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PrettyLittleThing officially launches in the UAE

The UK-based retailer has finally brought its offerings to the region, with select collections catered to the Middle Eastern consumer...

Why is PrettyLittleThing a pretty big deal? The e-commerce site has undergone a meteoric rise and has rapidly grown into a global phenomenon, courtesy of Founder and Chief Executive, Umar Kamani. He launched the now trend-driven, celebrity-inspired fast fashion platform in 2012 (which first started with just accessories) and has become the fastest growing retailer in the world.

The UK-based site has dedicated platforms in LA, NYC, Sydney, Melbourne, France, London, Dublin and now, has strengthened its presence in the Middle East by launching

Here, we speak to Kamani whilst things have slowed down to discuss the highly anticipated e-commerce launch, how the pandemic has changed e-commerce and the Middle Eastern consumer.

Congratulations on the new launch! Why did you feel like it was the right time to launch given the current global situation?

Launching in the Middle East and Dubai is something we had been considering for the last few years. We understand the huge investment that has gone into the region and the growth that has been seen, shows the mass potential that the region still has.

Why did you decide to launch in the UAE?

We have seen some great success over the last few years without even having a Middle East website or any presence. We have seen a high demand from this market, and we are incredibly excited to be able to expand our offering in the Middle East.

How different has this launch been in comparison to previous launches?

What’s fascinating about the Middle East is the culture and it’s also been a learning process for us to understand the difference in fashion whilst keeping the cultural sensitivity in mind. There is a definitely a more modest twist to fashion here and this is something that is positive and can benefit PrettyLittleThing by adding that element to our product offering.

What results are you hoping to achieve with this launch?

What we are hoping to achieve in launching here is localization to the Middle East. We are hoping to provide competitive prices to our customers and a competitive service and it’s all about ensuring the consumers here are happy and receiving the same standards and level of service we offer in other parts of the world.

What are your thoughts on the fashion industry in the Middle East?

The fashion industry in the Middle East is booming! It’s a very fashion-conscious region and I really like the modest positive twist to it.

What collections/styles do you think the Middle Eastern consumer gravitate more towards to?

This is a tough question, as you’re talking about a large demographic of people not just one segment. The UAE is so multi-cultural you have locals and expats, the local market is a more conservative style whereas the expats have similar shopping habits to the UK and USA.

What I can tell you is lot of our product offering is suitable for this market and we are also currently developing and increasing the modest segment, once this is launched  the productive offering will be fantastic!

It will be interesting to see as how this market unfolds for us and also learning from it.

What is your personal opinion on the future of shopping in malls?

People would go shopping in malls for the experience which we are now seeing less of, they now go for the social aspect such as having coffee, lunch or to go to the cinema. I think the shopping experience the consumer is looking for is growing more and more online. I feel malls will need to cater more for the social and entertainment experience rather than shopping experience.

How has the pandemic changed e-commerce?

This pandemic has definitely been a roller coaster journey which is still not over so I will hold my thoughts on this for now.

What is the future of PrettyLittleThing?

The future of PrettyLittleThing that is an exciting question!

How long is a piece of string! We are here, we are committed, we are dedicated. PrettyLittleThing is not just a job but a way of life for my team and I and we believe our baby PrettyLittleThing is the future of fast fashion and we are very excited to present our vision to the world.

To mark its first collaboration for the Middle East’s new website launch, PrettyLittleThing teamed up with Maram Zbaeda, where an edit of 23 pieces will be available to shop on the site.

“I am super excited about collaborating with PLT knowing that I’ll be the face for their launch in the Middle East,” says Zbaeda. “The brand has the cutest items that can make any girl of any size look her best. I love how the brand really supports female body positivity with their variety of sizes and this is something very empowering and what we need to see more of in the fashion industry today. It’s amazing to work with a brand that caters for all body shapes. The shoot was long, yet super fun! I want to say a special thank you for everyone who helped me with creating content and can’t wait to show everyone what me and the brand have been working on for all of you.”

Discover some of the pieces here…

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Now, read more on our conversation with Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing on his capsule collection with Mytheresa.