In her new venture, Ammara Yaqub is offering high-end blouses at contemporary price points through her web site, ammaranyc.com. The site launches June 1.
A Harvard MBA, Yaqub worked at Zac Posen, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton and Saks Fifth Avenue before launching her own advanced contemporary namesake brand in 2011 which she ran for six seasons.
“The world is shifting. If you can’t get in front of that change, you can’t win,” said Yaqub, the Pakistani-born New York designer, who feels that e-commerce is capturing more dollars because there is so much more data and a better understanding of their customer’s preferences and what she buys and doesn’t buy.
Her new e-commerce business is exclusively blouses — with unusual twists. “Women are always looking for shirts and can’t find them. A lot of designers focus on dresses. We wanted to focus on one piece and perfect it,” she said. For the launch, she will offer 12 beautifully tailored blouses and will add two to three blouses each month. By manufacturing in New York City, she said, she is able to achieve a six-week turnaround time from conception to bringing the blouses to market. Fabrics include sea island cotton, silk and silk charmeuse.
Among the styles are a white off-the-shoulder blouse with a flounce in the back in sea island cotton; a pajama top in silk charmeuse in black with white piping and white with black piping; an asymmetric full top; a white top with intricate draping, and a black V-neck leather top. There’s also the classic tailored long-sleeve white shirt with hidden plackets. The blouses retail from $200 to $400. “In a department store, they would be in the $800 to $900 range,” she said, noting she’s able to have better prices since she’s cutting out the retailer and selling direct. Sizes range from 0-12 and SS to L.
Down the road, Yaqub will add some silk colors with interesting textures, and may eventually offer clutches or wedges or do a collaboration with a pants resource.
The web site will feature imagery of models wearing the blouses, and every piece will have an explanation. “We want to get across a very luxurious feel on the site,” she said.
Yaqub hasn’t determined a first-year projection yet. She said she is working with bloggers and web sites to spread the word.