Week after week, Instep goes through hundreds, if not thousands, of fashion and style images, and finds itself decidedly unexcited more than half the time. Is Pakistan’s romance with high fashion over?
Do you remember the first time, when as a child, you tasted mint for the first time? In the 1980s, Polo was a curiosity. What was this flavor, so sharp, cool, bright like starlight in your mouth?
40 odd years later, mint may remain a favorite taste, but has lost its luminescence.
Pakistani fashion may not be comparable to mint at all, but the more style evolves in the country, the demurer our fashion houses and retail brands seem to be with their presentation. While in 1986, a heavily-kohled, red-lipped Atiya Khan might have stirred emotions and imaginations, including those of the far right, in 2022, we’ve seen it all and done it all and everyone has an established sense of what they want to see more or less of.
When did the fashion editorial become a luxury we can no longer afford? We have seen fashion shoots in Pakistan’s print from the times when it was just Teejay’s, Generation, Sundip, to when fashion giants like Maheen Khan and Rizwan Beyg made their presence known. ‘90s lightheartedness brought with it fun street shoots, with models enjoying breezy phone calls on Telecard payphones, or the stark minimalism of neutrals shot against a plain background. All modern, all fun, all about the post-‘80s buoyancy.
The 2000s saw incredible photographers like Rizwanul Haq and Kohi Marri join the ranks of fashion and art photographers like Tapu Javeri, Arif Mahmood, Khawar Riaz and Ather Shehzad.
Photography was going digital. There were so many more ways to manipulate light. There was great work to be done in and out of the studio. The fashion was constantly challenging us to keep up, the styling of shoots – whether dark or more bubblegum pop – demanded attention. Post-edits were a ‘thing’. For fashion in Pakistan, the previous decade proved to be more fertile.
As the years have worn on though, we have to say that while the fashion has evolved, become more forward-looking, even more accessible, it has become more goal-oriented. The goal, of course, is to make sure experiments have more finesse, and the top and bottom lines are aligned. This means, brands have to make more sales. To make more sales, of which digital transactions saw a 45% growth in the last year in Pakistan (source: ecommerceDB.com), landing cumulative sales at almost $5.9 billion, brands must, and should, focus on ensuring their customers know what they’re buying. For that, we will need to see a front, back, profile and detail shot. And since that is where we want to grow the market, some – or most – brands will be content just putting out a technically correct, aesthetically pleasing catalog shoot of their wares.
Stylist Tabesh Khoja expands on this: “I have suggested to different designers to make a capsule collection and build a shoot around it, but I’m usually told ‘no’. They’re fine with what they’re putting out as long as it is getting sold.”
Khoja collaborated with designer Adnan Pardesy just recently for an editorial featuring denim. The initiative wasn’t Pardesy’s as one expected, but Khoja’s, who prompted the designer to create a few pieces for an editorial he had in mind.
“As people in the public eye, I feel like we have to kind of lead by example. When I curate my own Insta feed, I will make sure I’m putting out what my style, or my ‘brand’ if I may, is. Doesn’t it make sense for actual fashion labels to do the same?”
Here the debate forks into two different paths: one is digital curation to establish brand identity, the other, of how brands present their actual product. Some labels – albeit not couture brands – have remained committed to revitalizing their look and feel to fit the consumer they are catering to. Outfitters is a great example of this. Always a youthful label, in the last few years the retail fashion brand has changed the visual language, and actual language to communicate with the demographic they’re focusing on. The bright and shiny images of 10 years ago have been replaced with moody sets, moodier models, and a definite shift towards more androgynous looks.
Then there is the digital curation: if you haven’t already seen it, GENERATION’s Khadija Rehman has a gorgeous Instagram presence, with carefully composed grids and beautiful individual images. Similarly, photographer Tapu Javeri’s Instagram is bright and light: travel photos, fashion throwbacks, casual hangs. Without knowing either in any depth, you can easily pick on Rehman’s very artistic bent, and Javeri’s adventurous, tongue-in-cheek one.
