Shopping News: Zara opens in Bangalore; Massimo Dutti, Kenneth Cole coming to India soon

Shopping News: Zara opens in Bangalore; Massimo Dutti, Kenneth Cole coming to India soon

Namaskaara, Bengaluru! Zara has opened its first store down south! Now now, we’re certain that this news brings great joy to us all, but let’s just take a deep breath now. 🙂

The brand-new Zara store brings Bengaluru shoppers (we mean Bangalore, of course!) over 17,000 square feet of pure fashion pleasure, with plenty of trendy clothes and cool accessories. Here’s a glimpse of their stores and their Autumn/Winter 2011 campaign:

Zara Bangalore

Zara woman fall winter campaign

So it goes without saying, Bengaluru gals—cancel all weekend plans and head to Zara!

Zara address:

Phoenix Market City, UG 7 & UG 4, Opp. Mahadevpura CMC, Whitefield Road, Mahadevpura, Bengaluru (Bangalore) – 560 048.


…Massimo Dutti and Kenneth Cole have India on their mind

Couple more brands are set to launch in India soon. Inditex Group (which owns Zara) and Trent Limited (retail arm of Tata Group) have extended their joint venture agreement to open Massimo Dutti in India. Massimo Dutti is aimed at shoppers with a different sartorial taste, those seeking sophistication, elegance and high-quality fashion.

Massimo Dutti Oct2011 lookbook

Kenneth Cole will open five stores in India over the next three years, after their licensing agreement with Reliance Brands. Reliance Brands will also handle the brand’s premium wholesale distribution. The longer-term plan includes around 25 stores over the next eight years. Kenneth Cole stores will stock with men’s and women’s footwear, clothing and accessories under the Kenneth Cole New York and the Kenneth Cole Reaction labels.

Kenneth Cole New York

Which brands are you waiting for?

Chic Store: S.Oliver brings trendy European fashion to Infinity

S.Oliver’s new concept store at Infinity Mall, Malad was my first in-depth experience of this German brand a few weeks ago, though they have stores at Mega Mall and Inorbit Mall.

The store’s large thematic window display drew my attention as I walked around the mall. The display had a rustic-cum-urban look with faux bricks and cool photo frames (similar to the one in the picture of the Delhi store below). The window display changes every few weeks, and is one of the highlights of the store.

SOliver Delhi store

At first glance, S.Oliver looks like any other high-street store, but step inside and you will feel the difference, even if you can’t put a finger on it immediately. It’s got a factory look with exposed pipes on the ceiling, wooden slats and flooring, with a dash of colour that comes with a printed wallpaper. None of that is in-your-face; instead, it creates an understated charming experience.

SOliver Mumbai store 

SOliver Mumbai store

The store houses S.Oliver’s three lines—Casual, QS and Selection, and have been laid out for easy navigation—guys’ stuff to the left, girls’ to the right, and gradual shift from casual to sporty to formal. There are t-shirts, shirts, jeans, dresses, trousers and jackets.

The S.Oliver design team uses concepts and garments across the lines, with a twist or two to fit into the line’s signature. For instance, I saw a denim jacket (usually worn as casuals) in the Selection line with a sleeker fit and coat-style buttons.

SOliver Mumbai store

Some other interesting pieces I saw: shrugs (especially liked a wine-coloured one); famous cartoon character tees (Superman, Batman), jackets and denims. I also noticed a sports jacket there, and while I wondered if it was out of place, they pointed out to me that the jacket was quite popular, even (or especially) in Mumbai! They have a few accessories as well, and I saw cross-body bags with little petal cut-outs that I had spotted a lot on my recent trip to Spain—bang on trend!

SOliver Mumbai store SOliver Mumbai store

I was looking for a cute jumpsuit or playsuit, and S.Oliver seemed to have plenty of options in those—in denim, a military green, printed cotton ones and so on. I tried these on, along with a classy dress that looked like a blouse and skirt combo when worn (was very tempted to buy that!) Most of the garments I tried had a comfortable fit and seemed fine for my body type, though I did notice the dreaded European style of low necklines that aren’t right for India. I chose a printed green playsuit for myself.

