Keeping up with fast fashion

Retail brand Kapray makes its way to Islamabad with flagship store

The store houses apparel for women and men, shoes and accessories, among other offerings. PHOTOS: HUMA CHOUDHARY/EXPRESS


Fast fashion is a phenomenon not new to the global market. International retail giants such as Zara, Mango and H&M popularised it several decades ago when socio-economic changes saw women dedicate less time to buying loose fabric, and getting it tailored and embellished ­— a practice that lagged behind just as life became fast-tracked.

The experiment worked equally well in Pakistan when almost a decade ago, local clothing brands began to focus on the commoditisation of ready-made dresses that were both high-end and reasonably priced. Years later, it has emerged to the fore as one of the leading retail markets in the country, with brands such as Khaadi, Nishat, Origins, BeachTree, Ego and Limelight taking giant leaps.

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The latest to join their ranks is Kapray. The brand’s parent company, Al-Rahim Textiles, is among the largest textile companies in the country, and has previously been providing raw material to aforementioned Pakistani brands for years. Sensing room in the market, the company’s CEO, Faisal Saya, decided to start their own design house almost a year-and-a-half ago.

Kapray recently saw the launch of a flagship store at Centaurus Mall in Islamabad. The store is well-designed, with bright lights illuminating the artistic woodwork. It comprises sections that feature apparel for women, kids, men, and shoes and accessories. The outlet also houses a furniture section with couches, cushions, beds, lamps, decoration pieces and wall hangings.

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It also features bedding and bath products but the pick of the inventory is the clothing for women. It comprises kurtas in fabrics such as cotton, silk and karrandi, detailed with digital prints. The kurtas come in a wide palette of colours, ranging from those in neutral shades for the older age bracket to the more colourful ones for the younger lot. All are priced between Rs2,000 and Rs5,000. It has so far done well in terms of sales but it remains to be seen how it fares against its competitors in the capital.

“We have already launched stores in six cities with branches in Lahore, Karachi, Hyderabad and Islamabad. No brand has ever expanded on such a large scale with branches opening up simultaneously on the same day,” said Saqib Shahzad, assistant manager at the Islamabad store. “We will launch 36 more stores in the coming six months. This is something that no other brand has ever done before.”

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According to a press release, flagship Kapray stores in Karachi, Hyderabad, Lahore and Islamabad were launched within the span of three days. The events were attended by a large number of people, with Noori and Uzair Jaswal entertaining them in shape of live gigs in Lahore and Islamabad respectively.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 27th, 2015.

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