Dubai: Tailors and designers around town have reported a lukewarm festival response for new clothes and accessories following the pandemic.
Usually the festive buzz would begin a month preceding Eid Al Adha with seamstresses, tailors and handcraft artisans for zari, zardozi, lace work being deluged by local and overseas orders.
This year, the mood has been sombre. With no big parties to attend and salary cuts and job losses putting families under pressure, people are making do with what they have, and going in for alterations.
Festive fervour lacking
Mohmmad Nasir Khan, master tailor from Dream Girl Tailors, Satwa, told Gulf News: “We do Western clothes and have many orders from our western clients. Earlier, we would cater to orders from large families in the UAE and also tourists coming in for Eid clothes. That is missing this year.”
The festive fervour is missing at tailoring shops in Karama.
Rajesh Patel, a tailor master from a shop in Karama, said business during Eid was down by a fourth.
“Earlier, if we were tailoring 20 dresses in a day, we are now down to making just four or five. Our main clientele in Karama comprise Indians and Pakistanis. But many families have gone back. So celebrations are not happening on the scale they did until last year. That has definitely impacted our business. Hardly anyone walks into our shop these days.”
Social distancing has also kept customers away from tailoring shops. Radha Shiram, an Indian houswife, said, “Business activities have opened up, but I will wait for some more time before I go a tailor, give measurements and get new clothes sticthed.”
Jigna Parmar, a boutique entreprenuer who tailors Indo-Western designer clothes at her workshop in JLT, said this year the emphasis was more on alterations than dresses tailored from fabric.
Fewer social events
“Social events have whittled down. This year, people are either eating out or having an Eid meal with just immediate family members. So they are not investing into many clothes. In fact, women have not had the time to shop for fabric and are going for ready-made clothes which they bring to us for a perfect fit or some minor embellishment on the scarf, blouse or dupatta. Business is low key of us.”
However, Deepti Harisinghani, who runs her bespoke boutique My Tailor & Little Things in Dubai Marina, claims she has had a good run so far.
“Our clients are not Indian. In fact, we specialise in western outfits and have international clients, so we have had a fairly good response. While social gatherings are not happening, people are making the most of the long weekend and are eating out, meeting at restaurants or going on staycations. So I have a had many clients come in for tailoring. We are a unisex boutique and have had both men and women come in for tailored outfits. All my seven tailors have been very busy.”