Ayesha Mustafa of Fashion Compassion UK is a lady with awesome looks and a physique that oozes with curves,stunning enough to get accepted anywhere in the world of fashion.Yet she has chosen to ignore that opportunity and has opted for a business that seeks to bring a change in the lives of creative artisans, by showcasing their creations and thereby enabling to earn a sustainable living.
When she was in Lahore, a couple of weeks ago, Fashion Central managed to get her attention and asked her to spell out her activities and plans for the eager Fashion Central viewers.
Q.Share with us your mission and vision.
A. Fashion Compassion works with socially responsible luxury brands from the developing world and the mission is to bring a change in people’s lives. In these parts of the world there are a lot of creative artisans whose work does not get the value it deserves and they struggle endlessly without improvement in income levels or their lives and the lives of their families. Recognisingthis,we at Fashion Compassion have initiated enough activity and managed to showcase their creations in a way that earn a sustainable living.
Q. How does the system work ?
A. Well we use fashion as a catalyst for change.The ultimate consumer is told that each order placed is handled with love and care by artisans possessing immense ability.From the artisans angle they are trained to give the product their heart and soul and when it comes out for delivery it is unique and exquisite and a brand.
Q. In the whole process who is putting up the money ?
A. Well it is entirely my money at stake and risk.There is no dependence on outside sources. I am personally commited to the mission.
Q. Any details of the brands ?
A. The details are many and to avoid dragging the interview, I will speak of a few. Allow me to highlight first the BESHTAR Brand. The inspiration for Beshtar comes from the resilience of a people living in a continuous state of war in Afghanistan. All the products and items are taken from everyday life in Afghanistan and reflect a fusion of East and West. Beshtar brand was created by designer Carole Naion to highlight products sourced in Afghanistan and include handmade burqadresses, shirts,jackets, capes, harempants, evening wear silk dresses, evening gowns and bags.These are exclusively available in Dubai and Uk thru fashion compassion.
Another brand is Bhalo which is the Bengali word for good. This label relates to women’s clothing and accessories,made from naturally dyed cotton and silks. And the artisans involved in its production are women, widows and communities in Bangla Desh. Bhalo is a partnership between Shimul from Bangla Desh and Jessica Priemus from Australia.
As for other brands, they are like Lost City, which employs skilled hand embroidery artisans from LucknowCity, and further there is Nawa, which aims at the poorer communities, Palestyle that relates to handmade Palestinian embroidery and Arabic calligraphy, Sougha, meant for the underprivileged Emiratis and a few others like Gunas, Numa, embellished truth and the Big Blue Bike.
Q. What about your relationship with Pakistan. ?
A. Well we launched a range of luxury handbags for the first time in Pakistan in October 2012 in Karachi and Lahore and also showcasing Middle Eastern brands like Nawa, Palestyle and Sougha.
Based in UK Ayesha Mustafa is closely linked to handbags brands from Asia, Africa and Middle East and it appears every moment of her life is devoted to her mission. Thatâ€™s what she reveals in an exclusive interview with Fashion Central.