Whether there’s a strike, a storm or the city is in shutdown mode, no one can keep the ladies away from SanaSafinaz. At the opening of their very first store — at the Dolmen City Mall on Saturday — a horde of women impatiently stood in line to get a glimpse of what the designer duo had in store. Despite the strike and lack of glitzy promotion, the duo still managed to attract hundreds of women that evening.
The store not only promises the ladies prêt-wear but also has shoes, bags and accessories on the list. However, it was probably the unexpected price range which startled most visitors that day; any SanaSafinaz devotee knows that Rs2,800 to Rs17,000 for the label’s products, is dangerously reasonable.
As the crowd became edgier, Uzma Sultan, a childhood friend of Sana Hashwani and Safinaz Muneer who also operates their furniture line, came out and politely said, “If you don’t have the patience to wait, you are more than welcome to leave. But right now, we can only have a few people inside.” Sultan admits the team didn’t face any major problems that day but did seem a little put off.
“The credit card machine is a little slow and isn’t exactly working properly and the ladies just don’t have patience,” she said. “I want people to go home happy and things here should just [hopefully] work out in a more organised and systematic matter.”
“I will wait. No matter how long it takes. I have to go inside,” said housewife Rukhsana Jam who waited in line anxiously with her daughters. “It’s the first day and the first show. I need to go inside and buy myself something.” She kept some space ahead of her for other relatives to join her.
After waiting for at least half an hour, Jam made it inside — she was seen clutching around three outfits in her arms and looked determined to get her hands on a few more. “The collection is very wearable,” she said. Another housewife Rabia Khalid was also seen holding on to some outfits — at least six. When asked why this madness had taken over the store, she said, “SanaSafinaz is the best designer duo in town!”
The scene outside wasn’t any better — the crowd was larger than ever. Saira Abdullah, who waited at the end of line, also seemed pretty determined to get inside. When asked if she’d be able to make it through this crowd, she exclaimed, “Definitely! It will take barely 15 minutes to get inside and I will get through!”
Head of Bridal Production, Social Media and Marketing at SanaSafinaz, Mariam Rasheed was also present at the launch. She revealed that they were only allowing 15 women to enter the store at a given time. “As you can see, it’s pretty manic outside,” she said, adding that the turnout was overwhelming.
“I am re-stocking almost every 10 minutes,” said salesman Michael Boota, adding that they would probably run out of the entire month’s collection in a day.
All in all, it was a crazy first day!
Published in The Express Tribune, May 1st, 2013.
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