KARACHI: Designer Yahsir Waheed launched his lawn collection for the year on February 18 at the Pearl Continental Hotel.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Waheed said, “It has been almost 14 years since I launched my brand. We were the first to enter the battle then. I believe the competition today is good and healthy.”
Yahsir Waheed Lawn 2011 comes out with 12 designs, with each design available in three different colour schemes. All the items are priced below Rs2,000. Commenting on his pricing strategy, Waheed said, “We are very conscious about pricing as we want to keep our customers happy.”
Waheed does not involve in heavy advertising of his brand. His brand’s marketing primarily depends on the word-of-mouth. “We do advertise but on a very small scale. Others often advertise on a bigger scale, and they get recognised but then that’s how you sell,” said Waheed.
The target audience for Waheed remains, “Anyone falling in the age bracket of 17 to 70 years. We cater to all kinds of customers because the colour scheme of our fabric is such that every age gets attracted to it.”
Like any other established lawn brand, Waheed also faces counterfeiting of his designs in substandard quality.
“We are the first label [to be counterfeited] in 2003, when theft of our first design was seen in the textile market at large. Our designs have been blatantly been copied by many of the textile houses in Faisalabad. Here in Pakistan, enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights are very weak. In fact, we filed three lawsuits but there was no positive outcome.”
Talking about the general attitude on counterfeiting, Waheed said, “[People say,] ‘you are not a brand, until you are copied.’ I get complimented in the wrong way.”
When asked why the designer deals with the customers at the cash desk himself, Waheed replies, “Most of the big textile houses hire designers, pay them lump sum and fill the designs in the market, but for me it is business. I do it as a business, I even do the outsourcing of the product myself.”
Published in The Express Tribune, February 20th, 2011.
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