Louis Vuitton, Tod’s and Gucci bags for a fraction of the retail price sounds like every shopaholic’s dream come true. But purchasing these bags isn’t going to cause as much shopper’s guilt as one would expect. Proceeds collected from the sale of these bags, currently ongoing at Labels in Karachi, will be donated to the Karachi Relief Trust to help flood victims.
The innovative idea by Marium Shams, who worked together with Fatima Dossa and Humaira Parvez on the project, is already bearing fruit. Five bags, out of a collection of 40, sold on the first day they were stocked at Labels. Priced between Rs9,000 and Rs40,000, the bags are a steal for anyone looking to own a high-end designer brand which costs hundreds of thousands of rupees at retail stores abroad.
Shams says “we were looking for creative ways on how to get people involved on a personal level and to get them to reach out and donate and be excited about a charity event.”
The idea hit home. Karachi socialites own almost every branded bag under the sun, and some change them so rapidly that a designer once joked that they seem to pick up a new designer bag almost the second after it appears in the pages of Vogue.
Shams told The Express Tribune that when the idea was floated to socialites, “some were gung-ho and were all for it, while others were more reluctant, asking ‘who will be your clients? Who will buy these bags?’”
“But some people have been great. They donated their brand spanking new handbags from this summer’s collections - things I’d seen in stores - without any qualms.”
But Shams points out that Karachi is a large city, and “people aspire to own a branded bag. There are people who will buy them because not everyone can afford to spend lakhs on a bag.”
While there are a number of brands represented in the collection being sold, Louis Vuitton dominates. And the bags are in “great condition”, Shams says, “Because women take such good care of them. They look absolutely new.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2010.