Dress for success: Designer24 interview

The founders of Designer24 explain why their online designer dress hire service is proving so popular

Dubai’s lively events circuit and nightlife scene is famous - infamous, perhaps - for its high standards.

Looking good and standing out from the crowd requires social butterflies to keep their eyes open and wallets at the ready, as they hunt down attire that will give them the edge over their peers.

But while some people may be happy to fill their closets with stacks of dresses, there are many others who would prefer to keep things simple. Which is why online designer dress hire service, Designer24, is proving such a hit.

Helping dress women for a variety of occasions, with a variety of different looks, the company provides an easy, hassle-free, option for customers who want to wear high-end fashion but not pay high-end prices.

The brainchild of Sara Alemzadeh and Ranya Khalil, the service works with some of the most cutting-edge designers in the market to keep you on-trend at the touch of a button, delivering dresses to your door ready to wear, and picking them up again either four or eight days later without you having to even start thinking about dry-cleaning them.

It’s a model that has worked well in other parts of the world, prompting the friends and business partners to bring the idea to the UAE.

“It’s a concept we thought would work really well here,” says Alemzadeh.

“We were really thinking about what common problems women faced here, and decided this would solve many issues.”

The duo forged a partnership after meeting in London through mutual friends, agreeing to discuss different business proposals they could work on together.

Khalil says: “When we met we clicked right away and decided to work together. We tried to focus on what we could do differently. We didn’t want to just do retail sales, so we tried to look at things that could change the market out here.

“We put together a business plan, and once that was completed we came out to Dubai to meet different people and hear what they thought about the concept.

“The UAE is a great place to start a business. There’s a lot happening here - it’s an exciting place to be.”

Alemzadeh adds: “The whole business aspect of it was so important. It was a good idea, but we wanted to make sure it would be profitable.

“We did the financials, estimated how much we needed for operations, and decided we would start by self-funding the business.

“Then we had to go and pitch the idea to the designers. For us to do it well, we wanted to partner properly with the designers. If you don’t you’re missing out on potential PR, and we really wanted their support to get exclusive products for the customers - new season dresses, not last season’s.

“We felt that was really important.”

With the company’s warehouse in Jebel Ali boasting some 200 dresses with retail prices ranging from $1,000 to $10,000, the sourcing mission was clearly a success. But process was a lengthy one.

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