The Rise of High Street Fashion in Pakistan: Brands of the Decade
The last decade has seen a major boom in the Pakistani fashion industry; especially the pret wear market. The demand for quality, fashionable clothing increased multifold over the last ten years and the industry saw a surge in eastern high street fashion outlets opening by the dozen. However not all who appeared on the map were able to sustain their position in a highly competitive and saturated market. Here’s a look at all the brands that made the cut and continue to grow from 2010 to 2020 and beyond.
Since its inception in 2014, Sapphire has become one of Pakistan’s biggest retail giants. Sapphire came as a fresh breath of air in the pret wear market with its contemporary aesthetic appeal; a mix of geometric, abstract and floral prints. Over the years, Sapphire has grown stronger and bigger as a brand, introducing new and innovative line extensions with the most recent one being western wear for both men and women.
Talk about creating a mega brand from scratch in a decade! Starting from a tiny rack in Lahore at the Al Fatah stores, Limelight sprouted from a tiny seed to a giant tree branching out to many outlets. Limelight’s success can be credited to their brand ethos of providing quality, trendy and accessible fashion for everyone.
Rooted in the traditional embroidery technique that inspires its brand identity, Cross Stitch offers exquisite pret and luxury pret wear that has made its way in every girl’s wardrobe. The brand incorporates traditional craft into contemporary silhouettes on a variety of fabrics and is recognised for its commitment to quality.
By recognizing an eminent gap in women’s pret wear, the parent company HKB launched BeechTree in 2010. Over the decade, BeechTree has been known and loved for producing new and innovative designs, breaking away from traditional pret-wear in the market, making it a favourite of its customers.
Ethnic by Outfitters
After successfully creating its niche in the western wear market in Pakistan, Outfitters introduced a brand to cater to the eastern wear high street market. Launched in 2013, Ethnic by Outfitters introduced an exquisite range of versatile, ethnic women and men’s pret wear. The brand continues to grow over the years, offering regular new ranges.
By The Way
Grown rapidly in less than 4 years, By The Way caters to girls aspiring to stand out in a crowd. The brand created hype in the market, launching with a pop-arty marketing aesthetic that was quick to gain the attention of a younger clientele. Producing exciting, contemporary designs in eastern and western wear BTW has become a hot favourite in the local high street clothing market in no time.
Lulusar was established as an online portal that now boasts several outlets. In just a few years the brand has made its identity in the Pakistani high-street clothing market with its contemporary, straight line, minimal aesthetic. The brand is celebrated for its versatility and affordability and is placed as one of the prime choices when it comes to pret, luxury pret and now even athletic wear.
The queen of bridal couture in Pakistan, Khadijah Shah of Elan stepped into the high street pret wear market by launching her brand Zaha in early 2018. The latest brainchild of Khadijah Shah, offers her contemporary, upbeat yet elegant aesthetic at affordable prices. Zaha’s first outlet opened earlier this year and the store is no less than a wonderland for your Instagram feed.
Chapter 2 by Khaadi
Launched in 2017 by its parent megabrand Khaadi, Chapter 2 offers minimalistic, chic and contemporary pret wear. High quality woven fabrics made into basic wearable silhouettes sets the brand apart from the otherwise design and print heavy market of women’s pret wear.
Formal pret wear in under 5K? Agha Noor became a mass market favourite when the brand launched a small boutique in Karachi. Agha Noor has come a long way today by opening more than 10 flagship stores across the country, and still maintaining the brand ethos that it’s known for; embellished and embroidered quality luxury pret at highly affordable prices.