Babar Afzal, a shepherd and Pashmina artist from Jammu & Kashmir, has come out with a first ever initiative called â€œGlobal Luxury Pashmina Dialogue Seriesâ€ to preserve, enhance and re-imagine the authentic handmade Pashmina heritage and explore the possibilities of sustainable luxury development.
Udaipur has been identified as one of the first six cities of India to host the Global Luxury Pashmina Dialogue. The objective of the dialogues aims to walk the audience through Pashminaâ€™s journey right from Changthang to luxury stores in Europe. The dialogue intends to be a yearly event, first in six cities of India and subsequently going international.
The luxurious pashmina is set to take centre stage, bringing back the royal Mughal grandeur. And, perhaps, claim the throne it deserves. With Global Luxury Pashmina Dialogue, pashmina artist Babar Afzal intends to join hands with the likes of German fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld to bring back the lost sheen of the fabric once worn by royalty.
Among the items on display will be a paisley woven wool and silk shawl with a typical all-over intricate design from 18-19th century â€” part of the big-sized square Mughal collection woven in gold thread â€” priced over Rs 1.5 crore at the Global Luxury Pashmina Dialogue.
Besides antique collection from the Mughal courts, two dozen Pashmina artworks made from pashmina goat hair, vegetable dyes and cotton will be showcased. The cost of each artworks ranges between Rs 20 lakh and Rs 50 lakh. Sozni Pashmina shawls that take around six to seven years to be made and cost close to Rs 70 lakh will also be exhibited at the dialogue.
With support from the J&K government, the Pashmina Dialogue aims to revive the Rs 1,700-crore pashmina industry in India. The initiative would bring together the largest importers of pashmina â€” France, Germany, Canada, Monaco, and the UAE â€” in Delhi.
The dialogue will also act as a platform for fund raising for the pashmina weaving community. Art auctions, exhibition of pashmina products, and an exclusive pashmina fashion show will be part of the dialogue.
While luxury Pashmina is being promoted by private players like Afzal, the government of Jammu and Kashmir too is leaving no stones unturned to revive the art.
Shailendra Kumar, Secretary, Industry and Commerce, J&K said that they plan to enhance the production of Pashmina from Kashmir to 8 tonnes from 4 tonnes in the next three years.
Besides Udaipur, the cities chosen to host the first edition of the dialogues will be Mumbai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Kolkata and New Delhi that would be partnered and funded by partners in the luxury sector.
The event will be an amalgamation of several modules, each carefully crafted to address the challenges being faced by the industry.
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