Wed | Jan 23, 2019

Embracing fashion with Pablos

Published:Sunday | December 16, 2018 | 12:00 AMKrysta Anderson
Pablos Tamia
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Strutting in style is all about being confident and original. And you can't get more authentic than creating custom-fit designs from beautiful one-of-a-kind apparel. For more than 25 years, L P Azar has mastered the wholesale fabric arena. In recent times, the enterprise branched off into the world of retail, expanding into fashionable couture with the creation of Pablos.

"We needed a retail arm to get coverage of our fabrics to the consumer, hence that triggered our acquisition of Pablos," Andrew Azar informed Outlook of the addition which occurred approximately seven years ago.

To stay in the competitive lane, the company buys fabrics from all over the world, ranging from the USA (Los Angeles to be specific because of their cutting-edge insight into style and fashion) to India (the main producers of the world), where the business purchases basic items.

"In draperies and upholstery, we buy from China, Spain and France. In the case of knits, we buy from Brazil, and sheeting and cotton from Pakistan - we actually do our own custom prints for sheeting. The various countries of the world specialise in producing certain fabrics, so we look far and wide for the best quality at the best price," he added.

Pablos boasts three stores islandwide: Montego Bay, Half-Way Tree and downtown, Kingston.

This year alone, African prints from Morocco and India, have been in high demand on the company's storefronts. Silks, satins and sequins reigned for formal wear. While stretch fabrics, cottons, lycras and scuba are still hot on the market. Regular best-sellers, such as uniform fabrics for schools and offices, continue to be necessities for households. The business has also secured a tailor to explore men's suiting.

"We keep up to date with the fashion cycles and trends rocking the runways of Paris and New York Fashion Week. Then, we merge by collaborating with our local designers, listening to their insight on which colours and qualities are emerging. They guide us immensely with intimate knowledge of the fashion industry. And some even give us 'look books' before we travel to purchase," Azar revealed.

One such go-to designer for the company is Tamia Carey. She is not only an expert stylist, but an avid customer who has shopped at the store for many years.

"Her voice in assisting us with purchases has been invaluable so far," he shared. Producing for the curvy woman - sizes eight to three XL - Carey has created designs from Pablos fabric for both her clients as well as the store's show windows, generating show stopping shoots in the process.

Additionally, the fabric professional has been making major strides in developing an online footprint through social media campaigns, thereby increasing sales and bringing the next generation through our doors of Pablos, islandwide. To execute this in fine style, the company has hired Stush Marketing as the exclusive marketing consultant.

As far as regional and international sales go, designers from the islands make their way to our shores just to purchase from L P Azar, as they enjoy the flexibility of free trade in CARICOM, being able to buy a minimum of 10 yards per fabric choice, or up to the entire roll.

"They also say our pricing is better than Miami and New York," Azar added.

"At this point, we are in the process of refurbishing our stores in Central Plaza and downtown Kingston, and we have just moved into a flagship store in Montego Bay - a beautiful day out on three floors. The results in the last two to three months have been phenomenal, as the bigger and more beautiful space in Montego Bay has resulted in a better shopping experience for the consumer. In seeing this, we will be targeting other towns where the supply of fashion fabric is not adequate, and we plan to open stores in these towns."

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com