More than a year after announcing plans to introduce a new luxury brand to the global market, Qatar has set an official launch date for its first boutique.
Qela, Qatar’s first homegrown fashion brand, will open Sept. 25 on the Pearl, the Qatar Luxury Group has announced.
Among its offerings: leather goods, shoes, jewelry and women’s clothing with “desert-inspired smooth shapes and generous volumes provide a feeling of comfort and general well-being.”
Following its Doha launch, Qela plans to open a shop in Paris within months and will eventually establish a presence in several fashion-conscious cities in the coming years, including New York, Milan and Hong Kong.
Qatar is not unfamiliar with the luxury market, having invested billions of dollars in recent years into brands like LVHM, Tiffany’s and Valentino’s.
And according to Reuters, QLG, which is run by former LVMH executive Gregory Couillard, bought an 86 percent stake in the Paris-listed leather goods company Le Tanneur et Cie last year.
Some have viewed the new brand’s creation as an effort by Qatar to shore up its soft power. Last year, the Huffington Post reported that the image-conscious nation was pursuing a foray into the luxury market in a bid to change long-held international associations.
That could include Qatar’s reputation as a nation struggling with obesity, a country with a high carbon footprint and a political chess player.
And because QLG falls under the auspices of Qatar Foundation, the hope is also that Qela will provide jobs to some of Education City’s fashion-minded graduates, a then-company executive told HuffPo.
Credit: Photo for illustrative purposes only by Habier Lopez