Ahsan Khan’s tryst as a host on PTV's Ramazan transmission was preceded by plenty of planning. The actor decided that it would be the best time to launch a clothing brand that he had been working on with a few friends. Ramazan is always a time that brings out avid shoppers in all their glory and who better to debut the brand in the media than Khan himself? The actor decided that he would be wearing ‘Ahsan Khan Marca’ all throughout the month of Ramazan on his show.
“I wanted people to become a little aware of the brand through my show and then wanted to launch it with an exhibit at a major mall,” said Khan. “However, with the coronavirus spiking in Pakistan, I decided that a mall exhibit, with celebrity appearances, would be irresponsible. Now, we are only going to be launching the website.”
The new brand will focus on traditional wear for men, women and children, ranging from casuals to formal-wear. The release date, a few weeks prior to Eid, makes sense. It is, after all, a time when all of Pakistan is focusing on tradition.
What prompted Khan to launch into the high street? “I dabbled with clothing retail some years ago with an exhibit in Lahore. Soon afterwards, I shifted to Karachi and my plans for the high street [brand] came to a halt. This new venture has now been started in collaboration with a few friends. We have a designer on board and a lot of our production is being done in Faisalabad. I want the brand to have mass appeal, with designs and prices that are affordable.”
The actor said he hopes to build Ahsan Khan Marca into a label that also offers accessories for men and women. “It’s a long-term plan, of course. But we have our production process in place and the website will be up soon. The first teaser is showing a family celebrating and also reveals the womenswear. We want to create appealing, affordable clothes that people will enjoy wearing.”
Khan will be joining a long list of local celebrities who have dabbled in ready-to-wear. One remembers Humayun Saeed, Aijaz Aslam and Shahid Afridi stores dotting the local market long ago. There has also been an Aamir Liaquat label and of course the J. (Junaid Jamshed) behemoth with stores all over Pakistan and abroad. Most recently, Maulana Tariq Jamil launched a shiny, extensive MTJ store on Tariq Road in Karachi.
Not all celebrity-owned businesses work out but Khan is hopeful. “It’s all about being committed to the business. I hope things work out.”