Port Grand welcomes its first multi-designer clothing store

Social worker-cum-designer Rosy Iftikhar also exhibits her collection.

Saadia Qamar August 15, 2012


Eid spirit is clearly in the air at Peacock Lounge, the first multi-designer store to make a home for itself at Port Grand, where designers such as Nida Azwer, Sania Maskatiya and Sanam Chaudhri are displaying their creations in an ongoing exhibition that opened on Saturday.

A variety of designs are available at the store run by Pomme Amina Afzal, from Rizwan Beyg’s grand bridal collection to Rehana Saigol’s semi-formal digital-printed poncho shirts — there is something for everyone.

But these big names fail to overshadow the success story of Rosy Iftikhar, a small-scale designer-cum-social worker. For the last 28 years, Iftikhar has been working with non-profit organisation Behbud in obscurity. She never thought of opening up a shop at Zamzama. But this time around, she is displaying a prêt collection for Eid — mostly done in crochet — at Peacock Lounge. “It feels great to be a part of the lounge that serves as a platform for several big designers,” Afzal said. “It also gives buyers a chance to find everything under one roof.”

Iftikhar runs a small-scale business with only 50 workers on board. Her labour force comprises poor women who come from Bilal Colony and Malir to the Korangi area where her factory is located. While talking about the skill of her unique labour force, Iftikhar shares the story of an 88-year-old worker in her factory, who crochets patterns and stitches them on fabrics for a living. At the end of the day, however, the workers get their share of happiness as the profits earned by the business are distributed amongst the poor women and their children.

Iftikhar’s collection is reasonably priced between Rs3,000 to Rs12,000.

Time will tell

Despite the increasing popularity of this potential fashion hub, one can’t help but ask Afzal the reason behind opening the lounge at Port Grand, since all these designers are already available at Zamzama and Clifton. “You see, Port Grand is treated more like a resort by expats visiting Pakistan,” she explained, to support her decision. “When they visit the Peacock Lounge, they fall in love with the collections and eventually end up buying something or the other.”

A guest at the opening event, Nada Shahbaz said that the Peacock Lounge is a smart initiative that will attract a large number of expats and local buyers because of the location. Shahbaz adds that Seema Shahid’s collection is closest to her style statement, “I find her collection so different from all the other designers. I often try to grab it for my wardrobe.”

Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.