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Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture


What Is The Scope Of Designer Wear For Children In Pakistan?

Zara Abbasi

This Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of
BACHELOR OF TEXTILE DESIGN, from Indus Valley School of Art and

Internal Advisor

External Advisor

Uzma Bawany
Gemma Sharpe
Arshad Farooqui






This dissertation would not have been possible if I did not have the support of the following
people, I owe all these people my deepest gratitude.

Ms. Uzma Bawany who supervised my dissertation. Her knowledge, experience and
support towards my work highly motivated me.
Ms. Gemma Sharpe who also supervised my dissertation with her extended
experience and genuine help it enabled me to make this report possible.
I would like to thank my parents for always being there and motivating me, without
them I would have not been able to write this dissertation.
I would also like to thank my sister who has helped me out in times when I needed
the most help.

Table of Contents
Chapter 5 CONCLUSIONS......2930
Chapter 6 BIBLIOGRAPHY.3132
Chapter 7 GLOSSARY..33
Chapter 8 APPENDIX3437

Our Pakistani magazines, newspaper entertainment sections and fashion related channels are
now filled with young girls and boys in ramp shows dressed up in stylish clothes with various
types of cuts and embellishments; the cherry on top is that these clothes have big designer
names attached to them. Personally, I was very surprised and excited to see the fresh idea of
Pakistans top designers are making clothes for little babies as young as 4days old to fourteen
year old teenagers. Here some click into ones mind, Is it a fashion trend that will stay for the
coming decades like it has been gaining success in the West or will the outcome here be
different? I felt that this would be an interesting topic for my dissertation; in finding and
analysing it from 2 points of views. Firstly from the parents view and secondly from the
designers who are designing these clothes for children. From comparing the articles and text
in the literature review one cannot give a definite conclusion as to how much popularity has
couture for children gained especially in Pakistan where couture/prt a porter fashion is new.
This research is therefore based on finding out what the scope of designer wear for children
be in Pakistan.


In the previous decades, clothing for children was limited to the sole option of prt a porter
but with the increasing exposure and awareness of fashion and trends, designer wear/couture
for a child has now come into vogue.
Prt a porter has been and will always be at reach for parents during special occasions such
as Eid, wedding seasons, birthday parties and even for get-togethers. The main attraction for
parents varies from economical price range shops like those at Zainab Market and Tariq
Road to top pricy brands like Gul Ahmed- Ideas or Leisure Club. They showcase a wide
variety of ready made clothes for children from Eastern to Western wear, you name it and
these shops have it. The prices of these local retail shops such as Sanaullah and Minnie
Minors start from Rs.395 and Rs.350 respectively, but a complete suit can cost up to Rs.2,
It is worth noticing that regardless of prt a porter for children being easily available,
designer wear for children is now emerging into the spotlight of Pakistan as an upcoming
fashion. Looking at magazines, ramp shows, television commercials, and internet
advertisements today, it can be easily seen that there is a rise of fashion designers and trends.
Designers are not only focusing on apparel for men and women but are moving a step further


Saadia Qamar, Designer Dreams for Kids, The Express Tribune (posted August 1 2011)
th[ Last accessed January 4 2012]

with their idea of a separate line or collection for children. This new trend is called couture
for children or in other words custom made designer wear. Life becomes easier for parents as
they can go to their favourite Pakistani designer who specializes in children's clothing and
get their childrens clothes custom made according to any size. Even if parents want their 2
month old baby girl to wear a labelled custom made angarkha then that too can be made for
her with a tag of moms favourite designer.

Young girls dressed in Karma Princess Sunsilk Fashion Week. (Figure 1)

This trend may have just begun in Pakistan but internationally it has existed since years and
is widely followed. There is a wide collection of designer wear when it comes to womens
and mens wear, but since a few years there has been a boom in the childrens fashion
industry, especially internationally. Top names in International designers like Christian Dior,
Ralph Lauren, Giorgio Armani, Ben Sherman, Gucci, and Versace and so on have started
focusing on prt and couture for children, price ranging from $425 to $13752. These designer
clothes for children are designed in a similar fashion to what the designers have made in their


Sameer Reddy, Branding the baby, The Wall Street Journal-Fashion, (Posted 18 June 2011)

adult collections. The similarity in the designs and cuts become the main reason why the
clothes start appealing to the parents. Designers and parents commonly like to use the term
mini-mes for them. Researchers have further said, The trend is fuelled by celebrity
children including David and Victoria Beckam's son, Romeo, 8, who appeared in GQ
magazine's Best Dressed list and Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes's daughter Suri, 5, who was
placed ahead of Lady Gaga in Glamour magazine's style icon poll. On the other hand in the
article Kids Wear Designer Clothes By The Age Of 2 in which the general public was
surveyed in India, the result revealed that 4 out of 10 children, wear designer clothes from the
age of two as their parents try to keep up with the Beckhams and the

Above pictures of Tom Cruises daughter Suri Cruise, is the worlds most expensively
dressed toddler. (Figure 2)
Pakistani designers are working on the same line and have launched their designer prt and
couture collection for children. Big names like Maheen Kardar (Little Princess), Nida Azwer


Kids wear designer clothes by the age of 2!, The Times of India- Fashion, (Posted July 12 2011)

