Streetwear from Pakistan? Most people probably can’t imagine what this would look like. When you talk about streetwear from Asia, you inevitably think of Korea or Japan. In the minds of many Europeans, Pakistan is known as the country where textiles are produced and that’s it. But not so fast….
Zain Ahmad, Adnan Ahmad and Ishmail Ahmad wanted to change the view on Pakistan and founded their label Rastah in 2018. The special thing about Rastah is that traditional designs are translated into the present day via hoodies and T-shirts with ethnic embroidery and sweatshirts and sweatpants with a batik look.
“At Rastah, we may flirt with tradition but reject nostalgia. This collection is not an ode to the past, but a celebration of the complexities of the present. Working closely with artisans from some of the oldest practicing families in the country, we sustainably produce handmade, limited edition pieces for clients around the world,” the founders state.
The close cooperation between Rastah and the artisan families in Lahore has not only resulted in a beautiful photo series–the workers were also models at the same time–but should also show that the handmade collection pieces are true craftsmanship. Each piece from the Rastah collection is limited. Prices range from $90 for a printed T-shirt, $125 for a sweater up to $350 for a dyed denim jacket or $500 for a dyed patch block-print jacket.
The fourth collection is currently available on Rastah.co. Even celebrities such as stand-up comedian Hasan Minhaj or rapper French Montana have been spotted in Rastah’s stuff. With their label, the founders of Rastah have shown that the fusion of traditional craftsmanship and urban fashion can work–also and especially in a country like Pakistan.