From Bollywood to modest clothing, Murcyleen rides the fashion train
- 02 May 2017
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Earlier this year, 26-year-old Murcyleen Peerzada launched a fashion label under her own name, styling it as India’s first designer wear for abayas. “There are no abaya designers in India. There are just a few small-time boutiques. There is a huge scope for designer abayas in India,” she said.
But modest clothing wasn’t Murcyleen’s first passion. Growing up in Mumbai, she had wanted to become an actor, and after completing college, she received help from Bollywood legend Yash Chopra, a friend of her father. She was almost cast in a movie but an uncomfortable screen test changed her mind. She joined Yash Raj Studios, one of the biggest names in Bollywood, as Costume Assistant Director. Chopra suggested that she join a leading designer, but the director’s untimely death changed Murcyleen’s course of life.
Shocked at her mentor’s sudden death, Murcyleen’s search for deep questions on life led her to search the Internet for Islamic perspectives. She started reading Islamic books and trained to become an orator. The change also reflected in her lifestyle; she shifted to modest clothing. Given her continued interest in fashion, it was only natural that she would launch her own label.
“Abayas are elegant and can be stylish,” said Murcyleen. The aspiring entrepreneur searched the Mumbai market to check what was available. “I went to all the neighbourhoods that had shops selling abayas. But most of them were selling products that were rejects in the international markets.”
Based on the e-commerce model, her label now ships abayas all over the world. “The abayas are made in Dubai, as one gets good quality fabric there. Unfortunately, tailors in India can do very good bridal wear, but the awareness about abayas is low,” Murcyleen explained. Production in India might be cheaper, but she prefers stitching her abayas in Dubai to ensure quality. The entrepreneur now divides her time between Dubai and Mumbai.
According to Murcyleen, the label has gotten off to a “very encouraging start” and become popular on social media. Since its debut on Instagram, the label has gained nearly 14,000 followers. However, the label has some way to go to match the popularity of its promoter, who has more than 110,000.
Priced in the range of $106 –$194.7, the abayas cater to higher-end customers, but Murcyleen plans to launch an affordable line. “There is a huge market for that. But I would want to first establish the brand,” she said.
She has also signed up with Haute Elan, one of the biggest names in modest fashion, to sell the Murcyleen Peerzada label in London. Founded in 2013, Haute Elan sells in over 200 countries and houses 200 designers, and in February it launched the London Modest Fashion Week.
Murcyleen and her team, which consists of a public relations specialist and a business manager, are now focused on building volume and signing up more partnerships. “We are now working on the Ramadan line and will be having an event in Dubai in May,” she said.