“After having been working as a model in Pakistani fashion industry for a few years I often get asked by my peers and colleagues as to how I manage my academic life with this grueling drill of shoots and shows.
It is nonetheless hard but somehow I have managed to connect the dots and make better sense of things I study such as business and marketing in general. People often say that real world doesn’t really reflect the theories of economics or marketing per say. But I beg to differ, so the following would a refresher as to how the fashion industry really works along the principles of Marketing. And it really does!
Fashion in Pakistan is not a perfectly competitive market so to say,it is still developing into formal business and so the practices are not standardized or formalized at this moment. Whether your fashion brand works or not depends on a lot of different factors but ultimately what stands true is that it should in some way connect with the people. It can be stupid to intellectual sort but masses usually get to decide what will work.
As per the 4Ps framework of Philip Kotler:
The biggest product category happens to be bridal garments, and lawn .So sadly the male models are a very small part of the business. New product varieties/design are unveiled atleast twice a year and often around Eid to boost sales which brings us to second P Promotion.
Since our industry is small and new. Mostly promotion is mainly done through printing images in Magazines, newspapers and billboards. These days some brands have started using social media to promote because usually 80-90% of people don’t go and buy magazines they get to know abou the latest collections through social media . Celebrity endorsement and Fashion shows are also used to promote the brands although they may not directly contribute to sales.
Most of the fashion brands use Market skimming pricing to maintain exclusive image of designer brand. Some even resort to variable pricing as bridal garments are made on order and customized.
In the past designer brands only showed their products on appointment basis, now many do retail in popular commercial areas and malls like MM Alam, Zamzama, dolmen mall clifton etc. Some small brands are also experimenting with online sales but because of no credit cards it is still difficult. Shops are only based in posh localities of big cities.
Ultimately fashion industry is complex equation and transactions heavily depend upon the association one has with right people. As in marketing we study, relationships are everything.One wrong move and you are destroyed and also out of sight also means out of mind. It may look all dirty and informal from outside but it is actually not that bad. there are bad people in every field, you just work with the right people and its good. I hope new people will find my article quite helpful, thanks to Aamiriat for giving me platform.”