(Avadh collection), Hira Lari and Amir Adnan (Father and Son series), Saim, Maria B, Sana
Berry, Afia and Amra (Little Gorgeous) and Zahabiya Jam so on are worth mentioning.
These designers have a set market; they are catering to a certain age group starting from
newborns to 12 year old kids. While others have targeted a slightly different age group but
still working on the same line. Whats different from the international market is that these
designers have mostly focused on our traditional Pakistani or Eastern formal wear rather than
Western wear. These consist of Shalwar kameez, Anghrakhas, Peshwaas and Ghagras for
girls and Kurtas for boys with a price ranging from Rs. 2, 000 and go up to Rs. 12, 000 and
above (price varies with designers).4

As we can see in (Figure 3) young girls dressed in Nida Azwer and Saira Rizwan (Left)
This dissertation was therefore aimed at researching what would be the scope of couture for
children in Pakistan in the future and how much success will it be gaining in the coming


Hani Taha, Make way for kids couture , The Express Tribune, (Posted 1 August 2011)

years? Is couture for children in Pakistan just for special occasions such as Eid-ul-Fitr, Eidul-Adah and wedding seasons or will it become a part of our casual life? Also, would the
demand for designer wear for kids rise to higher dimensions or will it slowly fade away?
To answer these questions the research required the opinions of both designers and parents
via interviews and surveys. As travelling was not feasible therefore this research was
conducted within the city of Karachi. This dissertation is beneficial to design students who in
their professional career want to design clothes for children.
The research was undertaken in the time period of one academic year. This document is
divided into a number of chapters to chronologically take you through this research. The
chapters include the current introductory chapter followed by the,
LITERATURE REVIEW: This section of the dissertation deals withal that have bee said
about prt/couture for children. What have authors and writers said and how can this
dissertation benefit from the information gathered ad analyzed by the scholars.
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY: This chapter showcases a detailed structure of how this
research was conducted, from the type of questionnaires and surveys to the approach that was
undertaken for this research.
FINDINGS AND ANALYSIS: The particular chapter of the dissertation relives the
experience of the findings done in this field. This section validates as well as disagrees with
some of the scholastic information that was discussed in the literature review. Also it
compares the information discussed in the literature review with primary research.
As a student of textile design, I feel that textile is also linked to fashion in many ways. I
believe it will be interesting to explore the newly emerging for Eastern childrens wear.

This dissertation aims at finding and analyzing what will be the scope of designer wear for
children in Pakistan?

Literature Review
The Matthew Watson the author of the book, Clothing is Incomplete without Designer
Clothes5 states a strong quote in the beginning of his book Clothing is an art of expressing
one's personality, pointing out that those who pay attention to their sense of clothing stand
out from the crowd. He further explains when we flip through a magazine the main reason
why those glossy pages seem to grab our attention is mainly because the male/female models
are covered in designer clothes.
The author states, 6 One of the turning points in the evolution of early humans was the act of
decorating the body. All known cultures embellish the body either with marks on the skin or
clothing. Body adornment recognizes the individual as a person and communicates aspects of
her/his personal and social identity. In the 21st century, fashion as body adornment is still a
universal part of a persons everyday experience yet, there is no agreed upon definition of
As couture for children is a new fashion in Pakistans fashion industry is therefore important
to know about the history of clothing for children, basically looking into the matter of how it

Matthew Watson. Clothing is incomplete without designer clothes, Historical Heroin. [Last accessed
January 12 2012]
Lit Review, Theorizing Fashion.

all started, in a book called, The Dynamics of Fashion7 the author discusses the history of
childrens apparel, to give a quick idea of how children used to dress before the 1800s i.e.
before fashion trends started, the author wants to takes the reader back to the Renaissance
and the American colonial era, Children wore loose clothes with low necklines, bustles, and
pantaloons, in other words similar to the clothes of adults. The author goes on explaining the
reason behind the looseness of childrens clothes, for parents wanted children to grow into
them, also the clothes were made with sturdy material so that it could be passed on the
younger siblings. Furthermore the author discusses how the children of the 1800s never had
an issue with whatever they were asked to wear, though the clothes were dull and
unattractive, children never had the nerve to tell their parents No. By reading the previous
sentence one can assume that this not really an issue of that time, for the kids or the parents,
The children did not have any television in their homes to look dressed up like so and so
character, Gone are those days; today however the case is different, every girl wants to be a
Princess and wear flowy Pishwaas like Kameezes.
The book Dynamics of Fashion7 rightly points out that it was World War 1 that changed the
whole scenario of the childrens apparel industry. The author explains how manufactures
found new ways to make childrens apparel more durable than stitching also they came out
with the concept of different sizes for the same garment. Further on the author mentions that
it was the 1920s which really boosted the childrens clothing industry, parents wanted their
children to dress up like characters from musicals, etc. The author clearly states that it was
1950 was when the revolution took place in the time line of childrens apparel, those who
brought television in their home were the largest consumers of children wear. The text

Elaine Stone, The dynamics of fashion, Second Edition Fairchild, The Secondary Level: The producers of
apparel. Childrens and Teens Apparel Chapter 10.pp

explains that television programs attracted children of every age group even teenagers. One
can relate this to what is happening today, children and teenagers get attracted by what they
see on the television. Moreover, parents play a more important role in this case in buying
children what they want, also as they want their children to be dressed in utmost perfection.

