Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Afghan Fashions Hit India Runway
In early December 2007, with the help of USAID’s Afghanistan Small and Medium Enterprise Development project (ASMED), two Afghan design firms participated for the first time at a fashion show in India. Afghanistan World Wide Shopping Online Mall (AWWSOM) and Zarif Zuliakha attended the fashion show organized by the Fashion Design Council of India, in cooperation with the Indian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for members of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Returning from the fashion show, the design companies stated that the event was a successful step in introducing high quality Afghan garments to an international audience. Mrs. Mina Sherzoy, Director of AWWSOM, stated, “Afghanistan is taking baby steps in the fashion world. The country is reviving its history and culture through fashion to the younger generation here and the international markets. We would like to show the world that Afghanistan has the best quality products and handicrafts. This fashion show also offered an opportunity to learn how to set up a real professional fashion show in the future in Afghanistan.As a result of participating in the fashion show, AWWSOM signed contracts with leading design firms from the SAARC member countries. Some have even shown interest in creating a partnership with the Afghan design firm for expanding their production capacity to reach a higher number of vendors and markets in the region. Zarif Zuliakha firm also reported successes from the event. The firm identified potential partners who are interested in investing in the sector and expanding it. Additionally, Zarif Zuliakha received several orders from the show. While this fashion show was a first step for Afghan design firms to introduce Afghan handicrafts and techniques to the region, ASMED will continue to support strengthening the sector in Afghanistan; thus, expanding the overall diversity of Afghan exports.