KARACHI: In a season of Sindheris and Chaunsas, Karachiites were treated to yet another sweet prospect: the launch of international clothing company, Mango, at Dolmen City Mall on Thursday evening.
Guests swarmed about the shop like bees; a group of stylish teenage girls in skinny jeans and cross-body bags looked excited at the prospect of the popular high street brand coming to their city, as they snapped pictures in front of the large Mango sign emblazoned outside the store. Other guests couldn’t wait to rush to the racks, and excitedly rummaged through the hangers to take the collection.
“It’s exciting to open up a store here,” said Sean Hurley, the expansion director of Mango, who was present at the store opening. “We were looking towards Pakistan for quite some time now. This is the first store and there will be many others to come in Pakistan – next is Lahore and, of course, Islamabad.”
Abid Umer, CEO of Mango Pakistan, looked quite pleased to have played a vital role in bringing the brand to the country. “It feels amazing to have introduced Mango here. I think we should have opened it a long time ago,” he said, with much enthusiasm. Umer, who had earlier brought international brands LifeStyle and Splash to Emerald Tower in the metropolis, admitted that Dolmen City Mall was a “better place to open Mango”. “I plan to open the other stores that I own here, as well. You will see, by the end of this year,” Umer added with a smile. He also said that the store would be stocked with fresh items every week and that “all the stuff here is reasonably priced, all under Rs10,000.”
All eyes were on actor Mahira Khan, who was present at the red carpet, looking striking in a black and white Mango outfit as she cut the ribbon at the store’s entrance. “I am currently busy in just one play (“Shehr-e-Zaat”) for now, the first episode of which has gone on air on Hum TV – that’s about it,” she said with a smile, when asked about projects she is currently involved in. Apart from the models who walked the red carpet wearing Mango clothes and accessories, socialite Sadia Nawabi was also spotted in the crowd, dressed in a black Mango outfit with matching accessories.
Among the keen shoppers was a boy, not more than 18 years of age, flocked by a group of friends. As he browsed through the racks, his friend asked the sales assistant, “Man, please help us find something for my friend’s girlfriend!” As the assistant pulled out a beautiful long dress, the boy reacted, “Nah, that’s not something I like,” and moved onto other shelves in the hope of finding something chic.
When asked about the store’s pricing compared with its competitors on the same floor (Monsoon, Next and Nine West), one student told The Express Tribune, “Mango offers really nice clothes, from day wear to evening wear. The cost is not very low, but compared to Nine West and Next, it is reasonably priced here in Pakistan.”
While the cocktails and tapas mentioned on the invitation card were missing, the guests present did not seem to mind at all. After witnessing Mango’s collection, ranging from basic tank tops to more formal dresses and handbags, it’s safe to say that Mango is definitely in season.
The Andic brothers, founders of the brand, coined the name ‘Mango’ after Isac tasted the tropical fruit on a trip to the Philippines. He claimed that mangoes were different from anything he had ever tasted.
Mango makes over 70% of its profits outside Spain, namely in China and France.
Mango began to expand internationally in 1992. In 1994, it opened its first American store in Mexico.
Princess Letizia of Austrias, wife of Prince Felipe, the heir to the Spanish throne, wore a Mango outfit on her visit to the company’s Barcelona-based headquarters in April 2011.
Mango was first introduced to the Asian market after its launch in Taiwan in 1996.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2012.
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