ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad branch of the multi-brand outlet Ensemble opened amid great fanfare in the city. Days later, the store’s management expressed satisfaction at the enthusiasm shown by Islamabad’s residents towards the outlet.
Ensemble is one of Pakistan’s premier luxury lifestyle brands and the entrepreneurial venture of Zeba Husain and her daughter Shezray and Shehrnaz. The Islamabad branch is their joint project with Fareeha Hasan, an Islamabad-based fashion designer, and her daughter-in-law, Resham Ibrahim.
Ms Ibrahim said: “Our vision is quite simple: we want fashion to come to Islamabad, because we feel that Islamabad is slightly behind Karachi and Lahore where fashion is concerned.” She said the store mostly carried designers from Karachi, but also some from Lahore.
“We wanted to engage some of the local designers, so four of our racks carry Islamabad labels. We also carry some Indian designs – we travel to India, select them and sell them here.”
Ms Ibrahim said the turnout at the opening was great.
“There was a point when there was no standing room left and our stock was being constantly replenished. Two or three of the designers were very popular.”
With brands ranging from Elan to Umar Sayeed, Ritu Kumar to Maheen Karim, Ensemble carries everything from traditional block prints to modern gowns, casual wear to wedding outfits. The outlet promises something for everyone, albeit everyone willing to pay designer prices.
Ms Hasan said: “We are extremely excited to be a part of the fashion revolution taking place in Islamabad.”
Many of the Karachi-based designers had sent in clothing more suitable to spring in Islamabad.
Nabeela Ahmad said: “I am pleased to see the launch of another establishment in Islamabad where couture is readily available, with many designers now accessible. However, the designers had catered to milder weather, as there seemed to be only a few items suitable for Islamabad.”
Noting the location of the outlet, Ms Ahmad added: “The strict action by the CDA against the usage of residential properties for commercial use prompted many smaller markets to undergo facelifts, which is always positive, and the décor and layout of the establishment was a sight for sore eyes in an otherwise shabbier local market.”
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2015