I had written about Bonanza being banal and then subsequently about their F/W 2012 launch last year. This past week I was privileged to attend the launch of their designer collaboration with Maheen Karim and Sanam Chaudhri. It is really nice to see some old brand rising from the ashes, since the last time I wrote about them they have actually come up with tasteful videos for TV and now this latest initiative to amp up their pret collection.
Contrary to popular notion, designer-retailer collaborations are not as novel as they are perceived to be. Internationally, Target is the flag bearer of designer collaborations, but soon H&M caught on and even RiverIsland has jumped on to the bandwagon. In Pakistan the phenomenon has been a bit different, because a large fraction of our population does not buy pret ensembles but prefers buying loose cloth, the designer collaborations here started with Lawn brands, most notably Rizwan Beyg and now almost every designer has come out with a lawn collection by liaising with textile giant. Recently Working Women collaborated with Adnan Pardesy, however Bonanza chose to team up with Kamiar Rokni and did quite well.
On the launch ceremony CEO of Bonanza, Hanif Bilwani commented that “We have stepped in this collaboration to offer our customers designerwear under our roof as well making it far accessible and affordable for a common man.” Few years back when this marketing tactic was introduced, it was actually thought of as an initiative for making designerwear more accessible, but over time if more & more designers start doing it the designer novelty will die down.
In a recent piece published in Forbes titled ‘Retailer/Designer Collaborations – The Missing Link‘ author Greg Petro argues that “…collaborations are here to stay. That we will, in fact, have many more of them, not necessarily to drive sales but more as vehicles to create brand awareness…“.
In an another article titled ‘Is This The End Of Designer Collaborations?‘, Becca Alexander editor of website Fashionindie opined that “Collaborations are becoming more about the marketing opportunities, less about the sales. Larger brands like H&M and Target need the street cred that comes with working with respected and up & coming designers, stylists, celebrities and more recently, bloggers. It’s becoming less about the money being made and more about the attention these collaborations draw...”
Whether these pieces will do good or not depends on: whether the customer perceives the said designers to be cool enough(a Nadia Mistry customer mighn’t appreciate Alexander McQueen’s dark glamour),whether the items somehow are relevant to their lifestyle (a housewife won’t buy a small sequined dress), whether the prices are justified/affordable to Bonanza‘s TG( women from SEC B or C might not buy Rs.8000 lawn jora) and finally if the quality of product is acceptable.
If you ask me pieces from both of these designers (that Bonanza has collaborated with) have good potential. I personally prefered Sanam Chaudri‘s designs because they were more contemporary and also because Maheen‘s weren’t exciting enough. Lets just cross our fingers for the moment and browse through the pieces presented there.