When we see models, celebrities, or designers strutting down ramps or on red carpets, we often debate over their attire. Whether we love what they’re wearing, or (wrongly) rip them apart for it, we ignore one major aspect. We conveniently overlook the immense mehnat put in by the Pakistani laborers behind that look.
Photographer Izzah Shaheen Malik released a bunch of pictures as a part of the Mujhey Dekho Andheron Main campaign. The campaign has been curated and conceptualized by Vasli by Minaahil and The Maestros.
Talking about the project, Izzah had the following to say:
“As a student and photographer, I wanted to work for a human rights cause. I pitched my sentiments to the PR company, The Maestros. They came up with a cause close to both my heart and theirs. To further the cause, they brought on board the clothing brand Vasli. Moreover, they also brought on board a freelance makeup artist, (@aamna.smakeup on Instagram) and the model, Minaal Malik who is an A-Level student.”
The pictures are visually breathtaking…
…but also have an important underlying message.
The aim of the campaign is made pretty clear. The purpose is to highlight the Pakistani laborers who work behind the scenes. To quote the team:
“The foundations of the massive 3 trillion dollar fashion industry are the industry workers/laborers, jo andheron main hain. The ones who are in the shadows.”
Moreover, the aim of the campaign is further highlighted by drawing a parallel between these workers and the fashion CEOs and models “who bear the emblem of ‘mujhe dekho.'” The shoot uses two models – the fashionista and the humble worker – to show how different their lives really are.
"Mujhey Dekho – Andheron Main"? The foundation of the massive 3 Trillion Dollar Fashion industry are the industry workers/laborers, 'jo "Andheron Mein" hain – The ones who are in the shadows.' These fashion workers have a diverging lifestyle to that of the Fashion CEOs and Vogue Models, the ones who bear the emblem of "Mujhey Dekho" – 'Look at me' on these uber expensive designer ensembles. This shoot is a humble attempt to highlight the variation in the lifestyles, the circumstances, the aura of grandeur that these high fashion models depict which diverges largely from the proletarian situations of the factory workers. Moreover, it's a campaign directed towards endorsing the government or civil society backed uplifting of the wage rates, the health and work conditions, the standards of benefits and the recognition that these poor souls receive. Labels and privileged classes should be more supportive as well as vocal about these issues even if it is at the expense of lowering only a minimum amount of the massive profits they make! #MujheyDekhoAndheronMain Label: @vaslibyminaahil Muse: @minaalmalik MUA: @aamna.smakeup Concept/Orchestration/PR: @themaestrosofficial . . #portraitpage #portraitcentral #pursuitofportraits #discoverportrait #portraitmood #featurepalette #postthepeople #makeportraitsmag #makeportraitsnotwar #explorecreatives #agameoftones #portraiture #folkportraits #wolvesandwool #peopleinframe #envisiontonez #seekingthelight #pr0ject_soul #of2humans #canonsg #peoplescreative #collectivesociety #createcommune #expofilm3k #quietthechaos #agameofportraits #moodyports #portraitkillers #portraitgames
To quote further;
“The shoot is a humble attempt to highlight the variation in the lifestyles, the circumstances, the aura of grandeur that these high fashion models depict which diverges largely from the proletarian situations of the factory workers. Moreover, it’s a campaign directed towards endorsing the government or civil society backed uplifting of the wage rates, the health and work conditions, the standards of benefits and the recognition that these poor souls receive.”
The series is capped off with a message requesting privileged classes to be more vocal about these issues, “even if it is at the expense of lowering only a minimum amount of the massive profits they make.”
Undoubtedly, it’s a great way to create awareness about something that goes unnoticed. As a country, we focus more on personalities and on critiquing their look, than on realizing the hard work put in by an underpaid worker for that look to materialize. It’s great to see people using their talent to raise their voices about our Pakistani laborers. Here’s hoping more people take notice of the same.
Cover image via: @pictroizzah/Instagram