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New store alert: Style Loft

Make-up veteran Ambika Pillai launches a boutique in Delhi

By ELLE team  June 30th, 2015

It’s got a great location

“It’s a shop-in-shop,” Ambika Pillai tells us, about her new store set within her salon. “I actually thought I’d open a café with appam and stew. But my daughter Kavi [Kavitha Menon] suggested we open a fashion store. (She’s the one who’s actually working like a dog, while I take a backseat and try to retire.) I’ve been in fashion for donkey’s years now, so all the designers are friends.”

It’s got more prêt than couture

“I went with more prêt than couture. I also wanted to go with designers who could make for different seasons – people who could cut across fall/winter and spring/summer and make pre-bridal or bridal as well,” she adds. The roster includes 11 designers: Pankaj & Nidhi, Malini Ramani, Raakesh Agarvwal, Pallavi Mohan, Dhruv Kapoor, Pia Pauro, Mandira Wirk, AM:PM, Nandita Mahtani, Poonam Bhagat, Shalini James, and two accessory labels like Preethy Vaidya and Occasions by Renu Ganeriwala (trousseau gifts).

It’s got something for everyone

“Most of the designers here are ones I like to wear – if you can design for me, you can design for anyone! There’s Kerala’s very own Shalini James – who makes her entry into the Delhi’s fashion scene – and there’s Nandita Mahtani from Bombay. It’s a vast mix. I didn’t want people to walk in and see only lehengas and lehangas, or only kurtas and kurtas.”

It’s affordable

“I wanted more designers whose clothes were between Rs 5,000 and Rs 10,000,” says Pillai, “to encourage more people to walk in and discover something they like.” 

Style Loft, ambikapillai, M-4, 2nd Floor, South Extension Part 2, New Delhi

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