Further on, the book is divided into a sub heading called Designer Labels and Society7, in
which the author discusses how designer wear for children is becoming a huge part of a
society and how designer wear is available for both middle and high income earning
customers. Further more, the author talks about the history of childrens wear, He continues
by explaining how childrens wear really came into the limelight, by pointing out a time in
our history when a designer under the name of Izod introduced a boys line in 1960s and
from there onwards-the explosion in designer label childrens wear took off in the late
1970s with the designer jeans craze.
The text discusses a survey, British Lifestyle Survey by Mintel7 in 2001 showed that
parents continue to indulge their children with brand name clothing even when the economy
is slow and they have less money for themselves. On the other hand China sees a bright
future, as a research report8 on Chinas Childrens wear industry 2012, says that in the coming
10 years the childrens wear industry will win the consumers with the strongest economic
strength. Furthermore, with an enormous population base of newborn infants, the industry
will continue developing in a positive way This is interesting and can be related to
Pakistans economic state and population growth scale.

Research and Markets: Research Report on Chinese Children's Wear Industry - 2011-2012, Business Wire
(Posted November 22 nd 2010) [Last accessed January 12th 2012]

The author Elaine Stone7 further discusses that sometimes brand names get the same amount
of importance as designer labels that is because they are equally famous as designer-labels.
We can assume this happens because brands often associate themselves with brand
ambassadors, people tend to relate to them, therefore the brand gets as much as importance as
the designer-label. Also in the book, (The Dynamics of Fashion) mentions how designers are
becoming a part of the childrens clothing world, David Wolfe, a creative director of
Doneger Group, a New York buying office said, Status is definitely trickling down to kids,
they are looking at their mothers and other sisters, and they want to wear the same brands.
They are also looking at pop icons and want to dress just like them 7
The author7 goes on mentioning how famous designers have launched separate childrens line
under their name. A designer brand named Moschino has Moshino Junior for 2 to 15 year old
kids. This is interesting because this trend can be spotted by our Pakistani designers as well,
though it has just started. They are following the same foot steps as the designer mentioned
above, and it would be interesting in finding out if that really is the case? Do Eastern
designers look towards the Western for guidance and inspiration?
Looking at the international market or even looking at our neighbouring country India in
which designers are promoting the idea of having a separate clothing line for children, an
article called, Childs Play9 writer, Ashima Batish talks about how a fashion week in
Mumbai was dedicated to children, in which famous Indian designer Rocky S along with
other designers showcased their collection for children. Mohita, a Chandigarh based designer
also presented her 612 Ivy League collection for children. The main reason why these
designers made a separate line for children is because they wanted to make clothes that

Ashima Batish, Childs play, Tribune India

. [Last accessed 12 th May 2012]

would compliment the childs age, these designers felt that Indias younger generation below
teenage has started dressing up like college students, therefore they introduced 300 different
designs, which comprised of very chic jumpsuits, shorts and gowns for girls and woven
shirts. The designers also mentioned that the prices of their designs are kept low as to
promote this new trend of fashion. Also the collection comprises of casual clothes, there was
a sentence in this article related to casual designer wear for children which I really liked, the
fashion designer mentioned that we have purposely kept the clothes casual because we dont
want kids to stop playing or get bogged down by fashion. The approach which the Indian
designers have taken in this field of designer wear for children is great, it is not restricted like
it in presently with our designers who are only producing formal bridal wear for kids, if our
designers also start designing casual wear for children there might be a bigger scope for
Another international article Design for Tiny Tots10 by Oman Tribune magazine talks in
detail about how designer wear for children is on a rise, magazines and news is filled with
paparazzi shots of celebrity children such as Gwen Stefanis boys sport mohawks, black
rocker T-shirts and baggy cargo pants like their dad Gavin Rossdale; Jessica Albas daughter
Honor Warren mimics her mothers frilly, feminine style. This new trend of dressing your
child up in a similar manner as you do isnt limited to celebrities only, many parents of the
upper class of the society also enjoy this luxury too, The wealthy, of course, have always
garbed their children in luxurious fabrics; go to any large museum and check out paintings
from the last several hundred years and youll see infants in lace; toddlers in velvet and 7year-olds in dresses with embroidered pearls. Although it becomes difficult for the middle

Designs for tiny tots, Oman Tribune- The Edge Of Knowledge. MTC NEWS SERVICE.
20Details [Last accessed 12th May 2012]

class to afford such expensive clothing for their children yet a research showed that, the
sales of childrens clothing have grown rapidly, as parents in the U.S. have upped the number
of garments in the family wardrobe. Even parents who might scrimp on clothing for
themselves will buy beautiful dresses and jackets for a family photo portrait or a special
occasion. And options for the wealthy have multiplied in the last several years. Further on
the article talks about how a designer named Phillip Lim whose childrens line is called Kid,
he has exactly imitated his adult version of clothing and made it smaller for the kids, he
added that its like Mommy and me. Pakistan designer Amir Adnan had also worked on a
similar line and called his Eid collection Father and Son Collection. Fashion directors,
Colleen Sherin in the article mentions that people when buying designer clothing children are
looking for a special emotion or a wow factor, as long there is an emotional response towards
the clothing the price does not matter. This article has also mentioned other fields in which
childrens industry is playing a vital role, for example the designer footwear for kids Prada
and Gucci are examples of designer brands who are not only focusing on clothing for kids
but also footwear. Lastly a style expert in the article points out its about the generation of
mini me a term I mentioned in my introduction, Bump it up is a book about how to have a
stylish pregnancy, it talks about getting your child noticed in the crowd. An interview with
Rosie Pope10, a New York maternity concierge, designer of a maternity clothing line and star
of the Bravo channels Pregnant in Heels adds humor to the article she says, Especially
with the first baby, people go crazy, they have no limits, They justify the purchase in
their heads. And since at 6 months, the babies start to look like little people and parents can
really start to see them as an extension of themselves, its part of the whole process of
becoming a parent. Its the fun part.

