Vancouver, B.C. | The second annual South Asian Fashion Week has finally arrived in Vancouver, and this year’s event coordinators and designers are coming in with all they’ve got.
This week, Feb. 21, SAFW hosted a media launch in Yaletown’s exclusive and hidden gem, the Pierre’s Champagne Lounge. Media was invited to mingle alongside the co-founders of SAFW, two of the show’s designers, as well as a few models of the show who wore the selected designs that introduced this year’s collection.
The designers invited to display their line Thursday evening were House of Raina representing women’s fashion as well as Baynes and Baker, representing men’s fashion. Both designers walked the runway last year and both have big plans for this year’s runway.
SAFW’s co-founders Farah Hasan and Cindy Khella, believe that Vancouver was an obvious choice to display South Asian fashion for its diversity and fashion scene.
“Vancouver may be known for it’s Lululemon and love for yoga, but Vancouver also loves fashion,” said Hasan.
After their first attempt to display South Asian fashion, the show captures major international attention which caused Hasan and Khella the ability to let the show grow.
This year numerous vendors will be displaying their work prior, during and before the showcase. Guests can also expect to see designers such as Falguni Shane Peacock whose designed for celebrities like Beyoncé, Lady Gaga, Rihanna and Priyanka Chopra Jonas.
Models from around the world have been invited to walk the runway and are flying in from locations such as Burma, Toronto, Los Angles and New York.
According to Khella, just like last years run, the stage is open and is meant to be diverse and representative.
“We’re really honoured to have these people come aboard and be a part of South Asian Fashion Week. For us, South Asian Fashion Week is almost like a melting pot, not only for cultures but also for different ideas,” said Khella.
Apart from the clothing and jewellery that will be displayed, Khella and Hasan have introduced an art lounge that is open to young and upcoming artists. The space is not only open to South Asian artists but is an opportunity for anyone.
Khella said that giving opportunities to young and upcoming artists is important to SAFW and she hopes to continue to incorporate the art lounge in coming years.
This year’s show includes a lot of firsts and numerous opportunities for young artists. According to Khella, young people interested in fashion, photography, videography, makeup and other artistic abilities can have the opportunity to join a new mentorship program.
“We want to create a platform where (artists) can come in and they can experience firsthand how it is to do makeup and to take photos,” said Khella.
This mentorship gives young people the opportunity to use showcase their talents. With Khella and Hasan behind them, they will also provide equipment, if needed, to those selected.
To kick the mentorship off, five artists have already been selected.
South Asian Fashion Week will run for three days during the first week of March.
To Khella, the success of fashion week can be credited to their guests.