Designer sisters Samia and Azmay Shahzada entered the shoe business back in 1999, when shoe shopping was mostly limited to small-time shops at Tariq Road. However, over time, the duo has created a niche for itself, culminating in the inauguration of its seventh store in the country. “When we started out, there was literally nothing designer-made in the market. There were no international brands available, neither did the concept of a mall exist,” recalled Azmay at the launch of her store at Ocean Towers on Thursday.
Decorated in their signature colour combination, yellow and black, the shop is located right next to designer Nida Azwer’s retail outlet on the ground floor. From lemon tarts and cupcakes to the huge statuette of a heel decked up in sunflowers, everything at the post-iftar launch event complemented the theme.
The brand offers a range of shoes from heels to wedges for both women and young girls. The sister duo says that the brand is the first to introduce Swarovski-encrusted heels in Pakistan. “When we first imported Swarovski crystals from Austria, they were really expensive and not so well-known here. This trend exploded much later in the country,” claimed Azmay.
According to Samia, it was difficult for them to accommodate the bling among consumers. Soon, they also ventured into designing clutches. “Clients kept coming to us saying ‘can we have matching clutches with these shoes?’ so we started off with that too,” said Azmay.
However, after more than a decade of having a notable presence in the designer shoe market, times have progressed rather quickly with international shoe brands easily accessible in local malls and people being more aware of global trends. This means that the duo has to continue to differentiate their brand in order to maintain their niche. Hence, apart from a vibrant collection of around 80 different flats and heels, the duo has launched a separate Eid collection at their new store consisting of six-inch heels.
Keeping in line with the growing popularity of e-stores, the duo plans to launch an online store soon, as well. Currently, the brand’s products are available online through Style360 Labels estore and daraz.pk.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 27th, 2013.
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