An Evolutionary Historical Perspective of Pakistan Retail Fashion Industry


  • Shumaila Kashif Faculty of Management Sciences, Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science and Technology (SZABIST), Karachi. Pakistan.
  • Shujaat Mubarik Mohammad Ali Jinnah University, Faculty of Business Administration and Social Sciences, Pakistan



Historical Evolution, Fashion Industry, Popular Culture, Retail, Pakistan fashion retail, Oral history


This study seeks to capture the evolution (emergence, diffusion, and transformation) of the retail fashion industry in Pakistan from largely unorganized to modern commerce retail. In particular, it strives to understand this evolution of "collective activity" as conceptualized by Regina Blaszczyk in terms of interactions among enterprise, culture, consumer, and commerce in the context of emerging economies with an emphasis on past two decades 1998-2018. Narrative analysis is built from Project oral histories (16 in-depth interviews from various experts as well as ordinary consumers, who lived through and witnessed the evolution), supplemented by newspapers, magazines, web articles, and archives. The study demonstrates various political, cognitive, socio-cultural challenges and opportunities faced by early designers/retailers. It also establishes popular culture profound influence in the dissemination of fashion and branding the industry despite political upheavals. Although limited to the Pakistani case, this research outlines the founding feature of the flourishing fashion retail industry in emerging economies and the role of popular culture in the nourishment of creative industries. The evolution of fashion retail in South East Asia in general and Pakistan, in particular, has received very little scholarly attention. The historical analysis contributes a unique perspective in understanding drivers of this evolution as not consumers themselves but the ones who played an active role in the creation of the retail fashion industry in Pakistan build through historical narrative.


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How to Cite

Kashif, S., & Mubarik, S. (2021). An Evolutionary Historical Perspective of Pakistan Retail Fashion Industry . JISR Management and Social Sciences & Economics, 18(1), 53–75.



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