The critically acclaimed designer marks his retail debut in Pakistan with an Eid Collection as well as a limited edition of lawn prints.
“He shows impressive collections but where can you ever buy the clothes he designs?” This statement has been haunting designer Zaheer Abbas, who made a memorably impressive debut five years ago but stayed inaccessible to fashion buyers at large. He finally took the plunge this weekend – much to the delight of fans in Karachi – as he showcased his first ready to wear line while simultaneously launching his eStore at www.zaheerabbas.net. Was it all worth the wait?
It certainly was.
It isn’t easy to consistently impress on the highly competitive fashion runway but that is something that goes to Zaheer Abbas’ credit; he has slowly and steadily proven his talent via distinctive and well-designed collections. Whether it was his very first – chiffon embellished with tiny bells – or his white collections or the creative play with ajrak at the Sindh Festival last year, Zaheer Abbas’ execution has always displayed finesse and aesthetic balance. It’s no wonder that someone like style guru Nabila, who’s infamous for being finicky when it comes to fashion, has always been a big supporter of the young designer’s potential.
Designing one well-planned collection a year is one thing and launching a production line is another ball game altogether. Ready to wear boils down to quality, production, and ultimately the value of what you’re buying. Fortunately, Zaheer Abbas’ first R2W collection ticked all the right boxes too.
The highlight of the launch was the range of exclusive, limited edition lawn prints, branded under the name Printology by Zaheer Abbas. Pure, satiny lawn of the finest quality and prints that would make any fashionista proud, this certainly was a winner. What made it even better was the silhouette – fun and edgy – and the price bracket PKR 3500-5500. Good value for money. The diffusion or eveningwear line was pretty, albeit not as exciting, but then commercially feasible fashion needs to be practical, which it was. The colours were balanced and the finish impeccable. That’s more than what one should expect.
Why did it take Zaheer Abbas so long to put his brand out?
“I have been designing for a fairly large clientele all these years,” the designer spoke to me at Ensemble, where his collection was on display. “But I felt it was time to take it to the next level. I am not thinking of a flagship store at the moment simply because it’s a huge investment that I cannot make right now.”
Lucky for him, online sales should give him as much footfall amongst fashion followers, if not more. Zaheer Abbas already has an international clientele, as he has been stocking in London, Manchester and New York but he will now also be available at multi-label boutique Ensemble in Karachi, Lahore and Dubai. Let’s hope he stays as accessible and affordable in retail as he has been impressive on the runway!
– This story was first published in Instep, The News