We talk to the founder of Abu Dhabi's latest boutique, which offers a ready-to-wear designer collection, a styling service and personal tailoring.
Splashes of colour at Pleats Boutique in Abu Dhabi
Abu Dhabi's fashion scene has a new kid on the block. Combining the eye-catching collections of the Pakistani designer Omer Malik with in-house tailoring and a styling service, Pleats Couture House flings open its doors to clients this evening. We get the measure of the boutique with its founder and managing partner Saman Sheikh, who revealed the very special guest attending the grand opening.
Who is the VIP flying in to Abu Dhabi to inaugurate your store's opening tonight?
We have invited the renowned fashion designer from Pakistan, Nomi Ansari, to be our guest of honour. He's been in the industry for more than 10 years and he's a favourite of the three family founders of the business. He is very into loud, colourful, statement pieces, but he puts them together very gracefully - in a way you can easily carry off.
What can people visiting the boutique expect?
We provide three services, the first being a ready-to-wear collection by Omer Malik. Secondly, we have a styling service and thirdly we offer core tailoring - where clients can bring in anything from a piece of fabric they want fashioned into an outfit, to a completely stitched article they would like altered.
There are many couture and tailoring services in the UAE. What makes your boutique different?
With our couture service, our design philosophy is to add character to any fabric, colour palette or bring to life the ideas a client has. Also, the most important thing for us, and our clothes, is timing and precision. One of the biggest problems in Abu Dhabi is that people using tailors don't always get their clothes back on time, so we're committed to working on that.
Why is tardiness so often the case?
One, because there aren't always good systems in place - the tailor shops might not be well organised. The shops are often cramped and packed full of clothes, meaning items are often lost. New orders are also never refused - meaning more work is taken on than can be fulfilled. So we would rather take what we know we can handle and deliver.
Are there any plans to broaden the number of brands available in-store?
We're hoping to invite more designers to showcase with us in the future and in the long term we're looking to menswear too, but right now we're focusing on Omer's collection. His style is to use a lot of traditional Indian and Pakistani detail, embroidery and embellishment in his designs. It's also very much East meets West - so keeping things traditional but integrating modern styles.
What's the biggest style faux-pas people make and what's your advice to those in need of your styling services?
Clothes define a person and I often think people are scared to try different things. We would love customers to be open-minded and try something different; not just restrict themselves to the same colours and styles - such as always wearing long sleeves, for example. Also, embrace colours, it's so very important and it's fun!
Colour can make or break an outfit and by adding just a little, you can bring an outfit to life. And I'm not just talking bright ones - I'm a very strong believer in white, black and softer, earthy tones, too.
Why the name Pleats?
Pleats simply defines every fold of fabric to us. We wanted a name that emphasised how every pleat and detail is integral to an outfit.
For more information, go to www.pleatscouture.com/ or visit the boutique, opposite GEMS academy on Najda Street, Abu Dhabi.