It was nothing short of a fashion revolution that occurred last week with the opening of the Sana Safinaz pret outlet. Some 16 years ago, the duo pioneered pastels in the lawn orbit. The around the same time they also introduced plain, solid-coloured shawls and seven years ago, Sana Safinaz came forth with embroidered lawn, capri pants as an alternative and more recently, print on satin embellishments. Each time they set trends, other designers follow and what seems radical and novel seamlessly becomes the norm.
Now they are the tour de force behind another fashion milestone: Pakistan’s first pret store with everything from clothes, shoes, bags, accessories and more.
“We thought that the brand was mature enough for us to go into retail with an outlet of our own and there was a real need in Pakistan for affordable designer wear,” said Sana Hashwani to Images on Sunday. “The opening of the store has been a dream and has been in the works for over a year.”
“We did a successful export collection that we used to send to other countries twice a year but this is the first time you will be able to buy clothes 12 months round the year off the rack,” said Safinaz Muneer. The collection is an eclectic mix of stitched lawn to beautiful embroidered chikan saris to printed silk tunics which will take you from day to evening to casual to dressy for the evening. “Our pret line caters to all sensibilities. However, there is an underlying length statement — no floor lengths — our lengths are 44 and end at the knee.”
Due to the onset of summer, the colours vary from cool whites to yellows, pinks to lime greens. “For evening wear, we have delicious electric blues tangerines and sea greens,” added Sana. The fabric ranges from pure cotton to silks and chiffons.
The models had a fresh, youthful look with glowing cheeks, low-slung ponytails or open dos and pared down clothes that ranged from silk tunics to colour-blocking to belted accessories to print kurtis and even sexy jumpsuits. Some outfits were paired with trousers, some with leggings, some with heels, some with flats, and so forth. The models circled and posed on various white blocks, ensuring the audience got to see each outfit from several angles. After the presentation, the girls posed inside the store designed by Athar Hafeez under Sana Safinaz guidelines.
Sana Safinaz offers a whole range of accessories from bags, necklaces, shoes, stitched lawn, day wear to evening wear, and the prices remain reasonable. “It’s a retail outlet which is supposed to show diversity in style and colour because one has to cater to all styles and colours to appease the customer, and still keep in mind the brand sensibility,” said Safinaz.
Their next flagship store will be in Lahore off M.M. Alam Road sometime in May followed by another one on Karachi’s Tariq Road and then Islamabad in October.
The launch featured a special preview night and fashion presentation of pret clothes epitomising elegance with the who’s who of the city’s fashion and style scene all there including Bunto Kazmi, Sanya Muneer, Shehrnaz Husain, Nida Azwer, Saba Ansari, Zahir Rahimtoola, Tapu Javeri, Neelo and many more.
Frieha, who has known the duo most of her life, quipped, “They can be the Zara of Pakistan with stores all over the world.”