If you’ve ever doubted the magical powers of retail therapy, the opening of a store called ‘One by Ensemble’ at Dolmen City Mall in Karachi, is bound to turn you into a firm believer. Their collection of perfectly pret, prudently priced and stylish casuals under Rs10,000, is sure to turn the most frugal of shoppers into absolute shopaholics. It displays block-printed kurtas, colour-blocked kameezes and ajrak shirts housed in an expansive and aesthetically pleasing retail space.
Talking about the store location, Creative Director at Ensemble, Shernaz Husain said, “This wasn’t a planned move. At the time, opening another Ensemble store in the same area didn’t make sense. But when Dolmen Mall approached us, we were forced to rethink the idea altogether. So we opened up a slightly different store featuring an affordable range with a Top Shop appeal. Besides offering pret wear, we’re stocking footwear by Zahra Habib and Luscious cosmetics to give our clients a one-stop solution for their fashion needs.”
Regarding what Husain has planned for the future, she reveals that the elusive Feeha Jamshed has been roped in to stock her collection. Additionally, the hugely popular duo Sana Safinaz have agreed to create a cotton line for the store.
Pomp and splendour
For the launch of the store, Ensemble left no stones unturned with their theatrics and creativity. The main entrance to Dolmen Mall displayed a huge structure, which was the brand’s logo, and it had people’s comments written all over it. Closer to the store was a huge billboard of the brand, which was suspended in air along with a large screen nearby that ran a video in which model-cum-actor Aamina Sheikh was wearing One by Ensemble in the streets of Karachi.
Watching the model paint the town red in her clothing, it seemed that the brand was subliminally reinforcing that it can be worn in any part of town without comprising on one’s style quotient.
If the videos and beautiful structures weren’t entertaining enough, hors d’oeuvres from The Deli as well as delightful concoctions from Snog made the evening more delightful. Add to that, the ‘Nail Express’ bar, which was set-up just a few feet away from the store, where women could get their nails done in any shade of pink.
What’s all the hoo-ha?
Designer Maheen Khan who’s stocking her Gulabo line at the store literally fled from the scene to the back area. “I had to get out to regain my sanity,” exclaimed Khan. “The place is just too overcrowded. The fact that it’s all under Rs10,000 is a great puller,” she said.
A dentist-turned-public health worker Gabeena Mamoon at the store, who tells us that she stays away from compulsive shopping, couldn’t take her eyes off a maroon kurta with ruffled sleeves. “It’s simple yet elegant and I can’t wait to show it off,” Mamoon enthused.
Where it’s at?
The One store is located smack opposite ‘Brands Just Pret’ and adjacent to the new PFDC store that has yet to see the light of day.
List of designers who display their collections at One
Slate by Faiza Samee
Karachi Tea Party Teeshirts
Rana Noman’s male casuals
Footwear by Zahra Habib
Make-up by Luscious Cosmetics
Published in The Express Tribune, April 25th, 2012.
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