Javeri has had perhaps more than everyone’s share of fun and creativity in fashion, his career beginning with more notable arcs in Pakistan’s fashion history. His work has gone from glam to experimental to really taking to digital manipulation. Of course his Instagram is stunning.
What you won’t really see anymore is a fashion shoot by Tapu Javeri. Javeri is very clear on the fact that fashion editorials have ceased to exist, and the reasons why as well.
“It’s simple,” says Javeri. “Print isn’t exactly around to support the kinds of visuals that a fashion editorial is made of. I have recently seen a very good-looking issue of Destinations Magazine, so if we get more of that kind of platform, the editorial might just make a comeback.”
Along with brands being able to sell online, photographers, stylists, and makeup artists can now also publish their own work. Work done off-assignment will always be freer and bear more of the artist’s mark than a client’s. If we quickly look up fashion photographers currently on major social platforms, we will find their work beautiful, but won’t see a similar quality in the formal shoots that are put forward.
Labels like Rastah will still take a chance with an offbeat shoot; a well-established couture designer with one iron in the retail fire will prefer to catalog.
“In recent years the ‘campaigns’ that are shot are for lawn,” says Javeri, “after you’ve done a few, you’re done. Me, Arif (Mahmood), we are sort of done with that kind of work.” Javeri does point out that he shot one of Wardha Saleem’s latest campaigns because it was offering a different look at locations in Pakistan.
That said, if we are to pay attention to Aamna Isani, Pakistan’s foremost authority on fashion, there are plenty of fashion editorials still being shot.
“Lots of stylists working with younger photographers would disagree that editorial shoots have died,” she says. “Lawn brands would insist that they spend millions on the creative development of their annual summer lawn shoots. At the end of the day, the editorial shoot looks dead because fashion innovation is dead.”
Isani has a point, but again, just because a shoot’s cost went into millions, doesn’t mean it was fashion forward in any way. Even beautifully shot in the most exotic surroundings, a lawn catalog remains a catalog.
As print becomes somewhat secondary to digital, though not completely, younger creatives do want to work untethered and promote their style on their own terms. There are a lot more people spilling into all creative fields, and they demand fair compensation for their work. Fashion or photography or styling is no longer a side hustle: it’s a full-time career.
Ultimately though, as Tapu Javeri puts it, “all creativity needs an outlet. I don’t like looking at things on Instagram myself, unless I must, and then too it’s on my iPad. That 2×2 pane somehow doesn’t have the pull of seeing your work – or anyone else’s – in print. So, you never know.”
Khoja is a little more unforgiving.
“There are still creative people who want to work on more creative projects,” he says. “We don’t need a fashion glossy to put out the kind of work that we want to do. We can put it online, or we can find likeminded cohorts who will find a way to give the work a solid presence.”
This may seem like a lot of bellyaching just because brands are being smart with their assets and capital, and putting them into worthy endeavors like bigger stores, or a more persistent digital media presence, but it comes from a place of love.
For anyone who has ever looked at and to a Vogue, Elle, or ever Cosmopolitan with devotion, catalog-style editorials are – how can one put this eloquently – just sad. We want to see the clothes, but we also want to see the essence of the brand, the soul of the clothes, be compelled to replicate that look, know what to aim for when we are in that mood, and sometimes just to look at another artist’s work. Fashion is aspirational, sure, but it is more inspirational, at least to the masses, and we need a source point to understand what every turn and curve means. Yes, there are bigger problems in the world, but you still gotta dress up to face them, right?
While fashion in Pakistan has evolved, become more forward-looking, even more accessible, it has become more goal-oriented. The goal, of course, is to make sure experiments have more finesse, and the top and bottom lines are aligned. This means, brands have to make more sales. And since that is where we want to grow the market, some – or most – brands will be content just putting out a technically correct, aesthetically pleasing catalog shoot of their wares.
4 Important Tips for Having a Vacation Abroad
Are you planning to go abroad but still don’t know what to prepare? People dream of going abroad, especially to countries like America and Europe. If this is your first time going abroad, you should check the following tips!
