Khadijah Shah says all payments cleared as Elan comes under fire on social media for not paying people

Khadijah Shah says all payments cleared as Elan comes under fire on social media for not paying people

Several models and a former employee called out the brand for not releasing payments for months; Shah says "sincerely sorry".
28 Jan, 2022

Khadijah Shah, the head of two of Pakistan's foremost fashion brands, Elan and Zaha, says all pending payments to models and former employees who worked with her brands have been made. The brands were thrust into the spotlight after a slew of posts on social media that called them out for not paying people on time.

“Yes, the pandemic has been tough for us [...] I have looked into the matter and the pending payments have been cleared," Shah told Images when contacted.

Accounts on social media

Shah is recognised as one of the country’s most successful creative forces and often lauded for her innovations in the realms of bridal design, ready-to-wear and unstitched fabric but her brands were being talked about on social media less for their fashion and more for their business practices on Wednesday and Thursday.

Model Atikah Gardezi on Wednesday posted an image of herself from a past Zaha campaign with the caption, "Mere paise kidher hain? Zaha" [Where is my money, Zaha?]

She later posted an update in the comments section, informing her followers that the brands’ management had called to say that they would transfer the payment and asked her to delete the post. She planned to delete the post only after the payment was made, which she said she would then give away to charity. By Thursday evening, Gardezi updated her post saying that she has been paid.

Abeera Riaz, the model who had initially taken to her Instagram stories over this issue, wrote on social media that while she felt embarrassed about defaming the brand, she had been left with no choice. “It’s not just about money,” she says. “It’s about being disrespectful. Why should I have to beg for money which is rightfully mine? Where are the brand ethics?”

Another model, Mydah Raza, stated that Elan and Zaha hadn’t paid her in three years and that she knew a lot of people who were "in the same boat" and that they should "speak up as well". "We’ve been patient for a little too long," she wrote. "[...] To book them and then make them wait for months/years for what you rightfully owe them and then ignore their messages is disgusting."

“I just felt exhausted by it all,” said Raza. “I asked them for my money countless times but sometimes they wouldn’t respond and at other times, they would say that I would get paid soon. After three years I just lost hope. There are times when models’ payments get delayed. I am accustomed to waiting an extra month for a pending payment. But payments don’t get delayed for three years.”

She did not delete her posts about Elan till the filing of this report and has them up in the highlights section on her Instagram account.

Additionally, an ex-employee of the brand, Hasan Iqbal Rizvi, also spoke out through his Instagram stories. He later posted saying he received his pending payment.

Videographer Moeed Sayyam also came out with details on payments that have allegedly been due for about a year now. He also has his Instagram stories saved in his highlights section.

Elan’s side of the story

Shah is, naturally, upset at the noise on social media. “It is, of course, wrong that these people did not get paid. I am sincerely sorry about that. But the company has been going through major changes and sometimes it has been hard to keep up," she told Images.

"There have been staff changes in our accounting and marketing departments. Right before the pandemic, we had had a major expansion and then, when the lockdown took place, we had to shoulder major liabilities. We’ve just been extremely stretched these last two years and it has been a balancing act keeping it all going,” she said.

“Still, both my brands have always believed in supporting the fashion industry. We don’t ask models to work for us for free when it is normal for so many other brands to do so on the pretext that the campaign will generate mileage for the models. It is a fact that I have handpicked promising new models and once they have appeared in my campaigns, many have gone on to have very successful careers. I have supported bloggers, videographers, photographers and stylists,” the designer explained.

“But yes, the pandemic has been tough for us. It’s difficult staying afloat in these times. I have looked into the matter and the pending payments have been cleared. It’s upsetting that some people who haven’t even worked with my brands have chosen to comment on the matter on social media,” she added.


asim Riaz Jan 28, 2022 12:28pm
disgusting and unethical by Shah. She is playing pandemic & naivety card. Shameful!
Sane Mind1st Jan 28, 2022 12:40pm
Typical Pakistani mentality to get everything, anything, kuch b free.
Haroona Gul Jan 28, 2022 12:54pm
She's the same woman who parrots corruption corruption, corrupt leaders and her father is some adviser to a CM. What a society we live in? Not paying the models, employees for the effort, energy, time they have put in is disgusting, to say the least. I just want to know did she also to limit her extravagant lifestyle after whatever rubbish phase she went through. They are beggars.
Fatima Jan 28, 2022 01:05pm
So, her marketing and accounting department have the time and money to book exotic locations for shoots, but can't pay the models because they were revamping? She charges millions for clothes, yet doesn't have the brains or the money to install a digital payment system to keep track of payments. What a joke! But then again, elites like her know that they can get away with anything and everything.
Rizwan Jan 28, 2022 01:20pm
Elan, people comment even they haven't worked with you. To show any standard of a good company a simple liner is enough, 'Employee not paid for year and sending email with no response. And employee paid in 20 minutes coming over social media'. But still a good thing to do compare to Vaccination staff who are not paid for a year and doing daily job.
Sana Jan 28, 2022 02:22pm
She hasn't face anything in pandemic like others ....shes earning and selling clothes at so high rates continuously...shame on the brand
Nasir Askar Jan 28, 2022 02:23pm
Wow, not paying someone for three years. Can I buy a suit and pay for it after 3 years.
Khanm Jan 28, 2022 02:29pm
Khadijah Shah says all payments cleared as Elan comes under fire on social media for not paying people..if social media is your source of inspiration ..need I say anymore..your own statement puts ..your own personality what is yours puts you under a big question mark ..
M. Saeed Jan 28, 2022 03:07pm
Pay your workers before their sweat dries, is our instruction.
Hamad Ur Rehman Jan 28, 2022 04:14pm
My Question To Mz.Siddique is :"How could she arrange that sudden paid money,once workers/models resorted to social media for their exploitation?" And wasn't extension of her chains on the cost of above mentioned workers?
Meher Jan 28, 2022 06:09pm
Khadijah did you ever stop to think that the “pandemic was hard” for the people whose payments you withheld? Your half assed apology reeks of entitlement. You’re an embarrassment to yourself.
Rahella Ahmed Jan 28, 2022 06:49pm
She is really something… according to her those people who work for her brand should be absolutely grateful as by working for her brand they ascend the ladder of success. What a justification for not paying people their right.
Tasurrun Jan 28, 2022 07:00pm
Even before the pandemic she was not paying her enployees . Heard it first hand from a frined who was working for her
Dilla Knoll Jan 28, 2022 08:09pm
Stupid, arogant,disrespectful, woman.. Can she claim that she did not enjoy parties, dinners, shopping in last three becoz of poor financial position of her husband, father, whole family...
Dilla Knoll Jan 28, 2022 08:10pm
I think word shamful is soft for this WOOMAN
Aziz Jan 28, 2022 09:10pm
Disgusting and shameful !
Sami Jan 28, 2022 09:17pm
Classic signs of a mismanaged business- or following the notion@ Gross sales are net profits”- don’t pay any one!
Chota Jan 28, 2022 09:25pm
If pandemic was not there, what would have been the excuse??????models too are human and a belly / home to feed.
Anon Jan 29, 2022 02:21am
It’s not about the pandemic, it’s tragic that she would use such a crisis to justify her company’s actions. She isn’t just rich by Pakistanis standards, she hangs with the Uber rich in manhattan, which is fine, I guess, but have the ethics to pay your labor.
Anonymouseee Jan 29, 2022 03:22am
Publicity stunt.
A Jan 29, 2022 06:04am
Stop buying these brands.
Tariq Jan 29, 2022 08:33am
Seth saheb mentality! Only can get away in a country such as ours!