The key to a successful business is to bring consumers and the market together. But where thriving businesses once required a brick-and-mortar base, the Internet is now a global mall for many shoppers. No longer limited by distance to geography, clothing tastes can travel anywhere and everywhere without a visa. Soha Zia, a Pakistani woman who currently resides in Canada, has found a way to thrown open the doors of the world’s clothes closets with the help of her Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Western consumers have long admired the exotic, breathtaking designs, fabric, and embroidery that epitomize South Asian designers, but there’s currently no Internet source for purchasing them.
The South Asian demographic numbers are impressive: there are approximately 500 million people who represent significant purchasing power and interest in the Pakistani and Indian fashion brands. But most of the fashion houses are limited to commerce inside India and Pakistan; with only a limited presence and distribution outside of those countries, access to their wares is scarce.
Zia, with crowdfunding help, intends to connect consumers with the talented South Asian brands by acting as a gateway for fashion houses who are interested in building their distribution network in the international market. Her e-commerce platform will have an easy-to-browse interface to reach a wide audience for the designer garments. With marketing, brand management, and distribution services, closets can soon take on a dazzling flair that evokes the chic appeal of tastes that can only be found on another continent, but are as close as a click of a mouse.
With a thriving South Asian demographic (roughly 500 million people), residing internationally there is significant purchasing power and interest in Pakistani and Indian fashion brands. However, access to these brands is scarce, as most fashion houses have limited presence and distribution outside of India and Pakistan. This commercial venture will give designers the opportunity to expand their market share without the need to make huge investments.
With a passion to build an e-commerce platform that will make it possible to obtain South Asian apparel to wear, Zia knows that the time for her South Asian Net-a-Porter.com brand has arrived. A graduate of one of Canada’s most prestigious universities with a business degree in marketing, Zia has, thanks to her professional career with the Shell Corporation, spent her working days in supply chain management as a procurement manager. Her fashion savvy is derived from the time spent as a fashion blogger who has collaborated with numerous western brands, along with entrepreneurial experience from her own successful photography business. With a substantial social media following that has given her an influence over fashion followers, Zia’s understanding of her consumer base provides her marketing knowledge with unique insights into the way tastes bypass traditional boundaries.
New ventures inevitably bring the possibility of new risks, but Zia’s background has found a way to limit any chance of failure. South Asian garb is not usually mass merchandised, meaning that there’s a lack of inventory by the designers. But Zia is targeting only designers whose production facilities are sufficiently well established to meet high customer demand.
Keep your eye on the well-dressed globe as talented, up-and-coming designers in Zia’s native Pakistan, as well as in India, will benefit from her new initiative, which will expand to include all the top-tier designers in those countries. In order to do this, the campaign seeks to raise $15,063 by January 19, 2016.