Zainab Chottani opened her first store in Karachi’s Khyaban-e-Bukhari this past weekend, very cleverly choosing an ideal time to launch into the market. Lawns are yet to begin their onslaught and the first fashion week of the season is still a few weeks away.
“Right after fashion week, bridal season will begin,” points out Zainab. “I wanted my store to be up and running, with initial hitches ironed out, before bridal orders gained steam.”
It makes business-sense and that’s something Zainab has aplenty. She’s adroitly showcased at umpteen fashion weeks, roped in the right celebrity showstoppers and cashed in on the media mileage with a bridal business that has grown from strength to strength. With her new store, Zainab dips her toes into prêt.
“The prêt line will hopefully appeal to the older conservative crowd as well as young, trendy girls,” says Zainab.
“Prices will generally begin at Rs 10,000 for designs. There are light formals and capes that can be worn at parties and off-the-rack wedding formals. The entire building is dedicated to my business – my craftsmen sit on another floor – so clients can get alterations done right then and there. Also, I wanted a space where a client could shop for prêt while simultaneously sit in for a bridal appointment. I may eventually set up shop in a mall in the future but this is how I wanted my initial store to be.”
Has she also considered branching out to cities beyond Karachi? “For now, we just take online orders through our website and via e-mail. Bridal consultations are conducted over Skype,” says the designer.
With some very pretty, wearable designs on her retail racks, the Zainab Chottani store may just prove to be a fabulous addition to Karachi’s style directory.