Boutique trend catching on

KATHMANDU: The boutique trend in the valley has been around for a long time.

Aspiring designers have for long been trying to set a pattern in the domestic fashion market, though the market for ready to wear clothes is rampant the boutique culture is yet holding its ground.

Specialising in clothes that suit individual to individual, designers created garments always look to be different from those that produce in mass. "The boutique culture is still strong in the Valley as we make clothes according to the persons' taste and specifications," said Taru-nika Mahato, designer for Tarunika's Creations. "We were one of the first boutiques to open and are still doing well enough to sustain ourselves," she added.

Kupondole is slowly emerging as the boutique hub of the valley, starting off nearly twelve years back with only three major boutiques it now has over forty boutiques specializing in clothes for women.

"There has been a noticeable increase in customers coming to boutiques regularly but the culture is still stronger during festivals and weddings, our regular clientele is around forty per cent, while the rest are new," she said.

Clothes boutiques in

the Valley have an average of ten people working

in them on a regular basis, hence also being a module for employment opportunities.

"We have around fifteen to twenty workers out of which few are on daily wages and the rest are regular employees," said Uma Pradhan, Partner and Designer for Aakarshan that is one of the oldest boutiques in the Valley. It has been around for over a decade.

"The ready to wear

culture has affected designer market. Customers usually prefer ready made clothes as the first choice and come to us if they do not find clothes of their specifications in the market," she added.

Pradhan also reiterates the fact that there is a healthy flow throughout the year but reaches its peak at times of festivals and wedding season.

While on the other hand Ranjana Shakya of Meher Collection said that the readymade garment industry does not pose a threat to the boutique culture. "We have a good flow of customers throughout the year and are not affected by the readymade garment industry," she said adding that they have been able to sustain their business for the past one decade.

Many also assert the fact that getting clothes made at a boutique is always more reliable than buying them readymade. "We make clothes according to individual requirements and within a specified budget so there is a very little chance of customer dissatisfaction," said Tarunika.

Despite the upheaval in economy and business not being able to maintain sustenance the smaller and lesser know industries are holding on and are seeing an increase in pattern and taking advantage of emerging trends.