July 24, 2021

Artistic Milliners sets new US strategic platform

3 min read

Artistic Milliners Ltd., a denim fabric and garments specialist based in Pakistan, has acquired a denim factory in Commerce, near Los Angeles, California, USA.

The aim of the operation is 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 continues to provide wash and finishing services to a customer selection that ranges from large international retailers to specialty premium labels.

“This acquisition gives us a strategic foothold in the US, in a region with significant geographic and demographic advantages,” said Murtaza Ahmed, founder, SFI, and executive director, 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 US to meet that demand as we build the factory of the future.”

Murtaza Ahmed, Artistic Milliners/SFI

Photo: Artistic Milliners

Murtaza Ahmed, Artistic Milliners/SFI

The new factory shall expand Artistic Milliners’ global footprint and accelerate the company’s speed-to-market capabilities, while providing design-at-source at a time when businesses have reduced travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the new owner, SFI is currently able to process 100,000 units per month and plans to increase that capacity to 300,000 units/month. SFI can achieve such results “thanks to its 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,” explained a note from the company.

It 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.

“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,” said Omer Ahmed, CEO, Artistic Milliners, and co- founder, SFI. “Not only does it give our brand partners a US-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.”

Omer Ahmed, Artistic Milliners/SFI

Photo: Artistic Milliners

Omer Ahmed, Artistic Milliners/SFI

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 said. “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.

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