After investing billions of dollars in the luxury goods market abroad, Qatar has created its own chic fashion brand at home. The Qatar Luxury Group’s (QLG) Qela made its debut last week with the opening of a boutique store at the Pearl.
Many of its products, including purses, jewelry and clothes are designed and made by craftsman in Doha, and the shoes are made in Italy. Among its offerings are one-off pieces and items made to order.
Qela describes its autumn collection as presenting a:
“Flowing, almost minimalist line, subtle yet rich colour, and details recalling local landscapes and culture such as garments referencing the local man’s cloak or bisht or evoking fluid, organic shapes inspired by the desert dunes.”
Speaking to Doha News at its workshop at the Al Emadi Financial Plaza on C-Ring Road this week, a Qela spokeswoman explained that French artisans are behind the creation of many items in the boutique, but the goal is to increase the number of Qataris involved.
Internationally, the new brand is being viewed by some as an effort to shore up Qatar’s soft power and change people’s associations with the country from politics or its ecological record to luxury.
Next up for Qela will be signing with a French gallery to open up operations in Paris – although no timeline has been given – and then, New York City. Other fashion capitals like Milan and Hong Kong are also being eyed.
Have you seen the new store yet? Thoughts?
Credit: Photos by Gazanfarulla Khan