Dreaming of opening up your own fashion label is every creative designer’s ultimate goal but the reality is, it comes with a price and a lot of hard work. For business woman Alina Anwar, establishing her own homegrown fashion couture label Alina Anwar Couture is like giving birth to a kid, nourishing it and raising it like a real daughter.
“It is one of the most thrilling rides of my life so far. It always keeps me on my toes and I love every bit of it.” - says Alina.
Alina Anwar Couture’s two-year existence in the market proves that the brand has been making successful progress. In just below two years in UAE’s highly competitive couture fashion business, the brand has gained a tremendous amount of worldwide attention and even getting a nod with high profile figures including the music legend Mariah Carey (she wore the dress in her "All I want for Christmas is You" remake video last December 2019) and Bollywood Superstar Kareena Kapoor (she wore the dress during her red carpet appearance at the Brands Impact Awards last March 2019), and several more local and regional celebrities in different red carpets globally including in Italy, Los Angeles, Dubai and India.
It proves that time does not solely define the success of fashion labels, here, Alina Anwar shares some of the most important lessons she has learned during this first phase of building her own fashion business:
2. Product development is key
Start small with one product line – then develop the brand from there, in a way that feels consistent and carries forward the same design DNA. Setting the right price for your product is crucial in finding success. Work it out by starting with the amount that a customer would be willing to pay, and working backwards to calculate how much you can spend on materials and manufacturing while still turning a profit.
4. Understand and address the challenges of production
New businesses can often struggle with production – you’ll be ordering small quantities at first, which leaves you in a poor bargaining position with manufacturers. They may ask you for a deposit long before you’re going to receive payment from a retailer. This can be difficult, but it’s essential to pay promptly so that production is not delayed – otherwise you could end up late to deliver to retailers, damaging your relationships.
6. Understand the importance of cash flow, funding and ﬁnancing
One of the biggest challenges you’ll face as a new business is that cash flows out – for product development and manufacturing – long before it comes back in from retailers or customers. From the very beginning, you’ll need to know where your funding is coming from and keep your finances under control. Taking investment can mean losing some of your control over the business, so think carefully and don’t give away too much too cheaply.
Alina Anwar Khan, the Dubai-based fashion designer and founder of Alina Anwar Couture is the best known for her sophisticated yet visually stunning gowns. Fascinated at a young age, watching her mother and grandmother dress for special occasions, determined and ambitious, Anwar followed her dreams and pursued a career in fashion design. Mastering various technical and creative courses, she launched her eponymous label in 2018. Sourcing the finest fabrics from Paris and Milan, she is involved in every step of the design process to ensure a flawless finished creation that brings to life her vision of glamour and high fashion.
Alina Anwar's designs are inspired from her love of travelling, nature and vintage style icons, while encapsulating the effortless glamour her Mother and Grandmother radiated. Alina Anwar designs to empower women, making them feel beautiful and confident. Her striking and versatile collections are designed to enhance the features of the wearer, but never outshine.