By Aamna Haider Isani
Shamoon Sultan opens the first of six Khaadi megastores at Dolmen Mall, Karachi.
Karachi: This was a busy weekend for Shamoon Sultan. Friday saw the grand opening of a brand new (and first) Khaadi megastore at Dolmen Mall, Clifton Karachi. The megastore opened to public on Saturday, offering the new collection of Khaadi lawn to frantic shoppers. And a couple of hundred miles up north, Khaadi also opened its first flagship in Rahim Yar Khan. In Karachi for the launch of his megastore, Shamoon Sultan, despite suffering the exhaustion of countless sleepless nights, was on cloud nine.
“It doesn’t help to stay on cloud 9,” Shamoon Sultan laughed at the suggestion. “You quickly have to come down to earth. I’d be nowhere if I stayed on cloud 9. I have to be ahead of the curve. I’m already thinking of what needs to be done next.”
It’s this kind of vision that has ensured Khaadi’s steady and successful expansion. It’s come from one store (Karachi) in 1998 to over 50 stores (worldwide) in 2016. The very first store was a 450 square feet space, which has burgeoned into the 21,500 square feet megastore that opened this weekend. And the wheels don’t stop there. Shamoon is already thinking of five equally large (or larger) stores all over the country that have to be opened in the next few months.
“There were six spaces this big and I have all six of them,” he shared.
Shamoon with Sara Haider and Zoe Viccaji, who brought a heavily Pakistani and extremely enjoyable playlist to the event.
The megastore in Dolmen is the first of six big projects for Khaadi in Lucky Mall (Gulshan, Karachi), Emporium Mall (also known as Nishat Mall, Lahore), Packages Mall (Lahore), WTC Mall (Pindi) and a sixth at an undisclosed location that will be confirmed by the end of next week.
What’s so monumental about these spaces? Very simply, Khaadi has changed the shopper’s experience in Pakistan. The megastore, designed impeccably by A.S. Abdullah, which took over a year to plan and execute, is home to all Khaadi divisions. It encloses Khaadi Pret, Khaadi Khaas, Men, Kids and Khaadi Home in one huge space and allows the customer to leisurely amble through. With extremely competitive prices and well-stocked, diverse products that range from unstitched fabric to luxury pret, kidswear to menswear and a uniquely Pakistani aesthetic binding it altogether, Shamoon has his fingers on a winning formula.
“Our focus has been on pret and lawn,” he explained the reason for Khaadi Kids not doing as well as the rest of his brands. “Everything needs focus and now’s the time to focus on Khaas, Men and Kids.”
Other than investing time and energy, he feels that fashion weeks are an extremely important vehicle for brand building. Khaadi Khaas will be showing at the upcoming PFDC Sunsilk Fashion Week in Lahore as well as the Fashion Pakistan Week in Karachi in April.
“We won’t be missing anything now,” he laughed, when asked. “I’m a convert when it comes to fashion week. Our smaller lines need attention and fashion week is vital for Khaas. It’s going to be the best show,” he added confidently, leaving us with something more to look forward to. And until then, it’ll take several trips to the Khaadi megastore to absorb and enjoy it fully.
The Mega Launch
An eclectic cross section of guests turned up at the opening of the Khaadi store. Fashion industry supporters like Maheen Khan, Amir Adnan, Deepak Perwani and Shamaeel as well as textile giants from Al Karam and Bonanza, Yasin Paracha along with a bevvy of smartly dressed models all turned up to support Shamoon in his moment of glory. Media was culled in from all over the country, fashion editors and bloggers all clad in Khaadi to support the brand. And while the store itself was centre of attraction, Zoe Viccaji and Sara Haider provided the live music to keep the beat going.