As the new trend of designer wear for children is emerging in Pakistan, our magazines have
started covering stories related to this topic. In a Sunday plus magazine interview dated 15th
January 2012 designer Saira Rizwan was asked if she plans to start of a separate clothing
collection for children, she replied saying, Kids wear is on the to do list of 2012, lets see
how far we get with that.11
In a Tribune internet article called Make Way for Couture Kids, journalist Hina Taha
highlights how designers in Pakistan are going about this new trend of Couture for children,
especially girls12. The author gives a descriptive introduction on how these beautiful glittery
dresses would look on little girls who wear them. This is true although these clothes are
pricey (ranging from Rs.2, 000-12, 000). They are beautifully made, any young girl who
wears them will surely be noticed and asked about the designer who has made the dress.
Further on the author tells the reader that these designers have showcased their clothing line
for kids even in PFDC Sun silk fashion week. The author also mentions that the designers are
getting a great response from their customers.
The writer, Hina Taha9 further goes on giving fine details on how the designer namely Nida
Azwer has concentrated on the fine details and motifs of her childrens line. The author
quotes Nida Azwers words, Kids today are so precise about what they want that they dont
let their moms pick for them. A few walked in today and were so excited to go to the trial
room and try clothes out themselves.
Furthermore the author makes an assumption that soon all Pakistani designers will start their
line on childrens couture, because there are not many options available for kids. The author



50 THINGS YOU DIDNT KNOW ABOUT SAIRA RIZWAN. Sunday Plus Magazine. (Posted January 15 2012)
th [Last accessed February 10 2012]
Hina Taha, Make way for kids couture. The Express Tribune. (Posted August 1 2011)
th [Last accessed January 4 2012]

also says, The West, on the other hand, considers children an independent buyer group as a
result of which a growing number of brands including Hermes, Ralph Lauren and
Burberry have a collection dedicated to kids. Here in Pakistan, it is a fresh albeit lucrative
concept that plays out adorably on the ramp and it will be interesting to see how other
fashion biggies interpret their collections for their mini clients. 9

Figure 4. Above Nida Azwers collection Avadh Loreal Fashion Week-Paris.

In an internet article Designer Dreams for Kids13author Saadia Qamar, begins by giving an
example of how its designer wear and branded clothes that have become at an arms reach,
the author compares the Western clothing line of kids with the Eastern clothing line which is
emerging, pointing out that the West still have more choice when it comes to shopping for
kids as they have made separate designer shops for kids, for example as previously

10 Saadia Qamar, Designer Dreams for Kids, The Express Tribune (posted August 1 2011)
th[ Last accessed January 4 2012]

mentioned in the literature review, designers aboard have separate shops with the same name
which only caters to juniors. It would be interesting in finding out what our designers think
of this idea and will they be looking forward to having separate shops which only cater to
young boys and girls? The author10 goes on quoting Karmas brand manager, Amir Iqbal,
Todays girl wants to dress up and we believe we need to provide for them.

Figure 5. Above Karma Princess models waiting in line to walk on the ramp of Sunslik
Fashion Week.
Girls say no to their mothers and tell them what they want to wear, that is what a four or a
five-year-old does in the 21st century. Karma Princess caters to that crowd, in which the
small girls want to follow their mothers style when it comes to wearing a dress.
The writer further on mentions that Maheen Kardar has come out with 20 designs for her
Karma Princess collection, the price range of these detailed dresses are from Rs.1, 500 to 12,
000. Karma Princess also plans to extend the childrens clothing line business to the next

level, but before that it is important to find out what will be the response of parents towards
designer wear for kids.


Research Methodology
The chosen topic investigates and looks into the scope of designer clothing for children in
Pakistan, particularly the new trend of couture for children. This is how I went about my
The approach towards answering the queries about the question being asked comprised of
both a qualitative and quantitative directions of data gathering, mainly quantitative followed
by a qualitative approach. Quantitative approach because the data can be analysed more
efficiently and it is able to test hypotheses. The success of couture for children is in the hands
of the parents therefore it was a very important part of the dissertation as to find out by
surveying parents in the form of questionnaires and surveys their views and opinions about
couture and prt a porter for children. Qualitative approach because as the study unfolds it
becomes easier to answer this question. Also, to find out the future of couture from a
designers point of view, Different interviews and field research were conducted which
comes under qualitative research. On the other hand I had also collected couture images
which had been published during my research time period in our Pakistani magazines.
Methods of Research Given Below:
Secondary research

As couture for children is new in Pakistan, libraries around Karachi didnt much material on
this topic. I did an intensive search and found 2 books in Indus Valley School Art and
Architecture which were helpful. Our Pakistani magazines had great amount articles related
to designer wear for children. My secondary research was mostly based on articles and book
chapters collected from the internet, newspapers and magazines. The material which I had
chosen to be in my literature review has international as well as local articles. In my
secondary research I have discussed the history of childrens apparel, how designer wear is
becoming an important part of the society, I had selected articles from Pakistani magazines
which speaks about the new emerging fashion of designer wear for children.
Primary research:
Qualitative Approach
A primary research includes purely a field based survey of different designers, their
interviews are taken and discussions were carried out to acquire the necessary results.

