Pakistani Fashion Boutiques Create a Buzz in Toronto
Pakistani fashion boutiques are springing up in and around Toronto bringing latest fashion from Karachi and Lahore to the streets of Canada. Pakistani women in Toronto commonly refresh their wardrobes with 10 to 15 new casual and formal outfits a year. It’s a passion that is giving the more established clothing stores on Gerrard St. E. in Toronto and in Brampton a run for their money. Even though they are thousands of kilometres away from the boutiques of Lahore and Karachi, these women know exactly what’s in style this season – flowing A-line and below-the-knee embroidered kameez tunics, large motif prints on long feathery chiffon scarves, and culottes-style shalwar pants. The Pakistani fashion industry has boomed in the past decade and it is slowly gaining an international reputation. “They want to take control now of what they wear,” says Nazish Khan, who runs one of the boutiques. Most of Khan’s designs are inspired by Pakistan’s top designers, Hassan Sheheryar’s HSY label, Karma and Sobia Nazir. The designers, household names in Pakistan, sell in boutiques and online. The simplest outfits often go for upward of $300. Khan says her tailors in Lahore and Karachi can make similarly designed outfits for about $100.