Aug 11, 2011 - Shahid Afridi    28 Comments

Would Fashionistas against Taliban approve?

Earlier this year, Shahid Afridi (yes the former captain of the national cricket team and part time clothing retailer) announced the launch of ladies clothing line. Earlier this month he launchedhis label Widyaan and now he is out with it. 
Looks like the lable is not the only thing he is launching, he is also launching an ideology to go with it.  

This leaves me with a lot of questions. Would Lala be providing the buyers with free matching niqabs to go with the clothes? Would real housewives of Karachi don the niqab with the designer clothing? Would Junaid Jamshed regret not using this idea for his own line? Would FAT approve and support this campaign? 
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  • What ideology. It’s a pretty smart ad campaign, using dupattas like that. Considering where he comes from, the billboards are less likely to be vandalized if they’re used in KP. Or Kohat. You don’t want to use the dupatta as a niqaab, that’s your call. If Sunsilk has a shampoo for people who cover their head, why shouldn’t Afridi design ad pictures according to cultural norms… And it has been a cultural norm in most parts of KP to cover your face, Taliban or not.

  • Wow! Face is veiled while bosom is there to have a good look at, the one thing Quran specifically asked to hide. Junaid Jamshed, Ali Raza, Aamir Liaquat and now Shahid Afridi, all busy to make some cash out of religion, after all religion does sale the most.

    Very sick (in all it’s meanings.)

  • On a second note, these girls do resemble the veiled haseena on the back of trucks, I can totally understand why Afridi went for this.

    Lastly, after ‘enjoying’ his own young age much, Afridi sahab decided to be religious, a common trait of man having daughters. Noo soo chohay khaa kar billi hajj karnye nikklie.

  • I actually like the campaign, you actually pay attention to the clothes rather than the model, I think Warda used a similar concept for their summer ’11 lawn collection

  • isn’t maulana Afridi the same mard-e-momin who nearly got his now-pious behind handed to him for harassing a girl on board a plane? I believe Saleem Malik saved him from getting whooped by the victim’s brother.

    isn’t mullah Afridi also the same gentleman who was caught with hookers in his room along with Atiquzaman and Hasan Raza (I believe) in 98.

    and I haven’t even mentioned his notorious and comical (borderline retarded) attempts at cheating on the field. or was cheating declared halal for momineen by the bearded donkeys of Raiwind? did I miss a fatwa or something?

    my my how the times have changed… we grow a beard and become guaranteed jannatis with 72 hoors and all. mashallah. *dakaar* alhamdolillah.

    seems like a beard is the most marketable commodity in Pakistan.

  • Why does a business idea has to be shoved into the entrepreneur who came with the idea? Just cos the dude is a pathan and at times been portrayed as slightly a religious personality, it doesn’t necessarily means his business idea should be mixed with it. Like it or not is different, Afridi is just the owner and people should stop whining about Widyaan as a flop or not cos it’s associated with him.


  • A fine marketing idea, I must say. Whether or not FAT approves of it, it’s gotta pitch in 😀

  • Hi Tazeen,

    Great photos. Would probably even be sufficient for liberal Talibans in Afghanistan.

    A suggestion to this “creator”: why not covering the girls entirely and supply a GPS to find their way in the streets.


  • Well – a businessman would like to earn profit and if in a country a relatively large section of women is covering themselves in niqab/hijab or burqa, it’s very likely that the business entrepreneurs would try to address the masses!

    Advertisements usually try to conform to the cultural norm and rather than Afridi’s religious perspective, this campaigns shows his business acumen.

    It’s unlikely the company, if they ever expand, will use this kind of advertisement where niqab/burqa are not popular.

  • ell – a businessman thinks about his company’s profit and when a relatively large section of population, wear niqab or burqa, it’s quiet usual the entrepreneurs will try to address the masses.

    Advertisement try to conform to the social norms and these advertisements show business acumen of Afridi and his associates rather than their religious views.

    If the company ever expand to other countries where niqab/burqa are not popular, they will not use these advertisements surely. 😉

  • Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar – your comment has left me in splits!!!! are you sure you dont have a blog too?

  • The religious views of Afridi cant be totally divorced from his business idea. Clearly the niqab/ veil is not a cultural norm. And its ambigious to cover her face, leaving her eyes groomed and painted to entice and attract (females dont look like that ordinarily, unless you have eyemakeup tattooed for good). And not to mention the one of shoulder robe showing some bust.

    Mutazalzaluzzaman Tarar – you made me laugh! Good one.

  • Some of the comments are just bizzare. What I observe it that people don’t want anyone to interfere into religious matters. Nobody likes it yet people are questionning Afridi’s morals.
    If you really want a tolerant society start it yourself.
    Its a pure business idea and people like @Beenish are dragging her daughter into this. Shame !