Unstructured and in-depth interview:

In-depth and unstructured approach taken when interviewing designers as they could give
out first hand information as to what response have they gotten from the previous couture
collection for children. Furthermore, it become easier to understand the topic from the
subjects point of view. Interviews were conducted through meeting these designers in
person and asking the questions on the phone or email. The questions were unstructured;
this gave me a good opportunity to get as much as information possible on the topic as
there is not much secondary research available on the topic of designer wear for children.
A structured interview was therefore not preferred because that would have limited the
designer in answering openly about the topic.

The designers which I had selected to interview were Nida Azwer, Sania Maskatiya,
Tayyab Bombal and Zahabiya Jam. The reason why I had chosen Nida Azwer for
interviewing is because when it comes to prt a porter and couture for children, she is one
of the first designers who have made a separate line for childrens wear. It was interesting
in finding out her personal experience about children wear. Next I had chosen Sania
Maskatiya and Tayyab Bombal because these designers do not have a separate line for
children, I asked them the reason why they and other designers have not started
couture/prt a porter fashion for children and if they plan to start it in the future? And if
they dont plan to start whats stopping them from doing so? Lastly, Zahabiya Jam, An
Indus Valley graduate of the year 2005 is a new name in the list of Pakistani designers.
She designs for women and little girls. As she is new in the list of designers, it was
interesting in finding out how far is she willing to take her childrens collection, if it is
temporary or will she be producing more collections in the coming years.
Quantitative Approach:

Semi Structured surveys:

This was a survey, questionnaire and a field based research, the interviewees in this case
were parents, specifically mothers. 6 to 10 questions were asked in the form to be filled
out of which 2 questions were focused upon. These questionnaires were given out malls,
and for example The Forum, Dolmen Mall, etc. The questions were structured in such a
way that mothers could give a quick response. 100 surveys were given out, the data were
further calculated in the form of italic marks and then pie charts were made. This
included numerical information, for examples figures and statistics. For the surveys and
questionnaires parents from all the classes were surveyed. They were asked whether they

prefer designer wear for themselves followed by a question asked, if they would like
designer clothing for their children.

The trend of couture for children is a new trend which had just emerged in Pakistan in 2010,
as mentioned before there are only a hand full number of designers who have a separate line
for childrens clothing. This research was only conducted in Karachi and questionnaires were
answered by parents of Karachi, therefore this research had created some inaccuracies.
Designers Amir Adnan and Sania Safinaz and Maheen Kardar were also to be interviewed
but due to some personal reasons, their interview could not be taken, if I couldve gotten their
interviews my research wouldve been stronger. I would like to point out some inaccuracies
which I thought should be mentioned, the census which had been received from Nadras
office is from the year 1998 and the study for this research was conducted between the years
2011-2012 therefore there must be some changes which have been taken place throughout
these years. The numerical statistics given might not be exactly accurate. The answers
received by designers might have some biases attached to them, for example childrens
designer might not be getting much success they still might say its going great because its
an interview and they want to portray their best side, also the economy of Pakistan is low and
unstable therefore many parents try to make the most of it and repeat the clothes of their
children at different occasions, they do not make many new clothes for they feel the child
will grow out these clothes, therefore they avoid spending a lot of cash on their young ones.

Also not every parent dresses their child up in Eastern formal wear some parents always
dress their infants and children in Western clothes.
Evaluation: The data which had been collected from the primary research in the form of 100
surveys which was handed out to parents was evaluated by taking out the percentage and
then further pie charts were made.

Finding and Analysis

The following data were collected from different sources. It helped in reaching to a point of
consideration. The primary information was collected through surveys, interviews and field
Looking at the findings of the previous chapter i.e. Literature review, one can easily
determine that couture for children has a strong history when looked at from an international
point of view, on the other as far as Pakistans Eastern formal wear for kids has just started. It
becomes important to know as to how many parents will accept this new trend of designer
wear for kids, therefore coming to my research question, what will be the scope of designer
wear for kids in Pakistan.
For the analysis Nadras office was visited to get census statistics as to the population of
children residing in our urban areas (information also available online), unfortunately the
census which was received was carried out in the year 1998, Also the new census will be
published in 2014. Next, interviews were conducted with designers who design clothes for
children, these interviews were taken place to view the dissertation question from the
designer's point of view, to find out what difficulties have they faced and how successful has

this new trend of couture for children been for them?. Parents of different classes were
surveyed, It was a 10 question long survey. Last but not the least for the field research Nida
Azwers shop was visited where a day was spent researching about couture and prt for
According to the 1998 census available the percentage of the population of children under the
age 15 is 85.35% out of which 39.25% belong to the urban area.14 This can be related to
Chinas Chinas population of childrens growth as mentioned in the literature review.
A person to person interview was conducted with the designer Nida Azwer, A textile
graduate of the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture, Karachi. Nida is a designer for
both male and female outfits but has recently been designing formal Eastern clothes for
children on a large scale; she also has a separate line for them. Nida is one designer who
designed formal Eastern clothing for young boys and girls and let kids also model out her
clothes on the ramp show with other models. Nida was questioned regarding the new trend of
formal wear for children how this trend started and how long will the fashion last, how
interested parents are in this fashion, similarly an article from the New York post posted
several stories of how mothers have started dressing up their little girls in similar outfits as
they, On asking her why she started to design childrens clothing when she was already
designing clothes for women and male, she replied that mothers who used to get clothes
designed by her use to insist her on designing clothes for their daughters and sons, it was then
when she felt that there is a need for formal designer clothes for children. She pointed out
that she is one of the few designers who is designing clothes for children therefore she has
been getting a great response from her clients and parents as well. This statement can only be


