Boutiques for designer wear

Boutiques are beginning to be a fast growing trend in the capital city of Kerala.Rising income levels and change in consumer preferences have attributed to this trend. It has been found that more and more consumers, especially women, are showing a preference for something exclusive and yet different each time.

According to Sheila James, Proprietress, ‘Czarina’, General Hospital Junction,Trivandrum, “Customer preferences are changing, people are now showing a preference for designer wear”. Adds Sudha Suresh, Proprietress, ‘Ashima’, Narmada Shopping Complex and agrees, “There is a good market for exclusive designer wear in the cities”.

Increasing outlets

Concurring with the others in this line of business is Seleena Sajeed, Proprietress of ‘Glitz’, which has two branches, at Pattom and Bakery Junction. She adds, “There is a growing market for boutiques in Trivandrum , especially with Technopark”.

Kunjumol Cyriac, Proprietress, ‘Ethnic Weaves’, Kesavadasapuram, offers an explanation for this surge of interest towards boutiques. She says, “People feel that they can get better quality and better designs from boutiques.

Choice of stuff

Boutiques stock selected handpicked stuff and customers have a chance to pick the best from the lot”.Boutiques in the city, in their attempt to provide the latest and exclusive, scout distant centres of the country.

“I travel every 45 days to source centres to pick up the latest”, says Sudha who is happy with the support and encouragement of her clients. Sheila says, “I go to the centres where the fabric or printing has originated, say to Rajasthan for Bandhini prints.

Travel for knowledge

It (selecting) is a mixture of (knowledge of) arts and crafts”. Kunjumol also undertakes extensive travel to enrich her collection. “I visit villages and printers all over and offer my suggestions on colour combination and the like before placing the order”. When it comes to salwars, the trend of wearing matching tops and bottoms is passé; it is more in favour of mix-n-match in all new and vibrant colours. Says Seleena, “Bottom dupattas are the favourites this season. Tops are selected to suit bottom dupattas”.

Bottoms are available in Patiala and Afghani styles, to name some. In anticipation of the Id festival, ‘Glitz’ has stocked “worked stoles made of dupion silk”.

‘Ethnic Weaves’ is also stocking up sarees and salwars in vibrant colours for the festive season ahead. Says Kunjumol, “Pink and blue are among the fast moving colours this season”.

New collections

The new collection at her boutique includes cut-work sarees and salwars and bright shades such as magenta and orange.

At ‘Czarina’, there is available a fresh lot for Ramzan, including embroidered sarees in crepes, chiffons and georgettes; Bandhini worked ones highlighted with embellishments like sequins and kundans. Says Sheila, “I have a good collection of Ghar Cholas, the traditional saree of Gujarat/Rajasthan this season”.

For the ensuing festival season, ‘Ashima’ offers new and different varieties of sarees and salwars in cottons, silks, chiffons, georgettes and cotton silks. This boutique deals in fabric materials and does not have readymade stuff. Adds Sudha, “I have tie-ups with good stitching centres and recommend them to my customers”.

Bright future

Those on the look out of a shopping destination that offers Western and Indian wear under one roof might find ‘Fab India Overseas Pvt.Ltd.,’ interesting. Says Alpana Pillai, Manager of this recently opened store, behind Trivandrum Tennis Club, Kowdiar, “We cater to men, women and kids.

It has been predicted that there is definitely going to be a bright future for boutiques in the cities of Kerala.
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