With a premium flagship store on Zamzama, the crystal giant brings a sparkling galaxy of options to local designersÂ
Luminous and dazzling, it would be impossible to miss the sparkle of the first official Swarovski outlet that opened on Zamzama this week. A reception of costume jewellery that would convert the most die-hard gold loyalist and an upper storey of crystals, mesh, beads and everything that a couturierâ€™s treasure trove should be brimming with. Flashy and fashionable, the inauguration of the store pulled in the right crowd, from Bunto Kazmi, Safinaz Muneer, Rehana Saigol, Maheen Khan and Faiza Samee to Naushaba Brohi and Yousuf Bashir Mirza, all willing buyers in this bazaar of bling.
Swarovski, a name that needs no introduction except for a reminder that it has no parallel competitor in itâ€™s 115 years of existence, has appointed the Fifth Element Group as local partner. The Fifth Element will be handling Swarovski distribution in Pakistan. So what, one wonders, happens to the wholesale (and partially illegal) market, that designers have been sourcing their crystals from? Simply put, Swarovski should officially and easily put the black market out of business.
â€œWeâ€™ve been using Chinese and Korean crystals on our cheaper outfits,â€ Safinaz Muneer shared at the launch. â€œWeâ€™ve only used Swarovskis on expensive, high end bridals and itâ€™s great to finally have an official retailer rather than waiting for consignment pieces.â€
â€œSwarovski is expensive so we will be using them only on expensive bridals, not even the low range ones,â€ she shared. As to the kind of crystals she was interested in, the designer furthered: â€œWe only use a certain small size crystal in silver, gold or champagne and peach tones. We donâ€™t use larger stones or the coloured, bigger variety that is used on jackets, for example, so our choice will be a little conservative.â€
Safinaz added that Swarovski would be too expensive to use in their high street brand or on lawn.
â€œApparel is our biggest target market,â€ said Nadir Iqbal, Head of Sales in the Middle East and emerging markets, who had flown in from Dubai for the launch.
â€œItâ€™s an industry worth millions of dollars, whether we talk about fabric, apparel or high end couture (wedding wear). Itâ€™s got huge potential,â€ furthered Andrew Mojica, Managing Director of Swarovski in the Middle East.
To display a tiny capsule of options, they had asked The Pink Tree, a clothing brand that has been working with Swarovski for the past one year, to design three outfits for the launch. The outfits, both classic as well as edgy in their use of crystals as surface embellishment, expressed how a value added product can immediately elevate the quality and overall impact of a garment.
Some high-end designers, like Bunto Kazmi, have already been using Swarovski crystals in their creations.
â€œWe use Swarovski crystals in our bridal couture but the options are never this diverse,â€ Bunto Kazmi, a designer who never compromises on the quality of her couture, expressed at the launch. â€œThe only problem is that we canâ€™t use stick-on crystals in hand crafted clothes. Itâ€™s impossible to stick them in between the embroideries and embellishment. We need crystals that can be sewed on. Our wholesale supplier has been customizing crystals by adding holes to them and we hope Swarovski will too.â€
Swarovski officials at the launch assured that all sorts of designs and variations would be made available in Pakistan. That would include the loose crystals, bigger stones as well as mesh ribbons and even apparel stick on designs. Swarovski seasonal prediction moodboards, made available to designers all over the world, would also be accessible to designers who were interested. Moreover, designers looking for exclusive designs and elements would be able to place orders from the seasonal range.
From abaya-adorning sparklers (abaya embellishment has been one of the highest usage of Swarovski crystals in Pakistan) to fashion apparel and high end bridal couture, shoes, bags and accessories, belts and jewellery, Swarovski opens the door to countless options that can be utilized to improve the quality of fashion in Pakistan. And for those who prefer to stay religiously inclined, the range of Swarovski tasbeehs was absolutely gorgeous!