When almost everyone in the country is rueing the slow growth of the economy, increasing prices and falling profits, Afreen Shiraz of Elle’mint Pret has much to celebrate.
Celebrating the first anniversary of her store on June 2, Shiraz says her plan for the coming years is to expand her business to other cities and do more exhibitions abroad.
Starting out with only 15 designers on board, Elle’mint now stocks 25 designer brands — a commendable progress within the span of just a year. “I carefully studied the market trend. Initially we used to just offer casual pret but observing the demand for luxury pret, we started offering that as well. Additionally, when the shaadi season begins, we even start stocking shaadi joras,” points out Shiraz.
An interesting aspect of her strategy is to introduce fresh designers. “I want to encourage young talent in Pakistan. There is a lot of potential, and I believe it’s important to put them out in the market.”
When asked who she finds the most promising of the young lot, Shiraz replies without hesitation, “Rabail Qureshi, a young student who graduated from Asian Institute of Fashion Design last year.” Qureshi, of the brand ‘Rabail’, offers a glimpse into her own cotton and lawn collection, in which she “played with colours, offering truck art and rilli work.” Qureshi has been inspired by two fashion giants of the industry: “HSY for his creativity in designing and Nomi Ansari for his love for colours.” Her outfits fall in the price range of Rs2,000 to Rs5,500.
Another designer, Sarah Yasir, offers cotton and linen in the casual pret line. Yasir, who recently graduated from Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture from department of Apparel Design, said, “I’m offering ethnic and traditional motifs like jhoolas, flowers vases and peacocks. Apart from that, I toy with mirror work, rilli and gota in my collection.” Her outfits fall in the price range of Rs2,000 to Rs5,000.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 5th, 2012.
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