Maheen Khan on globally reviving a heritage

“Khadi is a philosophy – the root of all textiles,” stated prolific fashion designer, Maheen Khan – the constantly brain-storming mind behind the fashion house Mayasir and the celebrated Khadi Fest. Reviving the khadi brought to the forefront the uniqueness of hand woven textiles and age old traditions. Owing to the textile’s low carbon foot print, it impresses on the minds of conscious buyers; “who are looking for the story behind a product and green textiles which are ecologically sound and ethical fashion. Khadi is an ethical product.”

From bringing awareness to our traditional heritage through khadi, Maheen Khan – always the visionary – asks, “How do you make something based with traditional ideas but styled in a fashion that is globally accepted? That is the challenge right now.” Maheen Khan suggests that investments need to be made into the creative industry and on designers which can be achieved, “if the design industry is enriched by human resources,” who are equipped with the, “finesse, flare and expertise of being a true designer.” She points out that the $30 billion RMG sector has no backward linkage to our traditional weavers and artisans, and suggest the bridging of these two industries.

The self-proclaimed ‘Google Queen’ observes that we live in three separate centuries simultaneously – from the co-existence of thelagaris to cars, from garment workers to women pilots – and credits this to the richness of our culture and our ability to adapt. She articulates about the tech-revolution of the last 25 years and states that, “The fashion industry needs to embrace technology, access other tools and get real.” She comments, “High street fashion is important. It’s the comfort. It’s the contemporary. Recent collections at Mayasir are trendy, young, stylish and affordable. Using affordable materials and using digital gives me the opportunity to really play with my designs and printing quality, and I can do so much with it as a designer.” She further iterates, “We need to use new technology and integrate new styling.”

The renowned fashion mogul calls for originality as well as fusion when developing a sense of fashion saying, “Individuals need to explore fashion as a part of their lifestyle. It is important to look clean, smart and confident. Present yourself in such a way that you’re with it, rather than out of it.” And keeping in line with her expert advice, she adds that her fashion house Mayasir will be striving to, “make fashion contemporary for the new generation of consumers who seek varied designs and affordable prices.” She concludes that, “Comfort, affordability, style and durability are key. For the sake of posterity and the future – our heritage textiles will be invested in – but to survive in the fashion industry you need to be innovative, you need to come up with designs that are affordable, accessible and durable.”

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Marjiya Baktyer Ahmed

Marjiya Ahmed is a literature student whose world is incomplete without music. Besides for listening to her favourite tracks, she fancies poetry.