Thursday, July 17, 2014

Karachi Diaries: Walk in Klauset


Published in Economic Affairs (Islamabad) / July 2014 P-34

Dressing well is a sign of good manners” – Tom Ford fashion designer / film director

A Canadian based clothing giant that opened the doors of its flagship store in Karachi offers custom made menswear (for now), touch screens to craft unique profiles, and a coffee bar to placate waiting customers. Klauset’s ‘Made in Pakistan’ label has to be clarified since labor is local, the cloth is imported, and standards are international. The owners try to outline the process for Sindh Education Minister Nisar Khuhro, and regale him with a lesson on texture, weight, limitations (220 gms) and material (micro light, poly wool). Tuxedos that are the rage and come with snazzy cummerbunds raise some eyebrows. It is the first taste of colonial style for those who hadn’t read P.G. Wodehouse, and were unfamiliar with Bertie Wooster’s delightful collection of alpine hats, purple socks or scarlet cummerbunds.


Later, the guest of honor will be swarmed by media-men yearning to discuss the importance of looking elegant, which he did. Having forgotten to turn the audio on the first time, they would be forced to redo the bit; the Minister grateful that no political statements were expected, happily complied. Their Kurta range was duly admired, remarks that the Party flag wasn’t represented were seemingly taken to heart; the management promptly offered to make one flag patterned Kurta within 24 hours. Mr. Khuhro was last seen getting measured for something.





There was no catwalk – some thought a fashion show would have brightened up the presentation. Also present was Mrs. Rubina Qaim Khani - Sindh Minster for Social Welfare, Women Development, & Special Education.


As the spotlight shifted to the architects of the dream, Chaudhary Mehboob Ali, remembered (late) Amir Mehboob’s legacy who supervised the project as the Director Operation, and spent his days in the proverbial trenches. Mehboob Senior now continues his son’s mission. Klauset plans to expand its base in the future and bring the joy of a perfectly tailored suit, and silken cummerbunds to the rest of the land.

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