Statistics, population by selected ages groups, Population census organization. [Last accessed: 5 April 2012]

true for a certain class of people, according to the surveys taken from parents, mothers are
excited about the idea of designer wear for children, because it limits the hassle they have to
go through, but at the same time with the unstable economy in Pakistan, parents think twice
before spending a lot of money on their growing children. The childrens collection starts
from rupees 1800 onwards. Nida mentioned the difficulties she has to face while designing
clothes for children, the fabrics have to be carefully chosen, silk, cotton, brocade, and wool
and so on are used. She said that there is a wide range of audience available due to the
different price ranges available. That is one reason why prt a porter for children is a fashion
to stay. Nida pointed out that there is a wide area for development in this designing field for
children, if some designer is interested in making Western clothes for children, then they will
get a great amount of success in it, as there are no designers exploring the Western area.
Another important question which came up during the interview was what will be her next
step in childrens wear? Will she be interested in designing Western clothes for our Pakistani
children? She rightly pointed out that Eastern clothing for children has already been a tough
task for her, as it requires taking care of a lot of small details as these clothes are worn by
young children. The finishing has to be neat and perfect therefore she will stick to Eastern
formal wear. [Interview conducted in person 10th February 2012. Transcribed from
Another interview was conducted with designer Sania Maskatiya, she is also a graduate of
the Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture. Sania specializes in doing prt wear for
women but her couture line is also very famous as she designed Sharmeen Obaid Chinoys
outfit for the Oscars. As there are only few designers in the market who are catering to
children, it became important to interview designers who dont design clothes for children.

Sania pointed out that there is a great scope for designer wear for children, she would love to
start of a separate line for childrens wear but for that she will need a separate manufacturing
team. She said that ever since she has had her own 2 baby girls she has been quite excited
about the idea of designing clothes for children. She mentioned in her interview that clients
make special requests asking her to design clothes for their daughters, the prices of these
custom made outfits cost according to how much work has been done on them, some of them
range from Rs.15, 000 to 30,000. She mentioned that on many occasions such as Eid and
weddings she designs clothes for little girls in her family. [Interview conducted in person on
January 20th 2012. Transcribed from recording.]
A telephone interview was conducted Zahabiya Jam. She believed that the future of designer
wear for children should be called convenient wear, reason being mothers are not really
concerned as to which designer their child is wearing as far as the clothes look good, are
comfortable and could be worn 2,3 times. She rightly mentioned how people have become so
busy nowadays and will get even busier in the coming future, they do not have time for
bazaars and tailor trips therefore on occasions like birthdays, Eid and Shaadis mothers tend
to find designer wear the best option for their kids as mothers and their children can pick out
their own choice of colour combinations and embellishments. No doubt brands with Eastern
formal wear for children have potential in Pakistan but the prices of these clothes are as same
as designer wear that is Rs.3000 to 7000, therefore parents prefer couture more over brand
prt a porter. Couture lets mothers decide what style of clothes they want for their child to
wear. Zahabiya mentioned that nowadays little girls of the age 4, 5 are so interested in
dressing up traditionally that they tell her themselves which colour they want their dress be
off. She also mentioned something that was very interesting which can be related to the

mini-mes concept of the West, where mothers dress their daughters like them. Clients ask
her to make same outfits for them and their babies. One very important question of mine for
this research is designer wear only restricted to the elite? Zahabiya mentioned that many
clients give her a budget of a certain amount and clothes are designed accordingly. There are
times when mothers bring in their own clothes to lower down the cost. While there are many
mothers who are ready to spend as much as Rs.28, 000 on their daughters Eid clothes. People
from middle class to the upper class all place in orders. She mentioned that presently she has
20 permanent clients under the age of 9. She also said that she was very happy that little girls
take so much interest in such fine details. Zahabiya has designed clothes for babies as young
as 4 days old. One reason she hasnt started a separate line or collection for children is
because the stitching of childrens clothing is more difficult and expensive than that of an
adult and as she is a new designer in the market she wants make her platform strong and then
move on to different fields within fashion. She spoke about how there is a great scope for
boys clothing, it is even more than that of girls. [Interview conducted via phone: 1st June

