Raaz Inc,. was founded in the late 1980?s by Mrs. Zainab Ekbal with it’s own vision and mission. Zainab Ekbal began Raaz as a hobby along with Sunita Kapoor (the actor Anil Kapoor’s wife) to style rich and successful women of Indian, Pakistani and also American communities in Chicago and the neighboring cities. When you ask her for the inspiration behind this early entrepreneurship, her answer will be the non-existence of such a niche concept of styling in America for the South Asian shoppers and the dearth of a variety of classy designer outfits under one roof.
But only her closest friends know that she had a vision for Raaz. It was to promote the artisans of India. She yearned to introduce America with the utter beauty of Indian artists’ workmanship, intricacies in prints, and embroideries, needle works and fine stitching. She believed then and has proved thereafter that the quality of fabric, varieties of fabric and the artistry on fabric in India is invincible. She knew that the Western World will appreciate the skillful craftsmen duly and will admire the thought behind each work of art. She learnt that there were a couple more women who felt the same way for the Indian heritage and began Raaz by carrying their designs implemented by the artisans of India. Ritu Kumar, Ravissant and Amaaya (by Sunita Kapoor) were the pioneers from India. She very soon created a platform for the premier Pakistani Designers who were supporting Pakistan’s patrimony. They were Faiza sami, Maheen, Noorjehan Bilgrami and Rizwan Beyg. She had an innate sense of fashion and styling, she was convinced that the combination of Indian creativity and textures with American taste of colors and simplicity in dress patterns will be a bang on blend.
Zainab Ekbal has been the Good Samaritan for a lot of South Asian girls and women in America. She wanted to build employment at Raaz for women and girls who feared to step out of their homes and who wanted to become independent. It saddens her that she could not build up an Employment industry for all of the needful women. But feels satisfactory that she could help at least a few, train them to be independent and strengthen them for the rest of their lives. Her altruism was kept as a “Raaz” which means a mystery. Indeed a mission for Women Empowerment!
Raaz Inc’s,. decor has been personally created by the owner herself, who is also an Architect by qualification. Raaz has an uptown, cozy and a posh aura to it. The boutique carries very artsy, one-of-a-kind designer clothes and jewellery, showcased on it’s racks and windows straight from the sketchbooks of the prominent names of Fashion Industry. Raaz enjoys a rich history of affiliation with the extremely talented and popular celebrity designers, some of them also friends, namely Azeem Khan, Maheen, Manish Arora, Noorjehan Bilgrami, Rizwan Beyg, Faiza Sami, Rohit Bal, Abraham & Thakore. Over the years the list has increased and Raaz is currently the sole, proud retailer in America for brands like Ashima Leena, Rabani & Rakha, Krishna Mehta, Niki Mahajan, Unbeatable By Shahla Rehman, Lajwanti, to name a few. Raaz’s popularity and success has grown ever since its inception along with the expanding pool of customer loyalty. It has remained firm even during the shifting demands of its customers by providing latest/trendy designs of the most happening labels at any point in time.