When I visited, part of the store was on sale, and the Fall/Winter collection already on rack. S.Oliver has clothes that would suit a range of ages and style mantras. You could get everything from a ganjee to a formal shirt, and despite the range, the store is not overwhelming like some large ones tend to be. The vibe is cool and hip, but not OTT, and will do well with the college crowd.

Some shoppers may find the prices a bit steep (eg Rs 1099 for a Superman tee, Rs 2000+ for my playsuit), but a quick comparison with other European brands reveals that S.Oliver is in the same range as Vero Moda, Benetton and others.
Store Address: S.Oliver, Infinity Mall, Link Road, Malad (W).

Note: Speaking Chic visited the store on the invitation of S.Oliver India, but we paid for our purchases.

Zara Review (with spy shots)

[tweetmeme source=”spkngchic” only_single=false]

I’ve just come back from a wonderful trip to Turkey, which included tonnes of shopping, including at Zara and Mango. So I thought it’d be a perfect time to test the Zara store in Mumbai. Here’s my honest review (with cool spy shots).

I’d heard scary stories the day before I visited Zara’s Mumbai store—there was a queue to go in, it was packed, long lines at the cash counter… you get the drift. But surprise! No lines to get in, enough elbow space, though Zara was a bit crowded for an Indian store.


Zara is a sprawling two-floor store, with men, kids and women’s casuals on the first floor, and the ground floor dedicated to women’s wear. The men’s section was unexpectedly crowded, which is good news, because it indicates that Indian men are acquiring good fashion taste. I spotted some basic guys’ tees for Rs 895.

Coming to the casuals range (the TRF line), there were basic half-sleeve tees for Rs 445, jeans-like-leggings (Rs 1590; not called jeggings here), graphic tees, leggings, and a couple of really cool jackets. One was a pink cotton ruffle jacket (Rs 1790), and the other a smart short-sleeved blue leather jacket. A lot of the garments reminded me of the Istanbul store, indicating that they from the latest collection.

DSC02096           DSC02097

I brought out my camera, but I’d only taken two pictures before an Oriental-looking guy called Mike said, “Sorry, photo not allowed.” I mumbled a sorry and put it back inside. Moments later, I saw an Oriental-looking girl, and guessed that Zara has sourced staff from other stores in Asia.

On the lower floor, I spotted formal blazers (useful for formal meetings), cocktail dresses, tunics, blouses, jeans and trousers.  

The striking trends in the Zara collection were floral prints in easy, flowing silhouettes, whites, graphic prints, and a bit of lace and cutwork. And then there was the key trend this season—denim. Besides the jeans, there were skirts (Rs 990), shorts, a dress or two and even denim-look slouchy pants (Rs 2190)! The party dress selection was more classic than trendy, but very wearable.


Among accessories, the stoles and bags didn’t deserve a second glance, but there were plenty of shoes to keep us girls happy, and several were available in my hard-to-get size (a tiny 36). Again, Zara had made an effort to stock the hottest shoes, such as strappy flats and gladiator-style stilettos. Unfortunately, the shoes are priced similar to or bit higher than Charles & Keith and Nine West. I even saw a pink pair for Rs 5000!

BTW, I noticed Zara had tried to give their collection a desi appeal with a FabIndia-like printed skirt on display and several tunics that were clearly India-inspired.

The Verdict:

Will I go to Zara again? Yes. Is it now my favourite store in Phoenix Mills? Nope, that’s still Landmark. Would I recommend the store to others? Yes.

BUT… Zara needs to get its pricing right, since I found prices undeserving, even surprising or just appalling! And if you’re an avid shopper abroad, then you don’t need this store.

Meanwhile, I’m hoping Zara’s mere presence in India spurs Mango to pull up its socks and give us better stuff.

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