Figure 6. Above a picture of an 8 month of baby wearing Zahabiya Jams designer line.
Next, Tayyab Bombal a Pakistani fashion designer who is famous for his mens wear was
also interviewed, he spoke about how it is difficult for present designers who already design
clothes for men and women to start a separate line of childrens wear. Tayyab pointed out
that having a separate line of childrens clothing is a whole new chapter as it needs a huge
setup. He said that he does not see himself starting a clothing collection for children in the
future, on the other hand he mention that in the past years he has designed clothes for
children on their parents request, as these clothes were made for young children, less cloth
was used as well as less embroidery therefore he charged them between Rs. 3000 to 5000.
When asked about what he thinks is the scope of designer wear for children in Pakistan, he
said that childrens clothing can turn out to be very successful if designers play smartly and
have proper retailing strategies. [Interview conducted by email: 12th-13th May 2012]
The next step of this research was to survey parents around Karachi. To find out their point
of views, hundred parents were surveyed, mostly mothers. The target of this survey was to

find out the percentage of parents who are looking forward to designer wear for children and
to see if parents are willing to spend an ample amount of cash on designer wear. The surveys
were distributed in 5 different locations, mainly shopping markets and malls, (Dolmen Mall
Tariq Road, AshianaClifton, Dolmen Mall-Clifton, Park Towers, Clifton, and ForumClifton) because one can come across people from all classes at these places mainly middle
and upper class. Keeping two main questions in focus, firstly how many mothers buy
designer wear for themselves and secondly will they be willing to buy designer wear for their
children. The results showed that 45% of mothers said that they occasionally wear designer
25% of mothers said that they always wear designer wear meaning casual and formal wear
(They mentioned Sana Safinaz). 30% of mothers said that dont prefer buying designer wear


Figure 7.
This answered showed that most women do treat themselves with designer wear but that is
only on special occasions. As far as childrens designer wear was concerned It was essential

to find out if parents were looking forward to designers coming out with a separate clothing
line for children, 65% of parents think that designers should make Eastern formal wear for
children but at an economical price range. They said that the price range when buying clothes
for their children ranges from Rs.1000 to 2000. Some parents also said that they will spend
more than Rs.2000 because thats how much it costs even when they get it personally
stitched from their own tailors. 35% of the parents voted that designer wear for children will
be a little hard to digest at the moment as it is a new fashion trend and not many parents have
actually experienced buying clothes from designer houses but as time passes by and our
economy settles in there might be a great acceptances by parents for designer wear for








Figure 8.
Mothers were asked whether they prefer Eastern or Western wear when they go shopping for
their kids, 42% said prefer both, 39% said they prefer ready made Western wear and 16%
said that they always buy Eastern wear for their children. It was important to know how often

do parents dress their children in Eastern wear, 70% of parents voted that they dress their
children in Eastern clothes only on special occasions such as wedding seasons, Eid and
birthdays, 20% of parents said that they dont prefer dressing their children in Eastern wear


Figure 9.
As this dissertations question is linked with designer wear for children, therefore it was
important to find out how many parents are actually brand conscious when buying clothes for
their children, 29% of parents said that they are not brand conscious at all when shopping for
their children as the child will grow out of the clothes, it would be a waste spending so much
money on branded clothes, 45% of the parents said that they sometimes are brand conscious
while shopping for their children and 26 % responded by saying that they are always brands
conscious when shopping.
A field research was conducted in which Nida Azwers shop Studio 13 at Sunset Lane Phase
5 was visited. A day was spent in the store to observe the flow of clients who come to do

shopping for their children. As this field research was conducted 2 months before Eid
therefore a few parents did come to do Eid shopping for their young ones. However the sales
woman mentioned that when Eid comes closer the sales go higher than they are now, but on
normal days clients do come to place orders for their children, they also buy semi-formal prt
outfits. Parents seem to find this a better option as all sizes are available for children and they
have to wait for weeks till the outfit gets designed and then stitched. The prices of Nidas prt
outfits range from Rs.1800-12000, which is quite reasonable as Nida is catering to a niche
market. Parents usually do spend Rs.2000 on wedding dresses for their children then why not
buy designer wear and save the hassle of tailors.



Couture for children although an emerging fashion trend in Pakistan but it has definitely
gotten parents excited thanks to the media (Pakistani fashion channels) which show young
girls and boys of the age 10 even younger walking on ramp wearing glittery Nida Azwer or
Maheen Kardars ghararas and sherwanis. From the research conducted for The Scope of
Design Wear for Children in Pakistan some important points came into consideration. The
following conclusion was drawn, according to the interviews taken from designers, couture
for children has a great scope in Pakistan because the prices of Eastern formal prt a porter at
brand shops cost pretty much the same as a designer would charge, a designer would charge,
it might be 1 or 2 thousand more but whats better is that mothers and their children get to
select the colour combination and cuts of their choice, also this saves time and the hassle of
making trips to the tailor. According to designers the upper class as well as the middle class
both wear and buy designer wear for their children. It is a common phenomenon that Western
trends are followed globally, even if we take into inconsideration, Pakistan alone then there
has also been a consistent following of Western trends. For instance, in the West, the trend of
wearing couture and famous designer labels on the red carpet in their award shows like The
Oscars or The Grammy Awards where celebrities tell what label theyre wearing with pride

