFDC, Fashion Pakistan has lost its star power significantly.
While Adnan has been forthright about his resignation, Shamaeel Ansari, the official spokesperson of the Fashion Pakistan Council has refrained from making any statement saying that “the process of new elections needs to be discussed with the legal advisors, and since we still have a lot of paper work to do, we cannot comment till all of it is resolved.”
Veteran designer and board member Maheen Khan will now take on Adnan’s post as CEO.
Expressing her views about his departure, Safinaz Munir of Sana Safinaz said: “I am very sad to have him go. I’m really going to miss him. His clear and precise thinking was of great value to the council”
How successfully the council manages to stay afloat with its administrative mess, lack of funds and constant musical chairs vis-a- vis a council like the PFDC, that is growing from strength to strength with the right corporate connections, unity and design prowess, only time will tell. Meanwhile stakeholders in the industry still hope and pray for a single platform.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2011.