Q1. What is the driving force behind launching The House of Aphrodite?
Behind any decision to take on something on the scale that I have, juggling family and work, it is Passion! I love fashion, shopping and traveling. The passion for all of the above combined with the passion to build my own brand and offer something new and exciting has led to what you see today as The House of Aphrodite.
Q2. How do you think The House of Aphrodite has covered a market gap?
I believe the gap has been covered by establishing a one stop shopping experience. We offer an elegant and spacious outlet in which the customer feels relaxed and receives individual attention from our well trained and courteous staff. I myself am present, at The House of Aphrodite, in the evenings to assist anyone seeking guidance on structuring an ensemble from our wide range of merchandise.
I want to spend my money on beautiful, high quality fashion without busting the bank. I want that personal attention I deserve as a customer and that is exactly what I strive to offer my clientele.
Q3. How do you describe your target market?
Our target market is anyone who loves to be get spoilt! All women who love fashion at affordable prices. They can be girls from early teens to women sixty and above. Women always need lingerie, nightwear, bags, shoes or something as simple as a scarf.
While we cater for the younger crowd with trendy fresh fashion items, we also keep in mind the women of my age and above. We offer a wide variety of clothes and accessories that can be enjoyed by all ages.
Q4.What is your fashion philosophy?
My fashion philosophy is keep it balanced. I myself am a fan of the classics. A wardrobe built on classics and injected with the right dose of trend can never fail. The classics never go out of style and the trendy statement pieces add swagger to your look. I always feel the need to be comfortable in what I wear.
Fashion is not fun when it hurts! Something I always make sure of is never to be delusional. No matter how much I want to wear a new trend or an old classic, if it’s for my body shape, personality or appropriate to the occasion I, even if reluctantly, do say no. So I mix it up, I keep it stylish, comfortable, honest and hip!
Q5. What aspects of a consumer do you keep in mind while doing fashion buying?
Obviously I consider different aspects like where we live; we have social, religious and climate restrictions. I have to also keep in mind tastes and consumer behavior of my clientele. Punjabis love to look good and they love to over dress, that’s the reason I don’t bring anything too casual, also I buy for a wide variety of people, I do proper fashion forecasting and study body types before going for a buying trip. This makes my merchandise cater to such a wide variety of target market.
Q6. What are the major trends for this winter?
Jackets and coats are everything which goes this season. From crop jackets, leather jackets to the classic bomber, there was a bit of everything on the high street in Europe.
Coats both oversized and classic, such as the trench were visible in window displays on Oxford St. The knits were a little cropped and paired beautifully with dress pants and jeans both.
Boots, boots, boots; they were of course everywhere. Long, mid, ankle, but, for the more adventurous, thigh high are the fad for this season.
Q7. What do we have in store this winter?
The lovely fashionistas of Pakistan can look forward to a cozy but glitzy collection of knits, snoods, scarves, shawls, fur stoles, Burberry inspired capes, shimmering leather and woolen tights, stockings, fuzzy socks and slippers, snuggly nightwear, comfy but attractive lingerie, beautiful fashion jewelry, genuine leather and suede long boots, Uggs, party shoes, leather skirts, party dresses, crop jackets, blazers, long coats and a variety of bags and clutches. 🙂
Q8. What sort of jackets are in fashion?
Oversized jackets and classic trench coats.
Q9. What are your Price points?
I work very hard to source affordable and envogue fashion. Despite travelling cost, shipping, customs and many other overheads, I keep my prices as close to tag price as possible. I have no desire to charge double and triple of what my client would pay if they were to purchase the same abroad.
We should be able to enjoy shopping in our own town, without having to pay unreasonable amounts. That’s why I spend innumerable hours sourcing good quality merchandise.
Q10. What do you have to say about the visual merchandising of the store?
Our visual merchandising is different because I believe in giving people a space where they enjoy. I don’t want money; I want my clientele to have an experience. We have request list as well. We want to make our client feel special as our slogan says be spoilt.
Q11. Describe your personal style?
My personal style is classic/elegant. That is usually my first preference. However I also enjoy loud, glittz and glamour at times. After all I am a true Punjabi at heart!
Q12. Who is your muse?
My muse? I don’t have just one. I would have never become so fashion conscious of it weren’t for my sister, my husband, and two close friends, one now in London and the other in Australia. These people inspired and influenced my fashion and business journey.
My sister always dresses beautifully and gets away with any look, clothes, haircut, and makeup. I love her candidness towards fashion, which earned her the nickname Gypsy. I admire her taste, zeal and confidence.
My hubby, a great business partner and life partner. He has been a great support to me in my venture.
Being one of the finest Printers in Pakistan, he has an eye for detail that few of us can match. He knows dots, lines and color like no one else I know.
Although I do dress for myself I must admit his opinion matters to me a great deal. I always ask for his take.
I know whatever he says will never is sugar coated! My friend in London, an amazing person who motivated and encouraged me to do something with what she so kindly said to be ‘my talent’. An amazing entrepreneur and friend.
And last but not least my close friend in Australia. Always gently pointed out my fashion misses or praised my fashion hits. A well-educated and well-travelled professional with a hunger to style anyone, anywhere!
These are the people who have influenced and contributed to my business choices and fashion style. A medley of muses. 🙂
Q13. Brands you are currently stocking?
To mention a few we have Marks and Spencer, Debenhams, Coast, DKNY, French connection, Zara, Biba jackets, Warehouse and Selfridges.
Here is an exclusive interview of Sumbal Hammad - CEO of the House of Aphrodite with Fashion Central.