Qatar launches Qela, its very own luxury fashion label
Qatar has reached the next step in the world of fashion and luxury. After buying a stake in LVMH and taking over Valentino and French leather accessories brand Le Tanneur, the emirate is preparing to launch its own luxury clothing and accessories label by the end of the year, through the Qatar Luxury Group (financed by the Qatar Foundation).
The name of the label, Qela, was revealed by website the HuffPost and confirmed by Caroline Guillon, marketing director of the Qatar Luxury Group, when contacted by FashionMag.com. She played down, however, the website’s claims that “the launch could include more than ten cities including Paris, Los Angeles, New York, Milan, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore and, obviously, Doha”.
Far from a high-profile launch, it seems that Qatar intends to progressively integrate the high-end fashion market, with a test phase in Doha. “We’re not working on an international scale at the moment. We are first of all focusing on a local launch in Doha, where a boutique – currently under construction – should be open by the end of the year, if there are no delays”, said Caroline Guillon. However, the Qela brand name has been filed as a trademark in countries over the globe, most notably in the US, Switzerland and France, according to the HuffPost – a means of “protecting the brand and staying on our toes in case of expansion in the long term”, admitted the marketing director.
Having invested massively in the luxury sector, most notably with the buyout of several luxury hotels including the Royal Monceau, the Concorde Lafayette, Le Martinez and the Carlton, Qatar has turned to France for the management of its fashion interests. Qatar Luxury Group’s CEO is none other than Grégory Couillard, formerly of LVMH where he managed the TAG Heuer brand and jewellery subsidiaries for South-East Asia, Japan and Australia.
As the new owner of Le Tanneur, the Qatar Luxury Group is likely to turn to the French brand to benefit from its savoir-faire in terms of accessories. In addition to the luxury market, Qatar has interests in the sporting world – a sector in which the country is stepping up its investment. After buying the PSG and Malaga football clubs, Qatar launched a new sports apparel brand, Burrda, whose ambitious aim is to rival sportswear giants Nike and Adidas. It will certainly be helped by the publicity that it will receive in the world press when the 2022 football World Cup and the World Handball Championships in 2015 are held in the emirate state.
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