Naeem Khan: 'Immigrants make up the fashion business'
Naeem Khan insists immigrants are “the backbones” of the American fashion industry as he voices his concern for President Donald Trump’s immigration plans.
The designer was born in India and moved to the United States in the late ‘70s to work as an apprentice for fashion star Halston, before launching his eponymous brand in 2003.
With the nation now under the rule of Trump, Khan, who previously dressed former U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama, admits he fears how some of the leader’s policies will impact both the fashion business and America itself.
“Immigrants are the backbones of the fashion industry. From production to design houses, fashion has been predominantly run by immigrant populations. Even today, you go down the list of designers, I would say 80 per cent of designers are immigrants. It would impact the fashion industry tremendously if we don't have our voices heard,” he said as part of an essay for elle.com on why fashion should ‘stand up for’ immigrants.
“We need to really work hard towards building back the fashion production industry here in America. To me, the ‘Muslim ban’ was appalling. I understand, yes we need to protect America, but this is not the way to do it.”
Khan was referring to Trump’s plans to put a stop to citizens from seven different Muslim-majority countries, including Sudan and Syria, entering the U.S. for a 90 day period.
The style expert previously took to Instagram to share his concerns over the immigration strategy and admits he was overwhelmed with emotion when writing the post in January, in which he urged Americans to “think and act”.
He hopes other big names in the fashion business will stand up for themselves, as he explained in his latest interview: “We are pretty disjointed when it comes to having our voices heard. There is a fear within the fashion industry that the repercussions could be bad. I think this is a bigger problem. I think it's a matter of country, a matter of industry, a matter of integrity, and we need to have people to speak up.”