Eidul Fitr is around the corner and women are all up for Eid shopping. Taking advantage of the “shopping weakness” of our women, local designers have launched their “special Eid collections”. Although these collections carry class and unique cuts, and the “sold-out” and “out-of-stock” tags tell that people do purchase these dresses, they are often too pricey to be in the common man’s reach.
Nevertheless, the competition in the market can be gauged from the fact that every single designer is launching their Eid collection every other day.
If it is a simple lawn dress with embroidery, it costs at least Rs 5,000. If the dress has a silk dupatta with it, its price may climb to Rs 6,000 to Rs 10,000. The cotton net shirts and net dupattas are trending in these Eid collections. If the designs are slightly embellished with pearls or sequence, it increases its price by four times. The luxury formal dresses range between Rs 15,000 and Rs 60,000. The recent Eid collections of Sania Maskatiya, Farah Talib Aziz, Faraz Manan, Zainab Chottani, Misha Hasan, Tena Durrani, Maria B and Sana Safinaz are among the brands popular these days.
Recently, a girl through her Facebook post called on people to boycott these Eid collections which got widely shared. “It’s high time to let these designers realise that our men are struggling hard for us and we respect and care the halal earning,” she wrote on her Facebook account.
Pakistan Today talked to various women to know their views about these Eid collections.
Sheena Mansoor, a student from Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), said, “This is a never-ending race that has no benefit. I went to buy an Eid dress, but a simple lawn dress was of Rs 10,000 so I left.”
“People are in this race so they could tell which designer they are wearing. This is mere show-off and waste of money as these dresses would be discarded next season. People do not even give complete Zakat and wear designer lawn which is prodigality,” she added.
Khadija Tahira, a student of Lahore School of Economics (LSE), said, “I want to buy clothes for all three days of Eid, but my budget won’t allow me to buy a single one. A simple lawn dress with a little embroidery is for Rs 15,000. They (designers) are only catering to the upper class. There is nothing in their stores for the middle and lower class, she said.
Zarka Fatima, a student of Kinnaird College for Women, said, “Eid collections are not in a range that every person can afford. Designers should reduce their prices so that an ordinary person can also afford them.”
Rabia Afzal, a student of Punjab University, said: “I went to ShaPosh in Liberty Market a few days ago and was shocked to see the price tags and the quality of stuff which was poor. A simple lawn dress without embroidery was being sold for over Rs 5,000.”A housewife, Maria said, “I enquired about the price of a simple net dress online, and it was for Rs 35,000. There was not even little embroidery on it. I asked the price of another shirt that had Gotta work on its neck and sleeves, and it was worth Rs 27,000 which was very expensive.”
Some women, however, prefer buying the designer Eid collections as they are considered trendy.
Sidra, another housewife, said, “I’ll go for Maria B’s collection as it is more stylish. They carry trendy stuff that attracts me and forces me to buy the designer dresses.”
Some other women said that the designer-wears are quite expensive so they go for replicas which have the same designs but a lower price.
The designers, on the other hand, claim that they charge for their ‘premium quality’ and ‘unique designs’. Pakistan Today talked to various designers, who have recently launched their Eid collections.
Sania Maskatiya says their designs are worth the price.
Designer Sania Maskatiya said, “We don’t think our dresses are over-priced. But, they are expensive for sure, and that’s because unlike our competitors and market trend, we don’t follow the one-time buying and wear policy. Our customers know that the quality of dress, fabric and unique design which we offer is nowhere else to find. They are worth the price. You would not find a design, sobriety and outlook elsewhere. We follow the motto, “We don’t make dresses; we make personalities.”
Farah Talib Aziz said, “Our Eid collection starts from Rs 12,000 that is cheaper than some lawn collections. Our heavier luxury Eid collection can be more expensive, but since some clients want to wear heavier pieces, so keeping a variety is a must.”
When asked what they have in store for someone who earns 20-30k on average, she said, “We have our lawn for them that was released in spring.”
Another designer Ayesha-Somaya said, “We are known to be very affordable. Our lawn is under Rs 4,000 and our luxury pret is super affordable with a designer tag. We believe in fast fashion and being accessible.”
The designer brand Khas (Home and Fashion), while talking to Pakistan Today said, “Firstly, our prices are very competitive as compared to any designer lawn currently available in the market. Secondly, our designs are all digital prints and the biggest highlight of our collection is that we are the only brand in Pakistan using skin-friendly dyes for printing which are ten times expensive. With all these features, we are still less expensive than any designer lawn brand in Pakistan. Our prices range between Rs 2,200 and Rs 6,500 and we offer you best value for money with a vast range of premium quality fabrics, including pure chiffon and silk dupattas and premium embroidered net dupattas.”
Ivy prints say they are catering to all types of customers this Eid.
Another brand Ivy prints said, “The Eid unstitched collection with fully embroidered front, back, sleeves and pure chiffon dupatta is for Rs 4,900 each. This is not that expensive and to appeal all customers, we have reduced the prices of our Gulzar Lawn. The embellished ones start from Rs 14,900. These have completely pure fabric and intricate embroidery. We have a range of embellished cotton net shirts for Rs 3,000. This Eid we are catering to all types of customers.”
The designer brand Cross Stitch said, “We have a price bracket in mind according to which we designed the collection. We use pure fabric only and we have four ranges for Eid, starting from Rs 2,500 to Rs 18,000. These include prints, embroideries and formal wear, catering to all price brackets.” They, however, said that they would consider the earning of a common man while pricing their upcoming collections.
Women prefer buying replicas as they are half the price of the original ones.
A shopkeeper, who sells designer replica dresses in a local market of Lahore, said, “Women prefer buying these replicas as their prices are half the original ones. There is always a crowd of women in our shop. When we stock up our shop with new collections (Naya Maal), they are sold right away. The lawn dresses are worn in one season and discarded in the next; so the replicas sell a lot.”
As Eid is approaching, tailor shops can be seen surrounded with women and most of the tailors have already limited the ‘bookings’ at their shops.
When asked if the designer collections have affected their work, a tailor named Shakeel said, “They have not affected our work. In fact, the designer suits are easier to stitch. We only need to understand its design.” He said that it has saved women from the hustle of getting laces and buttons matched. About the ready-to-wear dresses, he said, “Fifty per cent of the people still buy the unstitched dresses and get them stitched from tailors.”
Eid is an occasion to spread love and happiness. It does not matter if you wear an overpriced dress or a less-expensive one, you wear a branded outfit or a local one, Eid is about joy and true joy can only be gained by spending on others, especially on the less-privileged. Captioning pictures with names of designers on social media is not going to make anyone superior, instead it makes one superficial and creates a sense of inferiority in others.