Fashion and freedom of expression go hand in hand throughout the world’s countless apparel brands, and usually, it is the avant-garde nature of couture editorials that makes it stand out from the crowd. However, that concept of being different than the rest comes at a price. A controversial price.
The latest to experience that is a Pakistani fashion brand, The PinkTree Company, whose latest collection ‘The Empress of Karachi,’ has now come under fire.
Meting out criticism over its placements of models who are juxtaposed with shopkeepers and their stalls and the captions put with each picture, the editorial has now become a target of social media discourse.
— Sana (Iqbal) Adnan (@sanarites) January 24, 2020
It is being bashed as ‘elitist’ by many on social media.
Pink Tree Company's latest shoot is apparently an ode to Empress Market. Picture on the left is a comment on how women are looked at like they're a piece of meat. Image on the right is captioned "Stare at me baby."
Let me just say, this is not man vs woman. This is poor vs rich pic.twitter.com/aF3BBj2EaT
— Manal Faheem Khan (@ManalFaheemKhan) January 24, 2020
While, others have called it ‘sexist’ or have questioned its purpose.
Bruh wtf? 🤦♀️ pic.twitter.com/7MREY7tMdz
— Anam⭐ (@LeAnam__) January 23, 2020
Now, speaking about the shoot and the backlash it has received, the co-founder of The PinkTree Company, Mohsin Sayeed has exclusively spoken to Diva to clear the air on the situation.
“Kindly, check out our Instagram, you will find out the focus of the story. This shoot is about celebrating Empress Market in a series of Karachi’s bazaars. We ran a separate piece as a precursor to the shoot,” Mohsin stated. “As for the so-called controversy you mentioned, please contact the photographer Jaffer Hassan as pictures were picked up from his profile, not ours. So the controversy, if there’s any, has nothing to with The PinkTree brand.”
Diva also got in touch with the photographer in question, Jaffer Hasan, who gave his perspective thoroughly.
“Not much to say honestly, my captions have always been a tongue in cheek humour. Though people can make anything out of nothing, trust me, I do so myself. Yet, if they actually bothered to read rather than to start foaming at the mouth like rabies injected woke politically correct culture diseases, they’d see that this is a story about Empress Market. I can guarantee you, not even 60% of this lot has ever been too.” Jaffer said.
Adding to it, the photographer stated further that the focus of his work was largely around Karachi’s heritage buildings and nothing else.
“My work with the PinkTree Company is about the city, and the old times, take it how you will and want to. But to create a secondary meaning out a well-timed candid shot is honestly such a waste of space,” he added. “I do appreciate the attention in the last two days, it’s given me nothing but pure joy and pleasure to see an army of nobodies attacking me when they don’t even know me. It’s the best free entertainment one such as myself would enjoy, those who do know me, know I’m dying of the entertainment.”
Jaffer also said that the captions in question, are a ‘part of his personality’ and that there are ‘bigger issues at hand.’
“My captions are a part of my personality, I question things with them, sometimes, if that gives the impression I’m a sexist whatever you wanna call me, then so be it, none of these people know me, the ones that actually do, know how opposite I am,” he stated. “There are much bigger issues at hand than attacking this shoot, but of course, like anything of minor attention, this too will be forgotten. Am a little disappointed no Meme’s have been created so far.”
While, both the brand and the photographer have cleared the air, Tweeples are yet to get over the shoot.
I think it's a depiction of our society which take women just like a piece of meat. #NextLevelArt
— Imran Yaseen (@imranyaseen1993) January 24, 2020
Now, one just has to wait and see, how yet another controversy on the expressive nature of fashion unfolds.
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