When fashion turns into your passion

Sadaf Khan creates memorable events for Dubai’s happening scene The jetsetters, fashionistas and style mongers of Dubai always seek the latest trends. Seeing the huge demand to design exceptional experiences, Sadaf Khan, founder of specialised events management firm Boulevard One, has converted her passion for luxurious events into a business model.

Khan, along with Niti Gupta, launched the company in 2012 “to pursue our passion in fashion and events”.

“The city was buzzing with a wave of young businesses; we wanted to be part of the movement. We were determined to develop a brand that would reflect our love for fashion and event management, so we combined the two to bring an evolution in retail experience,” says Khan.

“Since then we have produced private fashion viewings, high-profile charity gala receptions, fashion and lifestyle exhibitions as well as mega musical concerts. We also handle our own seasonal fashion exhibitions and pop ups showcasing designers from India and Pakistan. We continue to attract new designers keen to expand into the Gulf region through our trunk shows,” she says.

Khan is now the solo partner as Gupta has returned to India.

Khan worked for 13 years at American Express TRS. She says the experience has made her look at things in a corporate perspective; with discipline, sense of urgency and business structure.

“Time and crisis management has contributed to my role at Boulevard One, especially during the set up when we were working on a business plan,” she says.

Khan says her secret of success in the business is persistence, hard work and determination.

“As an event organiser, we are constantly improvising, putting out fires, running against time – so there is never a dull moment. We’ve had so many situations – some hilarious, some stressful, some mind blowing. Lost in translation moments are daily occurrences whether dealing with suppliers, designers or clients,” she points out.

Khan is in the thick of the fashion scene in Dubai. This also means catering to the tastes and perceptions of different nationalities.

“Dubai is a beautiful place with people from around the world – it is a cosmopolitan city giving us the best of the international perspective. As a firm, we are able to interact and work alongside people of different nationalities with each contributing to ideas and creativity,” she elaborates.

Khan says Dubai continues to be a competitive market. This means as an entrepreneur you are constantly pushed to be different, to perfect your craft and remain relevant to your audience.

“We have a copycat culture, so you find yourself in a saturated market as soon as you hit the ground running. Demand versus supply don’t match,” she says. “As an event organiser for fashion concepts, we come across many other companies imitating the idea, flooding the market and ultimately ruining the potential. The audience gets fed up with similar events. To sustain yourself you have to diversify, collaborate and create unique and niche campaigns to attract new clients but more importantly retain the loyal ones,” she says.

Khan says competition is healthy as it gives you an opportunity to be efficient, enhance your services and deliver beyond expectations. “At Boulevard One we focus on a specific niche in the fashion segment that we have become known for amidst the large number of events,” she adds.

Regarding the current fashion scene in Dubai, Khan says the concept of fashion pop ups and trunk shows is evolving and as an organiser they are not confined to rules.

She says: “We are beginning to see non-conventional great ideas coming to life – from locations to sets to specialisation. Boulevard One is attracting more international designers and brands eager to participate in our exhibitions; this means we need to enhance our style to develop a network of new designers constantly.”

Khan says Boulevard One is a growing company and she is keen to introduce the brand across the Gulf. “We are also in talks with emerging designers to organise and develop exclusive fashion events to introduce them through presentations, private viewings as well as pop up events,” she adds.

Khan says her journey so far has been amazing, one that continues to give her great satisfaction.

“Like any venture, it is scary to start because we seem to be focusing on the challenges ahead and the risks. This is only natural but it’s important to have a mindset that allows you to consider every stumbling block as a learning process. This will give you the boost to motivate yourself when you venture out,” she says.

Khan is grateful to be blessed with a support system in the shape of her family, “they continue to push me to succeed and build myself”, she says.Read more at:vintage formal dresses | mermaid formal dresses

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