Pakistani Showbiz

Soft fabric amid stiff competition

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One of the most recent entrants in the lawn market, Sapphire lawn is geared up to enthral lawn-lovers with a fresh take on the fabric. Launching a collection comprising 15 designs of vibrant hues, Sapphire lawn put up their first collection in collaboration with designer Sania Maskatiya about two years ago. Their latest unstitched lawn range boasts French influences, ethnic block prints and Turkish elements.

With fashion designer Khadijah Shah as their creative head, the Lahore-based textile mill director Nabeel Abdullah tells The Express Tribunehow the brand has modified itself. “We wanted to revamp our lawn. We’ve given Khadijah Shah complete independence in designing,” says Abdullah. Of the technical aspect of lawn-making, he adds, “However, spinning, weaving, printing and stitching of the lawn are all done in-house.”

On why the brand decided to penetrate into the lawn market at a time when a host of designers and labels are tapping into the market, Abdullah asserts, “We’ve been in the export business for a while now, as we exported products to Europe and the United States, with Levis being one of our primary customers.” He adds, “As we had the manufacturing capability, we thought we should enter the retail industry in Pakistan with lawn.” Discussing the current lawn market, he says, “It’s very competitive. However, the lawn prices are grossly marked. We, on the other hand, are delivering good quality lawn fabric at an affordable price and bringing forward a designer product, which no one has done, thus far.”

Talking about Sapphire lawn’s greatest competitors in the field, Abdullah notes, “Khaadi, Nishat and Gul Ahmed. It’s a big lawn market and everyone should get a fair share of it.” The price range for Sapphire lawn’s unstitched collection ranges from Rs2,600 to Rs6,300.

Customer Sabreen Ikram, who’s a frequent visitor at the store, says, “I like their colour scheming. The colour palette is vibrant on the unstitched lawn collection. On the downside, she feels, “I often do not buy from their stitched prêt lines because, although the fabric is of high quality, there are birds and butterfly motifs on most of them and I avoid wearing those.”

With new stitched prêt collections coming out every week in the Sapphire store, they plan on bringing forward four unstitched season-wise fabric collections at the outlet. Sapphire has expansion designs too, Abdullah says, adding, “I’m very happy with opening the store at Dolmen Mall, Karachi. We plan on hitting the Gulberg area in Lahore in April this year and later, Centaurus Mall in Islamabad.”

Citing that Karachi and Lahore are both equally lucrative markets for Sapphire, Abdullah asserts, “We are equally excited about the Lahore launch. We hope to be present in every major city of the country and in the next five years we look towards opening five stores placed in those cities.”

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