Prepare All Important Documents
The first thing you need to do is prepare important documents. For example, passports, ID cards, visas, and international driving licenses if you are going to drive abroad. Make sure you know whether the country you are going to visit is visa-free or not. For Southeast Asian countries, the Maldives and Turkey are visa-free, so you only have to have a passport. But a visa is still needed if you want to go to South Korea, Europe, or America. Make sure to scan your document and save it in the cloud like Google Drive or iCloud. Oh, yes, remember to check your vaccination status. Because every country needs your health information.
Itinerary is important for those who want to travel abroad. The reason is holidays abroad cost a lot of money, so when you can, take advantage of it with a well-planned schedule. Research in detail the tourist destinations you want to visit. For example, what is unique in it, ticket prices, transportation to get there, to the distance from the inn you’re staying. Remember to include places to eat that you want to try. Make sure the place to eat is according to your preferences, such as halal or free of certain food allergies.
Book Tickets in Advance
When you know how long you will be on vacation with the itinerary that has been prepared, it’s time to book plane tickets and lodging. Find cheap tickets by:
- Using promos and discounts on travel agent applications.
- Comparing which price is lower and what kind of facilities you will get.
- Choosing accommodation that fits your budget but is still comfortable.
Oh yes, also remember to check how the pandemic situation is in the country you are going to visit. Do you have to quarantine or not? Because it will affect your itinerary and accommodation. Due to the pandemic conditions that have not fully recovered, check whether there is still Indonesia quarantine after returning from vacation.
Exchange Money and Check Your ATM Cards
Exchange your currency into the destination country’s currency, for example, yen, euros, dollars, won, and others. But remember, don’t carry too much cash because it’s also prone to theft, besides being wasteful. For the rest, you can do cashless transactions. Check your bank’s ATM card to see if it has Visa, MasterCard, or Cirrus logos. This row of stamps indicates that your bank is working with banks abroad. Or you can also use a credit card to make your transaction easier.
Down 43%, Is This Tech Stock Worth Buying Right Now?
Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ: SWKS) announced its fiscal 2022 fourth-quarter results (for the three months ended September 30) on November 3, and the supplier Apple’s stock price has risen 11% since then.
Skyworks beat expectations and showed solid growth at a time when smartphone sales were declining, but forecasts show the chipmaker is about to hit a bump. With that said, let’s take a closer look at the latest results from the chipmaker. Let’s take a closer look at whether the stock can sustain new momentum after losing 43% of its value in 2022.
Skyworks solutions deliver reliable results for non-mobile businesses
Skyworks’ fourth-quarter revenue increased 7% year-over-year to a record $1.4 billion. The company also reported non-GAAP (adjusted) earnings of $3.02 per share, up 15% year-over-year. Skyworks easily justified analyst estimates of $2.91 per share. For the year, the company’s revenue increased 7% to $5.5 billion and earnings rose similarly to $11.24 per share.
The strong growth of chipmakers in the fourth quarter was the result of successful diversification into new markets such as Internet of Things (IoT) and automotive, as well as relationships with major smartphone original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). Yes, it helped make up for it. Weakness in the smartphone market. space. However, it was the non-mobile business that put a lot of effort into Skyworks last quarter.
As CFO Chris Sennesael noted in the report, the company generated $500 million in revenue from broad market segments (counting chip sales for non-mobile applications like IoT), up 30% from the previous year. Last earnings conference call. Broad market companies contributed 36% of Skyworks’ revenue last quarter, up from 29% in the same period last year.
It’s also worth noting that Skyworks earned $2 billion in revenue from this segment for the entire fiscal year. That’s almost 43% more than the $1.4 billion in revenue last fiscal year. The good news is that the company’s business in a wide range of markets can maintain its momentum. This is because, as Skyworks showed in its earnings report, it is attracting new customers in high-growth niches like IoT.
