Sunday, June 7, 2020

The Splash Island Collection: Interview with Raza Beig

The region’s very own high-street fashion retailer, Splash, launched an exquisite limited edition collection in collaboration with four of the region’s most iconic fashion designers. The glitzy event, held at the Ritz Carlton, showcased the Splash Island Collection and was attended by Splash CEO, Raza Beig, and Indian actress and model, Esha Gupta. During the event, Bahrain this Week had the opportunity to catch up with Mr. Beig.

This is the first time that Splash is holding this annual show in GCC countries apart from the UAE. What fueled your decision to have a road show across the GCC this year?

I usually organize events in Dubai, which are very celebrated and watched by everybody. One of our customers from Oman recently sent me a message on Instagram saying, “Why don’t you have the show for us in our country, too? We are your customers and we’d like to see this too.” Ramadan is a time when we launch some of our best collections and I thought “Why not?” and decided to do a road show thanks to this incredible customer.

That’s an incredible story. Would you say then that Splash really considers what their customers have to say?

Absolutely, in fact my first fashion show also started because of a customer. It was a man who told me that most of his wardrobe was from Splash but that when he’d tell some people, they hadn’t heard of the brand. So when a customer tells me something, I definitely take it very seriously.

The Splash Island Collection collaborates with four designers. How did you select these designers?

The designers had actually approached me and it was all perfect timing since, at the time, I was working on something called Collaborations.

All four designers have different signatures, for instance Essa Wallah has beautiful kaftans with wonderful prints, comfortable garments that are perfect for Ramadan whether it’s for Suhoor or social evenings at friends’ homes. Aisha Ramadan has created an excellent high street collection, while my personal friend, the Swedish fashion designer Nina Zandnia has created unique versatile pieces which work well during nautical evenings or even 70’s disco nights. Last, but not least, we have Ken Ferns from India who does amazing prints that are a good mix of tribal and urban, so the collection really provides a wide choice.

Does Splash and your most recent collection cater to the needs of every kind of woman?

Under the Splash label we cater to everyone, including young girls, modest women and plus size women. With the designer collaborations they are specifically chosen for different segments, hence making it a great mix. 

Online shopping is currently booming. Will the Ramadan collection be available on Splash’s e-commerce platform?

Yes, we have a very active e-commerce platform which is currently available in the UAE, Bahrain and Saudi Arabia. It’s excellent for busy people who don’t always have the time to visit our branches and would like to shop in the comfort of their homes.

As someone who visits Bahrain frequently, what are your thoughts on Bahrain?

While introducing Ms. Esha to the beautiful Kingdom of Bahrain, we got to experience its wonderful character. Bahrain is known for its celebrations, comfortable living and family values, but I believe it also has beautiful nature and the sea surrounding the 32 islands is stunning, so I believe a visit on holiday is due!

Splash is said to be the largest retailer in the GCC. What are your thoughts on that?

We are said to be 3 or 4 times bigger than other retailers in the region, I’m not sure if it’s true, but we are definitely well-established here. We are a household name and have built that reputation due to the love and respect of our customers. When I started the business of Splash 25 years ago, we didn’t know where the journey would take us, so I’m very thankful to our customers.

On our end, we have stayed true to our commitment towards price conscious fashion since our customers want value from us. Hence we provide them with high-quality products for prices as lowas even BD 2.

As someone who is known for his fashion brand, what would be your advice for men and women who are interested in fashion that are looking to be adventurous with their wardrobe?

I believe that as long as you wear something comfortable which makes you fit in an occasion, you are in fashion. If a person is creative and sensible with their style, they could even have 5 sets of outfits and do a whole mix for the entire season.

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