In pursuit of ‘Wow’!

For many years now, those who were in search of clothing that was unique, a designer label with the best of styling and design at very affordable prices, have been quietly visiting a few stores in Chennai. These stores began as small garage stores (One of them was, and still is, actually in the garage of a building on Sterling Road) which students and young people would hear of and visit in pursuit of ‘wow’! So these stores have flourished and grown, with some of them having much larger stores or branches today. Yes, I am referring to stores such as ‘Just Casuals’, ‘Fashion Folks’ and ‘Cool Club’. I’m sure there are more out there that I am not familiar with and would appreciate feedback on them. But having just returned from spending time in Fashion Folks on Annie bezant Road and Just casuals in Besant Nagar, I thought it appropriate to share this information with a larger audience.

Just Casuals began in a garage on Sterling Road opposite the Aruna, and quickly built a reputation for having quality clothing at very affordable prices. They even have export surplus of some well known brands at incredible prices. Stocks come in every few weeks, so those in the know would browse the shop every now and then, in search of the unique, because these items of clothing were not available anywhere else. Today Just casuals also has a much larger store in Besant Nagar right next to the Coffee Day close to the beach. This store is also a Reebok Factory Store, so you get Reebok gear- including shoes, track suits, sweats and Tees at bargain basement prices. They also have a whole range of other stuff, including trendy jackets and the like.

Fashion Folks began in Besant Nagar, and has now migrated to a much larger format store on Annie Besant Road, a destination store so to speak. But they have not lost any of their original appeal, with off beat and unusual clothes, as well as well known brands available at unbeatable prices. Since a lot of these are export surplus, one has to frequent the store regularly to spot something you’re looking for. Even then, it may not be available in your size every time, as I discovered to my chagrin today! But when you do find something outstanding that sets your heart pounding, and it’s available in your size at a very inviting price, the satisfaction you get is worth the wait and the frequent visits!

Cool Club on Greams Road is the other such store, but I haven’t been there in a while, in fact, ever since we moved to Perungudi. So I don’t know how they’re doing. But if you go by the crowd in the store every time I have driven past, they must be doing things right! I’ve alos heard of a store in Anna Nagar that stocks clothes along these lines that people from there are aware of and patronize. These stores are unique in that they don’t advertise, don’t usually have stock big Indian brands as authorized outlets, but depend on the random supply of quality clothing from export surplus and their own sourcing which they sell as store brands. They seem to have found a niche that no one else seems to fill, and have had the wisdom to grow the market in that niche rather than graduate to larger format stores that sell multiple brands.

So the next time you set out in pursuit of wow (with due apologies to Tom Peters!), you know where to go!

3 Comments so far

  1. Riyas (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2007 @ 1:51 pm

    Hi

    I used to go to Fashion Folks. But now I am in France. Last year, they were on Karpagam Street or something… Can you please tell me where is Annie Besant Road Exactly ?? Thanks


  2. david (unregistered) on May 2nd, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

    Riyas, Annie Besant Road is the road you take to get to Besant Nagar Beach after crossing the Adyar bridge heading South. If you remember, you turn left at the Aavin milk bar after the Theosophical Society. A little way down, there’s an area called Karpagam Gardens on the right. fashion Folks is situated there, right on the main road. You cant miss it.


  3. Shahul (unregistered) on May 8th, 2007 @ 1:42 pm

    List of other such stores include

    * Easy 2 Wear at Nungambakkam(Between petrol bunk and Cakes n Bakes)
    * Show Off at Kilpauk Garden Road
    * Trend Setter at Shanthi Colony, Anna Nagar
    * Cool and Cool Casuals at Bessie and Off Nelso Manickan Road



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