A clothes shop window has been given a makeover as part of a Facebook-backed national campaign to promote female-owned firms.

I Luv Designer, based on Carlisle Road, Bradford, is one of three small businesses to today unveil shopper-stopper windows fit for top fashion houses. This is part of a joint project between celebrated window dresser, Petra Storrs, and Facebook.

Storrs, who has worked with fashion giants including Hermès and Louboutin, has given a high fashion look to I Luv Designer, owned by Nina Naheed; Clootie McToot Dumplings in Perth, Scotland and Cinnamon Leaf in Tottenham, North London.

Inspiration was taken from Pakistan’s Shalimar Garden using bright coloured fabric to bring the window to life at the Bradford shop, which is a retailer of original Pakistani designer dresses.

Asian Image: The shop front at I Luv Designer The shop front at I Luv Designer

Mrs Naheed, who opened I Luv Designer three years ago, says social media has been crucial for her business during the pandemic.

She said: “It has been amazing to be a part of this campaign.

"The display is absolutely beautiful. I shared a picture of it with my sister who lives in Canada and she says it looks amazing. We are keen to keep it up as long as we can.

It came as a total surprise that we were chosen for the campaign

"People were slowing down to take selfies outside by the shop window. It's unbelievable.

"We are trying grateful to take part in this campaign.

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"When we started, Bradford was already popular for Pakistani dresses and clothes. It took us a while to get our message across, which is selling something a bit different.

"Being able to use Facebook and Instagram to keep customers updated about the stock we have in the shop - even when they couldn't browse - and place orders for click and collect has been essential to our survival.

"We hope our window will attract new shoppers to either come in to sample our dresses, or check us out online."

The shop window project follows research by Facebook, the OECD and The World Bank that reveals female-owned businesses are more likely to close as a result of the coronavirus pandemic (12 per cent more likely), highlighting the disproportionate impact lockdown has had on female business owners - many of whom are working in sectors worst affected by the lockdown measures. To add to this, research also showed that women’s jobs are 1.8 times more vulnerable to the current economic climate.

This may also be compounded by the fact that a quarter of female business owners (vs 10 per cent male owners) reported that they were spending more than six hours per day on domestic tasks and family care.

Despite this, women are taking the lead when it comes to digital sales; 58 per cent of female run businesses on Facebook reported 25 per cent or more of their sales were made digitally in the past month, versus 48 per cent of male owned.

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Nicola Mendelsohn, vice-president for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Facebook, said: “Covid-19 has had a huge impact on female-owned businesses and we want to celebrate fearless female entrepreneurs across the UK who have persevered, pivoted and adapted to life during lockdown.

By highlighting the important role female owned businesses play in the local community, the eye-catching window displays we hope will encourage shoppers to stop and consider small businesses in their area

"Like Clootie McToot, I Luv Designer and Cinnamon Leaf, millions of small businesses across the UK use Facebook and Instagram to stay connected with customers and reach new ones, which is more important than ever during this uncertain time.”