Dazed Digital


Guest Editor: Zayan Ghandour

February 7, 2012

In her first guest post for SV, the fashion powerhouse shares the story of Queenie, Pinkie and Mr. Tiger - the trio behind the production of her label Zayan

  • Text by Simone Sebastian

Satellite Voices Dubai welcomes Zayan Ghandour to the fold for a series of personal and charming guest posts about her recent career transition from buyer/boutique owner to fashion designer. In her first post, Zayan recounts the nerve wracking process of producing her label Zayan.

Guest post by Zayan Ghandour 

For almost 10 years, as head buyer for s*uce (a fashion and lifestyle concept boutique based in Dubai) I have scoured the globe, from New York to Tokyo to New Zealand, in search of the latest fashion brands and the next ‘it’ designers - selling them at the right price, right time, and to the right customers. However, since last October and during Paris Fashion Week, I officially became one of 'them' - just another young designer trying to make it in a very competitive, insanely selective and trend-driven market. The (very high heeled) shoe is certainly on the other foot now.

My new fashion design career depends on the answer to one very simple question: Will China produce my relatively small collection the way that I had intended, and will it be delivered on time? 

Enter Queenie, Pinkie, and Mr. Tiger (their names have not been changed for the sake of privacy; these are in fact their real names). They are the magical trio who operate the factories in Schangzhou where my collection was to be produced. They took over my life all through last year as we prepared to launch my first collection for SS 2012. We communicated with them daily via (very long) emails and have (exhaustive, long and often indecipherable) phone calls about samples, fabrics, delivery etc. I can safely say that I now have a more profound appreciation for Chinese Whispers.

Thankfully, the trio managed to deliver faultless and beautiful initial samples just in time for the first trade show in Paris, where the collection was very well received by international buyers. However, from that time onwards everything started to go downhill.  It felt like the honeymoon was over and the trio became distant, and somewhat evasive and vague when questioned about the progress of the collection.

Needless to say this resulted in several sleepless nights.  Finally Nicola, my product manager, and I decided to get on the first flight to Schangzhou.  Queenie, Pinkie, Mr Tiger and I needed to talk.

Once we got there we booked a car, and of course a translator, and set off on a day of factory visits. And that turned out to be all it took to dispel the fears and doubts. All we needed was a face-to-face meeting with the magic trio. Upon inspecting the facilities and witnessing the production process, we had a better understanding of the reasons behind the delays and discrepancies. Things no longer seemed complicated or unclear. Solutions were put forward, an action plan was drawn up and things were back on track.

So, will there be a sequel to this tale? The return of Queenie, Pinkie and Mr. Tiger? Tune in next season to find out.

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