Setting the pace

BESANT Nagar's homegrown Fashion Folks is gearing up to take on the big brands. Javeed of Fashion Folks, who's been clothing the city for the past 12 years, says they're opening a new 3600-sq ft store in Adyar early next year.

The new store will retail clothes under the Fashion Folks label, which will be designed by Javeed and his two brothers Shakeel and Kaiser, with a little help from his sister-in-law. "We've been in the business for a while now, so I think a brand we launch will make a splash," says Javeed. Their logo will be the trademark "stroke" that adorns all their bags and the unique lettering on their signboard that spells out "Fashion Folks." The new brand aims to cash in on the goodwill generated by years of being outfitters to college-goers and the younger working crowd. Javeed has tried out a sample of his label on his regular customers. "There's been a very good response. We've built up a kind of brand equity, and so even the brand-conscious shopper is not hesitant to wear a `Fashion Folks' tagged shirt."

At present, Fashion Folks stocks export surplus clothing, accessories, shoes and even perfumes for men and women and kids.

Setting the pace

But the new label is not about export surplus or cheap copies of Bugle Boy. It's designed in-house and will be as exclusive as any other brand but the pricing will remain affordable, he claims. The men's shirts will start at approximately Rs. 250 and the women's at Rs. 175. "We're trying to create a line that has the look of a big brand at a reasonable price," he says. Initially, the new store will also stock other brands but those will slowly be phased out to make way for a Fashion Folks-only store.

But for the die-hard customers, the shop on Fourth Main Road in Besant Nagar will stay open. "We have some of the most loyal customers possible, and they're very fond of this store. The new store will draw its own clientele and we're hoping it'll set the pace for the future," he says.