“In IoT, we continue to win new customers and expand our content. We have partnered with Vodafone to launch the UK’s first WiFi 6E platform. We have launched a solution for Fi 6 hotspots.”
Skyworks also enables the deployment of O-RAN (Open Radio Access Network) and delivers record quarterly results in the high-growth automotive business niche. For example, the O-RAN market is expected to grow at an annual rate of 42% until 2030. Meanwhile, according to Mordor Intelligence, the demand for connected cars will grow by 19% per year until 2027.
These catalysts explain why Skyworks expects its broad commercial segment of the market “to be a major driver in FY23 and beyond.”
The mobile business was not in its best last quarter
Skyworks’ mobile business generated approximately $907 million in revenue last quarter (this is total revenue minus $500 million from the broader market business). By comparison, 71% of Skyworks’ $1.31 billion in revenue last year came from its mobile business, worth nearly $931 million.
Thus, the company’s mobile business, which generates most of its revenue, declined year-over-year in the most recent quarter. This is not surprising given that smartphone sales have been declining for the past five quarters. Skyworks considers Apple its biggest client, with the smartphone giant generating 58% of its revenue last year.
Last quarter, Apple shipped 48.5 million smartphones, 6.4% more than last year. However, the overall smartphone market was down 9% year-over-year. And now things could get even worse for Skyworks.
All of this explains why Skyworks management is targeting a sharp drop in sales and profits. The chipmaker expects revenue of $1.3 billion to $1.35 billion and adjusted earnings of $2.59 per share in the first quarter of fiscal 2023. These numbers show double-digit declines in both revenue and earnings compared to the last year.
Tech Shares May Weigh On Taiwan Stock Market
(RTTNews) – The Taiwanese stock market fell nearly 230 points (1.7%) on Tuesday after falling for two days. The Taiwan Stock Exchange is currently just above the 14,700 plateau, but selling pressure is likely to resume on Wednesday.
The global outlook for Asian markets is mixed, with little change ahead of major economic events that could affect the interest rate outlook. European and US markets were mixed and flat, followed by Asian equities.
The Tokyo Stock Exchange closed sharply higher on Tuesday after gains in financial, technology and cement stocks.
The index closed at 14,709.64, up 152.77 points (1.05%) after trading between 14,449.05 and 14,716.58.
Among assets, Cathay Financial was up 3.45%, Mega Financial was up 1.78%, CTBC Financial was up 2.93%, Fubon Financial was up 2.94%, First Financial was up 1.35%, E Sun Financial rose 1.66%, Taiwanese semiconductor company rose 1.35% and United Microelectronics rose 1.35%. Corporation and Catcher Technology rose 0.56%, Largan Precision shed 0.22%, MediaTek rose 1.42%, Delta Electronics rose 1.71%, Novatek Microelectronics rose 0.51%, China Steel rose 0.51%. 2.87%, Formosa Plastics shed 0.22%, Nan Ya Plastics rose 0.92%, Asia cement rose 1.48%, Taiwanese cement rose 1.67%, and Hon Hai Precision remained unchanged.
Wall Street’s lead indicates a slight negative bias as the leading average rose, then fell in the middle of the session, but then rose to end the mix almost unchanged.
The Dow rose 3.07 points (0.01%) to close at 33,852.53, while the NASDAQ fell 65.72 points (0.59%) to close at 10,983.78, and The S&P 500 fell 6.31 points (0.16%) to 3957.63.
Volatile trading on Wall Street comes amid continued uncertainty about the situation in China following widespread outcry over the country’s Covid restrictions.
Traders may also have been reluctant to make any significant moves ahead of comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell today that could provide further clues about the rate outlook. Unemployment data continues to be released on Friday.
In terms of economic news, the Conference Board released a report showing a moderate decline in US consumer confidence in November.
Crude oil futures ended higher on Tuesday, extending gains from the previous session on hopes that OPEC could cut production to support prices later this week. West Texas intermediate oil futures rose $0.96, or 1.2%, to $78.20 a barrel in January.
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