Growing up in a South Asian household, clothing was always something that held an inherent part of how my culture was portrayed to me. I grew up watching my mom show me how to tell if beading was done by hand or a machine simply by taking one look at the stitching. Whenever she or any other family member visited Pakistan, they always came with a suitcase filled with a kaleidoscope of colored dresses and intricate jewelry. When I begin to think about it, I truly owe my love of fashion to the richness and variety of South Asian clothing and textiles I grew up surrounded by.
Eventually, I got to travel to Pakistan, and as much as I thought I knew about clothing before, the visit made me take a deep dive even further into the world of craftsmanship and design. As a fashion editor, my favorite part of the job is supporting brands of all kinds, big and small. After my trip, I began to familiarize myself with a plethora of brands by South Asian designers and add them to my radar. In today’s fashion world where the mainstream is often overtaken by European designers, I wanted to find brands that were breaking the boundaries. I looked to the social media accounts of Mehek Saeed (a stylist based in Pakistan) and Reva Bhatt (a stylist based in New York and Los Angeles) for inspiration on not only styling traditional pieces into their everyday wardrobe but also for finding emerging brands that they work with.
By no means is this a comprehensive list of all the South Asian brands that are worth taking note of—these are simply a few of the ones that have been on my radar as of late.