A retail and visual treat: Sania Maskatiya goes to Dolmen

Designer opens second store in Karachi, hoping to reach more clients.

Saadia Qamar July 02, 2013
Maskatiya has thus far served a niche market at her flagship store located in the Bukhari Commercial area. PHOTO: PUBLICITY


Dolmen City Mall has opened its doors to yet another designer, who pledges to bring the sought-after trendy prêt and luxury prêt wear to mall rats. After all the excitement about the SanaSafinaz retail store on the first floor of the mall, Sania Maskatiya has introduced herself  to DCM with a relaxed and cozy concept store on the second floor. While she has been stocking with The House of Ensemble One in the mall and will continue to do so, her new space houses about 300 pieces for walk-in customers to browse through at leisure.

As the young designer welcomed celebrities, socialites and other designers who showed up to support Maskatiya’s new initiative on Saturday evening, she admitted that she was edgy. “I am really excited and nervous,” she blushed. “I have no idea how people will react.”

Maskatiya has thus far served a niche market at her flagship store located in the Bukhari Commercial area. PHOTOS: PUBLICITY

Guests marvelled at the warm and thoughtfully done interior. The store is spacious and modern with white walls, blocked designs, gold trimmings and golden racks suspended from the ceilings. The most unusual and interesting additions are two window displays — white large origami birds dangling above the brand name and mannequins — the work of freelancer Aarij Hashmi. The interior decoration, which has been done by upscale interior design company Yoc’a — Young Collective Artists, echoes Maskatiya’s eclectic design philosophy and palette.

“This place is all about convenience; we now cater to a larger market,” the designer beamed, adding that she will be stocking frequently.

When asked if Sana Safinaz were an inspiration, since they recently opened their flagship store at Dolmen offering prêt, luxury prêt and accessories one floor below, Maskatiya disagreed. “They are an established, iconic brand,” she said. “We were in talks about this store ages ago.”

While Maskatiya has thus far served a niche market at her flagship store located in Bukhari Commercial area, she now plans to serve clients with shopping budgets ranging between Rs4,500 to about Rs20,000. “I wanted to expand and reach people who come to the mall often,” she said. “Mall culture has recently picked up in Karachi and I believe the brand availability should be there for everyone. That’s why we are here.”

Her brother and business partner Umair Tabani added that the mall has a great vibe. “Nothing in Karachi is comparable to Dolmen [City Mall] at the moment. We will have more walk-in clients because these people have maintained quality by selectively choosing their tenants. This place draws more people from all walks of life,” he said.

With Khaadi, Khaadi Khaas and SanaSafinaz already available at DCM, it seems Maskatiya’s entry is going to spoil shoppers for choice. While her prêt and luxury prêt are priced higher than the other two, ardent fans of her label will surely flock to the newly opened store to get their hands on some silk or cotton candy. With her outstanding Naqsh and Aghaaz collections on offer alongside a cotton collection, Maskatiya has surely proven that she is in the game with fashion’s established entrepreneurs.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2013.

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