Zaman and the Art of Afghan Resilience

by Jonquil Dun

Zaman Ghafori, Founder/ Designer; Khamak Fashion

“Man is never made of a material as resilient as the human spirit.” What could be more relevant to this statement but knowing a people who had been through adversities one after another and personally able to meet one of them- a designer from Kabul, Afghanistan- Zaman Ghafori.

Despite of a language barrier, internet restrictions and time difference, it was not hard to be captivated by the beauty of this designer’s spirit and his people. Being a creative mind in a war- torn country facing all types of instability since Soviet war, Zaman came out as a breath of fresh air for all the world to see.

Khamak Fashion piece designed by Zaman; Bell sleeve tunic with Afghan embroidery detail

Home to the most of the world’s precious stones such as emeralds, rubies, sapphire, pink diamonds and more, Afghanistan also pride themselves to have one of the best lapis lazuli supplies in the world. If the Arab countries were endowed with fossil fuel deposits, the region of Afghanistan is an abundant abode of the best stones in the world. And for everyone’s knowledge, the Afghanistan that we know today was a home of several civilizations since 50,000 years. Contrary to most perceptions, Afghanistan saw long years of glory, wealth and imperialism in the past. Indus civilization, Oxus and Helmand civilizations and even one that was brought in by Alexander the Great, once flourished in their fertile lands.

Art and culture have thrived in this nation for millennia. Having one of the oldest civilizations in the world, they have a long history of art, and their contributions to the world cannot be ignored. Until today, there are number of people who are fighting hard to preserve it, and one of them is Zaman.

Khamak Fashion’s campaign collection

He was the only one who was passionate about art in his family. After completing studies in textile art and handicrafts, he put into practice his degree and worked as a jewelry and handicrafts designer for 5 years before proceeding to design clothing for women.

His brand “Khamak” which means embroidery in Farsi language, is a fusion of traditional ethnic patterns from the diverse Afghan tribes and modern cut. It is quite interesting how modern and updated his themes are. He is breaking the stereotypes. The world has this impression of Afghan fashion as burqa- clad women in blue and black, but Zaman opened the door of this veiled nation to reveal how bursting with colours Kabul fashion actually is!

Afghan woman working on handmade embroidery

Zaman established Khamak fashion in 2016, and the Founder of Women Entrepreneur Association of Afghanistan which has long been providing many jobs and businesses for women in Afghanistan, as promoting fashion and handicrafts. The brand has participated in several fashion shows internationally and had their products exported to countries such as Germany, Spain, USA, Canada and Iran.

His passionate pursuit in the arts and fashion reflects how resilient and competent the rest of the country is, and that even turmoil brought by war cannot deter their artistic spirits from sharing it to the world.

“Afghanistan is a land of a thousand colors, a thousand faces of civilized people, art lovers of the land of poets, great artists with ancient and prolific history who have been away from the art of clothing design for many years. Untouched in Afghanistan exists, it will soon become the center of stone and jewelry in the world. In the field of clothing design, we also started the Khamak start-up brand, which has not been around for a long time, but we are the best clothing brand in Afghanistan. We fully adhere to the environment. We use 95% of the art of women’s needlework. We use all the old fabrics and needlework that are unusable for everyone. We create the most beautiful clothes with the same works. We are the best brand not only in Afghanistan but also in the countries around Afghanistan”

-KHAMAK FASHION

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