Deepak Perwani is a conspicuous shining star in the fashion industry of Pakistan. He is a designer whose fashion week collections can truly be classified as “panache”. He can be termed as a role model who has a deep understanding of business management and who has excelled in the fashion business over the last two decades or so. His career may have faced periodic ups and downs but he handled all booms and recessions with the acumen of an intelligent business tycoon. With honesty, perseverance and passion Perwani has retained his reputation under all circumstances. His unique sense of innovation and creativity enable him to continue his forward journey unabated.
After successfully spending two decades in the industry what’s next?
I think the journey of a meaningful fashion industry in Pakistan has just started. Real fashion has only become popular in Pakistan during the last 10 years or so. Brands have started organizing events such as sales, mother’s day, father’s day, Eid, new year, valentine day, black Friday etc. It is encouraging to see that export brands are now being introduced in the domestic market. Names such as Nishat and Gul Ahmed are conspicuous in this regard. This is just the beginning and I expect a lot more to come.
You made it to the Guinness book of world records. Can you please tell us something about this unique achievement and how did you feel about it?
Well it was for the largest Kurta in the world. It was a charity project in association with Ariel. Ariel wanted to create this Kurta and we were asked to help them. We did the embellishment and Gul Ahmed also came in The Kura was 170 feet x 300 feet. It was a massive kurta, that was out on a crane and it was put in the national stadium for people to come and see, and then it was cut up and with it we made 117 shalwar kameez suits that were donated to the kids at the Eidhi charity foundation. It was a collaborative effort between us and Ariel.
Apart from designing, you serve as a member of certain community organizations as well. Tell us what they are about?
I have served on lots of projects. I have been on the Board of Governors for Pakistan School for Fashion Design, I have been the chairman of Fashion Pakistan Council, I am also the face of liberal Pakistan, I am also the cultural ambassador of Pakistan to Malaysia and China., There are many other community organizations which I serve and i will continue this service.
We saw you in a T.V play some time ago. Why didn’t you continue acting?
I’ve done about 6 or 7 plays. Actually, I like acting when I am bored. Since i took on the job for FPC, I have not had enough time to spare for acting. Moreover it gets really hot during the shoots sometimes. I am thankful to the people who approach me, with offers of roles in TV plays but i have to say no due to shortage of time.
As one of the founders of the Fashion Council, What are the new things that you are planning to bring to the Fashion fraternity?
FPC is in fact coming up with lots of new activities. We have TDAP show coming up; we are also having the millennial show. During 2 days of TDAP we are expecting buyers coming from abroad. We have got pret, ready to wear collection for the export market. We’ve changed the game; we are focusing on pret and value added garments that can actually be seen by the buyers. In my opinion Pakistan has made enough of t-shirts, jeans and denim jackets and should now make something more innovative and attractive. On the third day of the expo we have planned the millennial show which is for the young kids. Various fashion schools around the country will be showing 6 to 8 types of garments each.
Solo shows are becoming a trend again, are you also planning to do a solo show?
I was actually planning a solo show last year. I had two options; either to do my own solo show or to run the show. I chose to run the show but next year I plan to do my own solo show.
What is your take on two different Fashion Councils of Pakistan?
Well I think both the councils are doing a phenomenal job. We have a very wide and varied market. A decade ago perhaps I would have said one was enough but when I look at it now, I think we need two. We need to look at how the industry is working and expanding so fast. For example a designer from Karachi may not always be able to afford to go to Lahore or vice versa. In my opinion therefore it’s about time to have two councils.
Do you have any new projects, any new movie that you’re doing?
I do have a few projects in the pipeline as well as two movies but I am not at liberty to talk about them.
What is more important to you, the films or the clients?
Definitely my clients are more important.
What kind of role would you like to do in a film?
I can play a great villain and I figured out from my last TV serial that I could play a very good daddy.
As somebody who loves fashion, what’s your take on your own dressing up?
For years now I have dressed up pretty informally. It’s casual, its laidback and it’s my own unique style, matching my personality
Are you brand conscious or do you wear anything you like?
Both, I am actually quality conscious.
What message would you like to give to our readers, especially the ones who want to join the fashion industry?
Be creative, be original and you will shine. In the fashion industry, people are very easy going and very open. If somebody is good, the person gets recognized in an instant. Obliviously for fashion to grow we need new people all the time.
What is your take on the fact that these days almost every house has a designer, regardless of his/her qualification?
Champagne is made all over the world, but only the one that comes from the region of champagne or France can actually put their name on it, other people write Root, sparkling wine etc. Similarly to be couture, you have to be registered with the Syndical De La Couture Paris, as a design house, to even use that word. No designer in the world can use it unless they are registered.