is also followed by Pakistani celebrities or the elite class in Pakistani award shows like The
Lux Style Awards and at the at launch of branded stores and restaurants, where they flaunt
the designer labeled couture that theyre wearing. It is also seen that the Pakistanis follow
colours trends inspired by the West through their Fashion weeks like The New York
Fashion week. If pastel colours are in there then they are also worn here; if highlighter
colours are in there then they are in here. The same can be seen with the Pakistanis following
Western trends from loose bell bottom jeans to worn out jeans to skinny jeans to jeggings to
loose khakis. Parents who are brand conscious and have an eye for design, clothing material
used and stylish cuts have no issue in ordering a suit worth Rs.30, 000 for their child but only
on special occasions. Designers who design clothes for childrens are catering to a niche
market, that market will always remain available to them, perhaps if they market their name
more they will achieve greater success. As far as the middle class is concerned the designers
said that they too are getting their clothes designed by designers, they just present a budget
before they give the clothes for designing. On the other hand designers that have not yet
came out with a separate line of clothing for children do not plan to do so in the coming
future as it requires a bigger team of manufacturers than they already have, they still do
design clothes for their clients children on special request but this designing is done on a
small scale. Thus it can be concluded from such from research that designer wear for children
will also be followed and inspired to be worn by a section of Pakistans society. According to
the surveys conducted majority of parents mothers especially, being the biggest consumers of
couture for children are ready to welcome this fashion trend.


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Historical Heroin. [Last accessed January 12th 2012]

Angarkha: A long sleeved tunic with a wrap V-neck front that ties at the side, comes in
short and long versions that fall above and below the knee. Variations of the angarkha are
worn by both men and women and are paired with fitted Churidar pants.

Couture: The French meaning of couture is, high sewing" or "high dressmaking" or "high
fashion". It is the creation of exclusive custom-fitted clothing. Couture is made to order for a
specific customer, and it is usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with
extreme attention to detail and finished by the most experienced and capable seamstresses,
often using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques.
Ghagra: gagra choli or ghagra choli, which is also known as lehenga choli, is a form of
skirt which is long, embroidered and pleated.
Kurta: a loose, stitched garment worn by men and women, most commonly described as a
Pishwas: A long flowy Kameez with long sleeves and a yoke on top.
Prt a porter: Also commonly known as ready to wear, Ready-to-wear apparel is generally
mass-produced in factories, using standardized patterns and inexpensive construction











Dissertation Questionnaire The Scope Of Designer Wear For Children

1. Mothers occupation: ____________________________
2. Father's occupation: _____________________________
3. When shopping for your children/child do you prefer:

Western wear
Eastern wear
4. How often do you dress your child/children in Eastern wear:

Wedding and Eid seasons
5. Are you brand name conscious when it comes to buying Eastern clothes for your child/children:

Not at all
6. Should there be designer clothes for kids?
7. Should designers make a separate line for kids?
8. When it comes to buying clothes for your child how much are you willing to spend:

Below 500
2000 and Above
9. Should our Pakistani designers start making Western clothes for kids?

10. Do you think there is an acceptance by parents for custom made kids clothing (Designer wear)
in Pakistan?

Designer: Nida Azwer
Q. Where did you get the idea of designer wear for children or what made you start this
A. Many of my customer parents would ask me to design clothes for their children, I felt that
there was a need for in the market, therefore I started a separate line for kids wear.
Q. Do your kids wear sell more on occasions such as Eid?
A. Yes, Eid and whenever parents want to get clothes made for their children during
weddings etc.
Q. Do you think its feasible to take the risk?
A. I am getting a great response from it.
Q. Which age group are you catering to?
A. From newborn babies to 14 year olds.
Q. What products other than clothes are you planning to make for kids?
A. Right now I am only focusing on clothing for both girls and boys
Q. What are the price ranges?
A. The price starts from 1800 and goes up however much.
Q. Do you use the same designs for kids wear as for womens wear?
A. Yes they are pretty much the same in terms of designs and material used.
Q. Are you only doing Eastern wear for kids?
A. Yes I am only doing Eastern wear and Eastern formal wear for kids.

Q. Or do you plan to cater to the Western market too?

A. No, not now.
Q. Do you think if you focus on Western wear you will get more international clients?
A. Yes true, there is a great scope if our designers go into Western wear but right now I have
no time to even think about Western wear, because Eastern wear is a difficult job altogether.
Q. Are you getting orders for kids wear from aboard?
A. I do have stores aboard, like in Dubai. So yes..
Q. What material are you using for kids wear?
A. The fabric has to be carefully chosen, silk, cotton, brocade, and wool and so on are used.

Designer: Sania Maskatiya

Do you presently have a separate line for children?
A. No, not at the moment
Q. Do clients make special requests asking you to design clothes for their children?
A. Yes, clients do come in asking me to design clothes for their daughters. Girls from the age
8 start wearing my clothes.
Q. What is the price range of these outfits?
A. It becomes really difficult to put a price on such small sized clothes, as for my family and
friends, I dont charge them. For clients it really depends on how much work they want to get
done on the clothes, Rs.15, 000-30,000.
Q. In the future do you plan to start a separate line for children?
A. I really want to; as I have daughters of my own I love seeing them dressed in our
traditional wear. But it requires a whole team and right now I dont have that.
Q. Do you think that designer wear for children has a future in Pakistan?
A. Yes definitely it does, so many designers have started making clothes for children.

Designer: Tayyab Bombal

Q. Do you presently design clothes for children (newly born - 14yr olds)? If not, then why?
A. No. Because we need a huge setup for that
Do your customers make special requests for designer wear for their children?
A. Yes.
Q. If you have ever designed clothes for children what was the price range
A. Between 3000 to 5000
Q. In the future do you plan to start a separate line for children wear?
A. Not yet
Q. As a Pakistani designer, do you think there is scope for designer wear for children in
A. Yes it is... But we need a proper retailing for that