Dubai dazzling on the catwalk?
The emirate’s fashion scene may have been affected by the financial crisis, but some in the industry see a more positive trend in the future.
March 18, 2010 7:17 by Aarti Nagraj
While admitting that people who buy the luxury products here have been “concerned” by the recession, she says that they do continue spending. “So now a gown costing AED1,000 is very expensive for people who buy H & M, but for people buying Chanel, it doesn’t affect their spend,” she says.
Farhana Farooq launched her own designer boutique, Farashati, in Dubai during the peak of the crisis just over a year ago. “I can only see things improving since then,” she says. The boutique, which produces “conservative chic” clothing, has not been forced to reduce its prices.
“Dubai is definitely a big fashion hub because it has so many people from different cultures. It’s a great place to be for a designer,” she says.
And it’s even better for the international brands, because people here like to “show off,” says Farooq.
“The local brands are doing really well here, but I don’t think as good as international brands. International brands immediately get all the hype. When I talk to some clients, they tell me about how they dropped into London or Paris and did shopping there. So you know it’s all about name dropping,” she says.
However, in June last year, Tony Jashanmal, a director of the Jashanmal Group of Companies, said at the Reuters Global Luxury Summit in Dubai that sales of luxury goods in the emirate had fallen by about 45 percent since the global economic crisis. “The sales of everything dropped a little bit, but more drastic was in the luxury field,” he said. While many fast-selling luxury brands witnessed sales drops of about 20 percent, less well-known names saw a “bigger drop,” he added.