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18 Apr

Daraz: Does Pakistan need another fashion week?


Apparently it does, especially if it’s online, as Daraz Fashion Week 2016 is all set to change the way Pakistan shops for fashion!


“You know what we’re trying to do here?” Mubeen Maayr, CEO Daraz in Pakistan said at the little pre-event press meet held at Café Koel this Thursday. “We’re trying to change the perception of fashion and show how it’s not always elitist and unaffordable.”


Daraz is going to try and take fashion to the masses through Daraz FW 2016 that they have planned for April 20. The ‘first shoppable fashion show in Pakistan’ will be held at the Commune Artist Colony in Karachi and broadcast online, immediately making the collections available to buyers. Fashion Week sales will continue online for the next three days, or as we suspect, till stocks last.
Muneeb Maayr, CEO and co-founder of Daraz in Pakistan

Muneeb Maayr, CEO and co-founder of Daraz in Pakistan


There’s not much risk of stocks lasting, however, as the designers onboard are extremely high-value names and they have all designed 10 exclusive looks each for this event. Featured here are Feeha Jamshed, Zara Shahjahan, Tena Durrani, Amir Adnan, Deepak Perwani, Generation and Hamza Bokhari, who is a Bank Alfalah Rising Talent winner. Bank Alfalah is also title sponsor of the program.


On-ground retailers have always had production and turn-over issues with designers but Daraz has all the back-end work sorted out in advance. Jena Bautmans, Fashion Director at Daraz, moved from Paris to Karachi six months ago and has been working with the designers to get all production out of the way in time for the show. The designers have been asked to provide 10 looks each, which will be broken down into separates. Each item will be available in small, medium and large options and the starting price will be PKR 3000, over 70 percent lower than the average prices these labels retail at.
Haider Ali, MD at Feeha Jamshed

Haider Ali, MD at Feeha Jamshed


“We’re very excited to be part of this show,” said Amir Adnan, the only participating designer present at the press meet. “We have handed over our collection and have over 200 units of each item in stock as back-up if the demand exceeds the initial supply.”


And that’s where the buck will fall.


Let’s rewind a little to the Black Friday sale Daraz hosted in November 2015. The sale led to 2 million visits on the website and such a frenzy that the site crashed. That sale, of course offered a cross section of everything imaginable and this is purely fashion, but even then, what are the kind of numbers Daraz is looking at, one wonders? The answers varied from, “Oh, we have thousands of clothes in stock” (a PR representative) to “we have supplied a couple of hundred pieces per design” (a design house representative) to “twenty pieces per look” (an honest Daraz official).
Salima Feerasta in Shamaeel

Salima Feerasta in Shamaeel


The numbers may be ambiguous but this is a starting point and a unique way forward, for Pakistan at least. The Daraz Fashion Week 2016 should be a 100 percent success as long as systems do not fail. Remember Balmain for H&M, that glorious, limited edition of clothing that was sold out within the first few minutes of availability? We predict that is what’s going to happen on Wednesday, so have your smart phones charged and your internet connection double checked if you want to shop online immediately. When it comes to a comparison of numbers (twenty pieces for potentially thousands of visitors) then we’re afraid the Daraz FW 2016 looks just as elite as fashion gets.


Aamna Haider Isani

The author is Editor-in-Chief at Something Haute as well as Editor at Instep, The News. Full time writer, critic with a love for words and an intolerance for typos.