Pulwama, March 20: A young man from rural Kashmir has become a new fashion sensation among youth with his unique designing in clothing.
For years, Shahid Rashid Bhat scoured clothing racks in Kashmir and outside and online stores to find clothing designs of his taste and choice.
“I went to big shopping malls, browsed online stores for hours, but was always disappointed,” Shahid says. “Finally, I thought of making my own designs,” he says.
Shahid resides in Pathan, a village which is 3 kilometers distant from Pulwama town. His family having no connection with fashion designing or handicrafts and his father a government employee, Shahid’s career choice was looked with awe by all.
“I would always look for garments that would look only mine, and that I could project as only my choice. And that youth could follow and wear,” he says.
Schooled in his village, Shahid, who had a yearning for fashion, joined in 2012 New Delhi’s Pearl Academy, considered as one of the best fashion designing colleges in India and graduated from it in 2015. He also did two Advance PG Diploma in Fashion Merchandising. Presently, he’s doing Masters in Craft Design from University of Kashmir.
After graduating, this budding fashion designer and wardrobe consultant was selected as Fashion Illustrator by Pantaloons, an International unisex fashion clothing brand with its head office in Mumbai.
“Shahid has not been given this job on what he has produced but what he can produce given his skills and knowledge,” says Pranab Barua, Managing Director of Pantaloons.
Shahid has been considered as the most promising and most efficient designer by Barua. “Having such a knowledgeable person in our company is always an edge over others in the fashion industry,” Barua adds.
Barua says that Pantaloons wants more youth of Jammu and Kashmir to opt for this field as youth of the state are talented and need just an opportunity to showcase their skills.
Shahid, who has got his own label-SRB Style Statement- has attended a number of meeting and workshops at Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) in New Delhi, where his ideas of designing ‘Khadi’ Pants, Cotton blended Jeans, ‘Matka’ Silk, adding embroidery to dull gone clothes got applause.
This young fashion designer wants to revive the lost glory of Kashmir’s traditional gown, Pheran, worn in winter.
“You know, last year I was travelling in a Sumo cab. I was wearing pheran designed coat like while a man seated beside me had Pheran. Security personnel asked the man to lift his Pheran up while frisking the vehicle. But they did not ask me anything though I too was wearing the pheran,” he says.
“This very incident motivated me to choose Pheran as an International project. I think Pheran which is our cultural asset should not be looked upon with suspicion.”
With an aim to set his own fashion garment unit, Shahid recently launched www.srbstyle.com, an online store with an offline unit in Pulwama town.
“I have few products from to it in the beginning. Soon, it will become an online of wide range of well-designed SRB products,” he says.
He also gives ramp show with Kashmiri models wearing SRB designs. As he gains fame, Shahid is invited by colleges to hold workshops on fashion designing. Recently, SSM College of engineering in Baramulla invited him to hold a workshop on Mannequins and Corsets for students of Fashion designing department.