No one can dispute the position Mahira Khan enjoys in the industry. Adored by millions of fans as well as her industry peers, everything Mahira Khan does instantly make headlines. Especially when it comes to her style, be it dressing up for red carpet events and international appearances or opting for casually comfortable clothes for a normal day out, Mahira Khan’s sense of style is admired and praised by all.
So, when Mahira Khan announced she was launching her very own clothing line, the excitement around it was real. The clothing line inspired completely by Mahira’s personal style meant the fans could now own a piece of their favourite star’s wardrobe to show their love and loyalty towards the Humsafar star.
M by Mahira
The clothing line was announced to be called M By Mahira, a befitting name as it was fully promoted using Mahira’s own trademark casual style. The first collection launched online was titled Razia, after Mahira’s maternal grandmother, someone whom Mahira was very close with all her life.
Everything about M by Mahira’s branding was quintennial Mahira Khan – the emphasis on conscious choices, casual style, and a firm attachment to one’s close familial relationships.
The cherry on top was the news that Razia was going to be an all-white collection. White is, as anyone who follows Mahira Khan, a staple of her own wardrobe. In her own words, “If I had to wear one thing for the rest of my life, I would select a white kurta shalwar.”
On 12th February 2023, the website went live. And suddenly, the entire mood changed.
Boasting of a whopping total of five designs which include one separate dupatta and one separate shalwar, calling it overpriced is putting it very gently. The cheapest kurta costs 12,800 PKR. The single shalwar-kurta set costs 24,950 PKR.
The complete collection costs a total of 61,050 PKR if anyone dares to, sorry, chooses to buy it. If the number makes your head spin, then don’t worry; you aren’t the only one.
The social media backlash towards the collection’s prices was instant. While some people called out Mahira Khan for being so out of touch with the country’s current economic crisis, others pointed out that similar to better-designed white clothes can be easily designed by one’s own self or by the local darzis in less than a quarter of the prices that Mahira is selling her clothes at.
Hints of Hypocrisy?
Mahira Khan’s fans are hurt by the prices of the clothes, obviously. But before anyone criticises the fans for being disappointed, one must try to understand that the hurt isn’t just because of the price tags. It’s because Mahira Khan has, for her entire career, presented herself as this humble, grounded “regular person.”
When someone who always emphasizes on being “regular” goes ahead and launches a clothing line that is completely out of budget for at least 90% of the country’s population, the validity of that person being “regular” also comes under question.
If Mahira Khan really is an aam awaam like she has repeatedly ensured fans she is either directly or indirectly, why in the world is she selling a ‘safaid shalwar kurta suit woh bhi bina dupattay’ for almost 25,000 rupees?
Just who is her target market anyway? Because judging by those zeroes, it definitely isn’t the strata of society that has been showering her with love and hype all these years.
Of course, Mahira Khan is well within her rights to sell her name at whatever price she finds worthy. However, the least she can do in that case is to show some regard for her loyal fans by not blatantly marketing it as having “little something for everyone.”
Because no, Zaalima, this isn’t for “everyone.” This is most definitely aimed at a select few people in society who can buy a 13,600 PKR mardana kurta and still be able to have a peaceful night’s sleep in today’s economy.
At the time of writing this, 4/5th of the entire Razia collection is ‘sold out’ on the website. It could be a marketing tactic, or maybe there weren’t many pieces made for the collection to begin with hence the label; there’s no way of knowing. Nevertheless, the fans can be disappointed and criticize all they want; Mahira Khan has already giggled her way to the bank with Razia.
The irony of white being the color of kaffan isn’t missing us. ‘Cuz at the end of the day, dhoom se janaza toh fans ki khwahishon ka hi nikla hai.’