Tabassum Mughal controversy: A story of status quo?


Well-known fashion designer Tabassum Mughal has come in the line of fire for a recently sprung social media controversy related to one of her clients.

According to various accounts, the client’s mother was verbally and physically abused by Mughal’s staff members when she asked the designer to refund the money given to Mughal’s boutique for designing her daughter’s wedding dresses.

According to various online stories, a female client was angry with Mughal’s boutique because the designer was not meeting the due dates of her wedding dresses, which were worth Rs8 lakhs, and was repeatedly treating her dress order as a trivial favor, as if she was making the dresses for free. The dresses were earlier given out to the client but they weren’t stitched properly and came off as a complete mess. The client had paid a huge amount for the dresses and so she returned the clothes for an urgent alteration.

However, at that point, the wedding and reception ceremonies were just two weeks away and Mughal seemed completely out of the picture. Her staff members gave the client multiple dates, but she never got her dresses back. Out of dissatisfaction, the client’s mother decided to reach out to the designer and complain and protest as her daughter’s wedding was round the corner and she had no clue as to when she will be receiving her dresses.

The manager and employees kept on lying that Mughal was not present but as soon as the woman became infuriated and demanded to speak to the designer, Mughal appeared from her office and in an extremely arrogant tone said (as stated by a relative of the client),

“Ab tum lay kar dekhao apnay kaprey aur paisay, maaro iss rickshaw wali aurat ko”

(I shall see to it that you do not get your dresses now. Best this low-level woman up!)

Upon hearing this, the manager and the other staff started thrashing and beating the women brutally. They pulled her by her hair and tossed her out of the outlet. What’s more, the woman who was attacked was an elderly – weak and fragile.

According Ms Filza Sikandar, who was an observer to the episode, she saw Ms Mughal’s father and one of her employee thrashing the woman and dragging her by her hair towards the entryway.

This is what Mughal had to say about the incident:



We are still waiting for this video tape Mughal claims to have. But irrespective of that, there is no justification to this kind of behavior with a client. Under all circumstances, a good educated staff and owner are expected to handle the situation in a wise way and normalize things instead of acting like hooligans.

The story is already making headlines and has created hype on social media as well. Mughal needs to understand that by not sharing the video with everyone and by simply negating the claims made against her, she is not just giving herself a bad image but is also tarnishing the image of the fashion industry.

Does a middle or lower middle class citizen not have the right to buy the best for her daughter on her big day? If she does, then why was she subjected to such a treatment? Is this how every mainstream designer thinks? Is this the mentality of our acclaimed fashion designers?

We hope not.