Musing over the fashion palate of Karachiites

Muse co-owner Faryal Aftab on the brand’s aspirations as it makes its way into Ensemble

Faryal said she launched The Muse Lounge in a store on E Street as it has emerged as a key cultural location in the city. PHOTOS: MAZHER KHAN

KARACHI: Savouring the task of providing customers with outfits that fit any occasion, be it a wedding or a formal dinner, Muse makes its way into The House of Ensemble on E Street in the metropolis. The brand, which housed a few outfits at Ensemble back in 2010, returns to the multi-brand store with The Muse Lounge, offering a myriad of designs and silhouettes. Faryal Aftab, co-owner of Muse, tells us how people can now revel in “getting the taste of” their offerings in a wider space and the brand’s hopes of opening a standalone store in the future.

Faryal said Muse located to Ensemble because E Street has emerged as a key cultural location in the city and they have a great footfall here. Of the brand’s design philosophy, she stated that the Muse woman should “feel beautiful, alluring and stylish.” She added, “When a woman wears a piece by Muse, it should evoke a certain feeling in her and give her the money’s worth.” Three aspects that Faryal said she never compromises on are the quality of the fabric, be it plain or printed, the embellishments on, and finishing of the product.

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Taking a retrospective glance at Muse and Ensemble’s connection, Shezray Husain, co-owner of Ensemble, said she recalls telling Faryal that her brand would do very well in Karachi “for featuring effortlessly chic outfits that possess an aura of elegance.” Shehernaz Husain, Shezray’s sister and co-owner of Ensemble, said, “Muse offers a chic and distinct style. Its signature cuts are strong.”

Faryal, whose brand is essentially Lahore-based, feels that there isn’t a stark difference between fashion lovers there and in Karachi. “Be it in Karachi, Islamabad or Lahore, fashion enthusiasts are the same throughout the country,” she stated. She aspires to open a standalone store but not in a rundown area of a mall. “It should be a place where people can enjoy visiting.”

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Among the customers present at the launch was a 30-year-old lawyer Rayhab Khan, who said, “Muse exudes a touch of fusion. I have a pink-coloured organza outfit that I can wear to both my three-year-old daughter’s birthday party celebrations and on Eidul Azha.” Salma Sardar, who is Faryal’s friend and a teacher by profession, was happy to see her friend’s designs at Ensemble. “I love them. They’re unique, beautiful and I love the colour combination. I’ve even seen a couple of women wearing Muse designs in Chicago.”

Muse’s evening and bridal collections range from Rs22,000 to Rs1.3 million. The classic Muse bride, Faryal shared, is “open to ideas and ready to make a statement on her wedding day.”

Published in The Express Tribune, September 1st,  2015.

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