  • Wow! I am not dragging anyone’s daughters, I am making an observation, it was a general comment.

    And just like people come up with ‘pure business ideas’ like selling religion, other people can come up with basic observation.

  • Interesting discussion! And an even more interesting choice of ads. In my opinion it’s a marketing gimmick, nothing more, nothing less.

    However, I’m not sure what to make of them. When I first saw the ads, I thought it looked ‘exotic’ (for lack of a better word), you know sorta like Prince of Persia? Ha. But after mere two seconds, my inner feminist voice spoke up. They’re clearly hiding the women in these photos; make ’em look pretty but keep them hidden. Sounds like female subjugation to me!

    – Nameerah

  • I liked the Sunsilk Campaign, and I don’t hate this either.
    My first reaction was not to the look, but rather an “oh no” because of all the twitter rants and blogposts this would ignite.
    somehow the average person on the street wouldn’t care less about this, and will just take it as a creative approach towards presenting clothing. Just like baring skin is pushing the limits, this is another direction. Its like when photoshoots abroad use Blackface. Its a controversial approach to fashion shoots.
    Maybe he (or rather the creative team behind the shoot)was being modest and trying to keep the focus on the clothing, or maybe he/they just wanted something that would be eye catching, and lets admit right here that its caught our eye.

    I honestly don’t see the problem with it. If we can have a knee length capri pants clad girl sprawled on a car on Sharah-e-faisal, Im pretty sure there’s room for a girl with her face covered.
    I felt it with the Sunsilk ad conversations and I feel it again, and I’ll just say it.
    Tolerance has to go both ways. Everything is not a Taliban/Extremist takeover

  • Khizra,

    I never said (or write) that I disapprove of the campaign. I am merely wondering if FAT approves. 🙂

    PS: Apologies to those who do not get the FAT connection. Please join twitter and you will find out.

  • Tazeen,
    As a twitter addict, I do get the #FAT connection 😛

    But here, I was going along with the discussion in the thread.
    Also not fair if one has to join Twitter to understand your blogpost. lol.

  • @beenish

    In advertisement world, people show what will appeal to the masses. It’s not just some creative ideas but behind the creative ideas, the agencies make lots of research regarding their target audience.

    So if in Pakistan, banks, cosmetic and other companies are using word halal or are indirectly using religion, it’s a reflection of the Pakistani society.

    The companies know that if they use the word “halal” in every commodity, it will be appealing to the masses.

    Here in India, in some ads, specially in cases of perfumes and bikes, you will see skimpily dressed women and men making provocative gestures. On the other hand in advertisements of household goods, we see our traditional sari-clad bhabi selling the product. It all depends on the target audience.

    So instead of blaming the companies/entrepreneurs, first a reflection should be made about the society as a whole.

    @ Khizzy – completely agree

  • In my earlier post, I wrote about the type of advertisements for perfume, deodorants and bikes – I hope no one will start thinking that in India, people do/wear whatever is shown in those ads. I meant to say that advertisers show what will appeal/titillate the target audience. The target audience of products like perfume, deodorants and bikes are the younger generation and hence there are skimpily dressed women and men in those advertisements to catch attention of the ‘young blood’.

  • is this a joke? do you know anyone who wears a niqab with sleeveless fitted kamizes?


  • Won’t let them come near me without strip search.

  • He’ll swing with the latest ideology that’s in fashion. For money.

  • He’s catering to the mass market. Quite frankly, I see nothing wrong in this. I mean when we see models half naked, we do not say that they’re marketing an ideology along with the clothes. Similarly, this is a different way to dress up. It’s culture. And those who say “bosom’s all there..” then if the model had her hair styled, then the bosom being all there, would have looked more appropriate? lol. Stop judging each other so bad girls.

  • Fancy surgeon-in-operating-theatre clothes!

  • nice blog 🙂

  • ‘Would real housewives of Karachi don the niqab with the designer clothing?’

    So the rest of the models are semi naked, how many women do you actually see that way walking on the streets? None. People do not directly wear whats in the catalogues, they change it to the way it suits them. This in no way means Afridi is trying to enforce the niqaab – this is just brilliant marketing because like it or not, niqaab does hold a certain attraction. More so than a half naked woman. No judging, plain psychology 101. Afridi’s done what he wanted: gained everyone’s attention. Great work!

  • they’d wrap half the face with a Naqab, cover locks with yards of flowing fabric or even wear a burqa.
    But they wont use a simple dupatta adequately spread, nuh-uh, that doesnt sell!
    as a marketing professional, the campaign was a 2 fold genius. Afridi stays safe from the orthodox and also makes a fashion statement.
    as a regular housewife in PK I ask “is that plain peice of fabric the dupatta or do i have to get my own dyed? “

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