“I was pushed and shoved with women who were traversing the store with their elbows out to obstruct others,” complained a fatigued Azra who had entered the modest confines of the Mausummery flagship store in Regency Plaza, Gulberg. Although, to be fair, the store opened with its fresh stock on March 23 and there was none of the crazy women with murder in their eyes lunacy. “Its madness every year when Mausummery launches,” spoke a harassed Zakir Salim, owner of the Saleem Hardware, the only store in the plaza that doesn’t sell lawn. “The traffic police had to be called in every year and even yesterday there was a huge line,” added Salim.
Unlike the many brands that are in the market, and those that have debuted this year, Mausummery has always been shy of advertising. With no fancy billboards or ad campaigns, with a price of Rs1,100 for a two piece suit and Rs1,650 for a full standard three piece suit, the brand is soaring, as it does every year flying off shelves as they keep getting restocked. “Our designs, colours and price points are what make Mausummery a covetable brand,” spoke Ayesha Pervaiz, the brains behind not only Mausummery but also the ready to wear brand Origins. Creating separate lines for both brands within a season is challenging and business heavy as summer had clearly taken a toll on the usual chirpy Pervaiz who stood at the corner of the store, just watching the proceedings. With two such divergent brands under her wing, one that makes fabric, the other that constructs garments from myriads of fabrics with embellishments, Pervaiz isn’t daunted by the task but instead keeps asserting that the energetic and hardworking creative teams for both her brands make it possible for her to manage without conflict or dilution.
So far, Mausummery has launched six designs and will keep adding two more every week to update stock. But with such big brands and textile giants in the market, doesn’t Pervaiz get a bit fazed? “How much of the big brands can you invest on,” she remarks matter-of-factly. “You can’t wear these formal lawn outfits to work, now can you? We are not competing with big designer names in any case. We are a market on our own and our share is growing even with this competition.” Akin to the trends in lawn however, Mausummery also offers embroidery swathes and bands that can be purchased for Rs500 that can be added. It is this liberty to do as you wish that Perviaz credits to the brand’s success.
Most lawn exhibitions in town have been women’s affairs. Yet at the Mausummery launch, one saw a gentleman purchasing frantically. “I had come to Lahore for some work and knew I could not go back home without buying Mausummery for the family,” spoke Captain Awan who purchased a significant number of ‘joras’ for his wife and two daughters-in-law. Did they give him a preference, I asked. “I just buy everything I can and then they can decide amongst themselves what they want,” responded Awan.
Although it is the quietest of all the lawn brands this season, the response to Mausummery is anything but quiet as is manifested by traffic hauls around the Mini Market area in Gulberg. The brand plans to expand to the Gulf and India soon as well launch an online store soon and hold periodical exhibitions on festive occasions like Eid.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2011.
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