Artistic Milliners (Pvt.) Ltd., a global leader in denim fabric and garments, has acquired a denim factory in Commerce, California. They plan to invest in the facility to grow the business into a state-of-the-art design and production hub based on Supply Chain 4.0 principles and 360 design development solutions.
Under the new name, Star Fades International (SFI), the business will continue to provide wash and finishing services to a customer roster that ranges from large international retailers to specialty premium labels.
“The SFI acquisition serves as a major leap in Artistic Milliners’ evolution as a truly global denim company as it adds multiple dimensions to our operating model,” states Omer Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of Artistic Milliners, and co- founder of SFI. “Not only does it give our brand partners a U.S.-based manufacturing option but also serves as a nucleus for co-creation and collaboration from fiber to garment at a scale and depth never witnessed before in our industry.”
As the first Pakistani denim company with an operational factory in Los Angeles, Artistic Milliners is raising the profile of Pakistan as a sourcing destination. The new factory expands Artistic Milliners’ global footprint and accelerates the company’s speed-to-market capabilities, while providing design-at-source at a time when businesses have curtailed travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“This acquisition gives us a strategic foothold in the U.S., in a region with significant geographic and demographic advantages,” says Murtaza Ahmed, co-founder of SFI and Executive Director at Artistic Milliners. “California has historically been an important cornerstone for the international denim industry. In 2021, we anticipate increased demand from international retailers and brands for near-shoring capacity, digital design services and sustainable solutions. Our investment in this factory gives us a launch platform in the U.S. to meet that demand as we build the factory of the future.”
SFI’s growth strategy rests on the solid foundation of a denim washhouse with a well-established reputation for quality service, leading-edge technology and a local team with extensive denim experience. SFI is currently able to process 100,000 units per month and plans are underway to increase that capacity to 300,000 units/month.
The facility currently offers a range of wet and dry processing capabilities, as well as sustainable finishing technologies, including lasers, e-flow and ozone machines, to create authentic and innovative finishes while reducing the amount of water and chemicals used in a typical denim laundry.
Many of the laundry’s longtime staff has been retained, including Tony Rodriguez, who has been named Chief Operating Officer of SFI.
“Business has been steady in 2020, despite the pandemic, and we’ve seen no slowdown during the transition to SFI,” Rodriguez says. “We are looking forward to expanding our capabilities and capacities for existing customers and potential new business.”
Artistic Milliners has hired additional personnel and plans to invest in the business to help
position SFI as a one-stop solution for domestic and international denim brands and retailers. SFI is backed by the robust vertical offerings of parent company Artistic Milliners, the largest denim exporter in Pakistan. SFI can offer retailers, manufacturers and brands turnkey solutions for their denim programs or can tailor custom offerings for start-up and premium labels.
Artistic Milliners is a multi-faceted vertical operation that includes spinning, fabric, garment manufacturing and finishing in Karachi, Pakistan.