Multi-storeyed textile shops offering anything from handkerchiefs to bridal wear are dime a dozen in the city. But in the midst of such shops and their advertisement blitzkrieg, designer boutiques –which are relatively new to the city - are also finding takers. Those who have an eye for fashion prefer designer boutiques for their customised handpicked selections. When the textile shops are thronging with run-of-the-mills outfits, most boutiques tend to have a share of refreshing collections that have unique colour combinations and stylish cuts.
Soumya Thomas, an engineer, is a regular visitor to the city’s well-known boutiques. So what makes Soumya prefer boutiques than textile shops? “Boutiques are always first in introducing new trends in the city and that has made me stick on to them,” she says.
City-zens who are up-to-date with the haute-couture agree with Soumya when they say these shops thrive in variety.
These small-yet-stylish shops also seem to bring out the best in city’s fashion lovers. Amrita Sreekumar, who frequents boutiques for her fashion needs says, “Shopping from boutiques has helped enhance my fashion sense.”
Amrita, an IT professional, also finds boutiques as a perfect getaway to indulge in retail therapy.
So are these shopping corners totally out of ‘aam aadmi’s purse strings? Roopa R Nair who runs ‘Rose N Colours’ at Keston Road, Nanthancode seems to disagree. “Most of our customers are middle-class. Hence, the shop is comparatively more popular among that group,“ she says. Her shop boasts of an array of exclusively handpicked collections that include net, cotton, jute and Tussar silk saris.
Parvathy Raghunathan, a banker, says shopping in boutiques consume less time than other textile shops as they are always ready to cater to one’s needs. “The unique selections at such shops give ample options to the customers. Also the salespersons have a fairly good idea of their merchandise so they always help to zero in on the right choice,” she says.
Dinu Elizabeth, hailing from Kottayam, was realising her child-hood dream of catering to the style-conscious lot, when she set up ‘Aham’, a small boutique at Sasthamangalam. With its range of hand embroidered saris, churidars, terracotta and metal jewellery and unique kids wear, Aham is easily gaining popularity among women.
The customers are meant to take prior appointments here. The prices range from Rs 3,500 to 25,000 and above..
Sheila James is one happy lady today. Her second designer boutique, ‘Czarina’, is also becoming a rage among the ladies. Sheila, who designs each and every material of her shops, is quite proud about her endeavours. “Every material at ‘Czarina’ is unique and of good quality. Block Printed saris from Kolkata and Brocades from Varanasi are highly in demand these days,” says Sheila. Sheila’s customers are mostly techies, who like to dress-up for occasions.When asked about her future plans, Sheila says she wants to start an online shopping outlet for her shop.
‘Ethnic Weaves’ at Paruthipara gained popularity not only for its designer clothes but also for its traditional ambiance. So, is running a boutique a cakewalk? According to ‘Ethnic Weaves’ proprietor, Kunjumol Cyriac, “From softening the material to the final processing of a sari, every single process has to be done with utmost care to suit the tastes of discerning customers,” she says.