It’s not uncommon for the masses to view fashion as a frivolous thing. Sometimes it can seem like an expensive and elaborate escape from the real world but this year many designers thoughtfully promoted social messages using their clothing and their actions. Whether it was Ali Xeeshan’s bridal week finale or Generation’s campaigns, designers aimed to tell a fine story of fashion and compassion.
Following suit is Miss Pakistan USA 2015 Sarish Khan, who also made an entry into Pakistan’s fashion scene through a ramp walk dedicated to raising awareness for rape victims. At FPW ’16, she opened Rozina Bhutto’s show for whom rape victim Mukhtaran Mai was the showstopper. When asked about fashion’s apparent frivolity, she shared, “I walked the ramp for the first time for Rozina Bhutto at a platform that brought about awareness for rape victims. That was eye opening for me on an individual level but I don’t live in Pakistan so I don’t know how the masses feel but in the US, every year we’re becoming more progressive. Numerous models, actors and designers are taking up social issues including Ashton Kutcher and Angelina Jolie.”
Sarish Khan grew up with a single mother so women’s empowerment has always been close to her heart.
“I’ve always tried to advocate for women empowerment because I realized how important it is growing up.” She has now launched WeModelUSA with her business partner Patricia Watts, where the WE stands for women empowerment. The platform will serve as a modelling competition and will also help raise awareness on human trafficking. “We’ve been talking about merging the arts and human rights into one platform because with social media and entertainment it’s much easier to have a strong message without pushing it into people’s faces. People are more likely to appreciate something when it’s presented in an art form,” she spoke to Instep.
The initiative has now been launched on social media with a shoot featuring the actor-model along with a few other women of different ethnicities.
“We wanted the shoot and the project to be inclusive because it’s a global issue.” Sarish shared that they’ve gotten support from private and public organizations within the US and were reaching out to different TV channels as well.
She revealed that Pakistan is a Tier 2 Watch-list country on the Trafficked Persons Report, which is a red alert. “Although it wasn’t our initial plan but it’s a personal goal to reach out to the Pakistani community, particularly the government and entertainment industry.” She added that a country becomes tier 2 if the government chooses to turn a blind eye to the problem so it’s integral that we make changes.
“Outside of being an actor and public person I want to advocate for the government in Pakistan to make provisions for this”, she shared. Sarish, who was last seen in Syed Noor’s less than favourable Chain Aye Na, will be appearing in rom-com Rehbra next to Ayesha Omar and Ahsan Khan later this year.