By Cheranka Mendis
Aszai Fashion, known for their unique collection of what is known as ‘Indian’ fashion in layman terms, recently launched a new collection of clothing by renowned fashion designer Sangeeta Krishnani of Mumbai.
Titled ‘Bombay dreams’, the collection included unique designs of shalwar kameez, kurthis and churidhars of flamboyant colours and cuts. Krishnani who was a former model is now known as a leading designer diva that has created magnificent designs with her unique creativity, giving priority to traditional colours and designs of India in her creations.
The collection will be available at Aszai Fashion over the next few months. Speaking to Weekend FT, partner of Aszai Fashion Yoonus Omar stated that Sangeeta has been a family friend for 15 years and the chance to showcase her collection in his shop was a privilege and honour for their family. Sangeeta’s designs have been marketed in United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Middle East.
Yoonus, who started the business of Aszai Fashion with his wife Zaitoon Omar, stated that the shop is now bustling with customers. The husband-wife duo hope to bring in the latest collections from Bombay and launch it at the shop every month. “We see that the interest for the kurthis etc. have now expanded and lot of non-Muslims have shown increased enthusiasm in purchasing such items,” Omar said. “People are becoming more fashion conscious and the entrance of the ‘designer-wear’ concept to the local market has really boosted interest in the clothing that we sell at Aszai.”
Aszai Fashion has been prevalent in the local market for 15 years and showcases collections from Bombay, Delhi, Karachchi and Lahore. The store offers a wide range of products ranging from shalwar kameez, designer-wear sarees, shawls, kurthis, churidhards, denim leggings and partialas.
“We offer these in every colour and design possible,” Omar said. All clothing featured at the store is hand picked by the duo.
The store also includes a made-to-measure tailoring arm headed by an experienced and creative tailor from India. “This has become a special feature in our shop. We have the readymade clothing as well but having an in-house tailor has become a plus point for us.”
Plans for the future include expanding their current collection to include latest shoes and handbags to the shop and by December, more Indian and Pakistani designers will be brought to Sri Lanka to showcase their designs to the local market.
While describing how Aszai fashion commenced operations, Omar explained that his wife Zaitoon started a tailoring business called ‘Azim tailors’ 25 years back. Her interest in fashion and design gradually turned into building Aszai Fashion ten years later. “It has been 15 years since Aszai Fashion started. We opened our first shop in Wellawatte in what was then known as the Plaza Complex. Our business expanded with time and six years back we moved to the Havelock Road store which has more room for our collection as well as parking space,” he said.
“It has been an interesting 15 years, a time we have enjoyed so much.”
Pix by Indrarathne Balasuriya