Avirate, the first premium women’s lifestyle store in Sri Lanka turned two on 7 December 2012.
Almost four years ago, Timex and Fergasam group, the leading exporters of women’s apparel to some of the world’s biggest brands, realised the way forward was to venture into retail. In 2010, the plan materialised with their first flagship store in Colombo located at No. 30 Maitland Crescent.
|The five beautiful real Aviratè women from left : Hasanthi, Dina, Falak, Sandra and Angeline
Today Avirate has expanded to five stores in Sri Lanka and eight in India. Avirate owes its success to its fabulous customers, the fashion forward women of Sri Lanka who truly epitomise the motto ‘high street sensuality’. To celebrate Avirate’s second year milestone, they invited five beautiful real Aviratè women to coffee and conversation at the flagship store and cafe. These women have been loyal customers since Avirate’s inception, and each of them are highly regarded and sought after in their respective fields. Avirate recognises them as strong, independent, beautiful, and sensual women. Their wardrobe matches their personalities which consist of many beautiful Aviratè pieces.
The ladies were adorned in their favourite Avirate dresses in commemoration of the special occasion. Hasanthie Iddamalgoda, a General Practitioner looked stunning in a kimono inspired floral dress. Sandra Dezoysa, the head of customer service at a large mobile company looked ravishing in a chiffon black dress with an embellished collar.
Dina Omar Pinto, a stay at home mom, chose a black fitted cap-sleeved dress that brought out her radiant complexion. Angeline Ondaatjie, the Managing Director of a large hotel chain, chose to wear a printed bodice pencil skirt dress that highlighted her sun kissed skin. Last but not least, Falak Fazleali, entrepreneur extraordinaire, looked simply gorgeous in a black one-shoulder bandage dress.
The ladies commented on how remarkable it was that each of them had picked a different dress as their favourite. In fact none of them owned the same dress as the other! One of the things that they believed Avirate had gotten right, was the offering of up to 400 styles per season. They also provided some constructive criticism, to the Avirate team and they were appreciative of it, as they believe it is their customers who would drive the brand to be global.
Following are some of questions asked by Avirate:
Q: How often do you ladies drop into the store?
Hasanthie: “I mostly shop for work so I come in every week. Almost all the time something new catches my eye.”
Sandra: “I drop in whenever I pass the store. Sometimes when I know I have an event coming up I make it a point to go. The staff here, usually know what I like.”
Angeline: “I come in about once a month and I just pick up about 10 dresses. The staff at Avirate knows me so well; that they keep the dresses I like separately.”
Falak: “I come in whenever I’m out shopping. Avirate is one of the places I have to stop by.”
Dina: “I go out shopping once in a while, as I’m really busy with my little one. Avirate is the place for me, after giving birth I put on some weight, but it’s okay because I always find something figure flattering.”
Q: When and where do you wear Avirate?
Dina: “My wardrobe from the start of the day to a party is mostly Aviratè. The casual collection is just as amazing.”
Angeline: “I mostly wear Avirate to parties and when I am away from Sri Lanka. I get so many compliments when I wear Avirate overseas; most people keep asking me where I buy my dresses.”
Falak: “Same as Angeline. My friends in Bombay are waiting for the Avirate store to open up, which I believe is soon.” (The store will be opened in January, at Phoenix mall)
Hasanthi: “I wear Avirate to work. The colours, the shape and cut make most of the clothing wearable at a professional setting.”
Sandra: “I too wear it to work, but also I wear some of the dresses on a night out.”
Q: We love it that our clothing can be worn across such a broad spectrum of circumstances. So what is it that has got you coming back to the store for the last two years? What do you love about Avirate?
Angeline: “I love the fact that when I am in New York or London, I see the same styles and designs in some of the most fashionable cities. I love how on par Avirate is in terms of design and quality.”
Hasanthie: “Same here, in fact when I browse some of the US department stores online, I feel like I’m not really missing out because of Avirate.”
Dina: “I feel like Avirate makes flattering clothing for my shape. It’s really difficult to find something flattering for my body type, but never at Avirate. I always find something that flatters my body, the Avirate clothes makes me look and feel good.”
Falak: “I love it that you really don’t have to iron most of the clothes. It truly is the best part. No matter how you sit, you will not find any crinkles or wrinkles on the clothing!”
Sandra: “Yes that definitely is a huge plus for me.”
Hasanthie: “Yes, Not only do the clothes not require any ironing but sometimes when the labels read ‘dry clean only’ I have accidentally washed them and nothing really has ever happened to them.”
Sandra: “That truly is a testament to the great quality of the clothing. I too like Angeline, love wearing my clothing when I am overseas for business, or just on vacation. The compliments I receive and the way the clothes make me feel is the reason I have been coming to the store for the last two years.”
Q: Is there any other place in Sri Lanka or abroad that you’ve come across that offers similar services when it comes to customer care?
Angeline: “Not really. The staff here is friendly and amazing, as I told you before; they know my preferences and usually leave the pieces aside for me.”
Sandra: “The service here is truly exceptional.”
Falak: “The staff is friendly and kind. They are very attentive to their customers.”
Dina: “I haven’t come across such service anywhere else in Sri Lanka. The staff here is absolutely lovely.”
Hasanthie: “That’s why it is a pleasure coming in here every week.”
Q: Would like to tell us, why as a brand we have been so successful in the last two years?
Falaq: “Perfect fit for the Asian market.”
Angeline: “Same for the European market, the fit is perfect. I also love the fact that you have such an extensive lingerie range. It’s great, I bought a couple of pieces, the cut and quality were so good.”
Sandra: “You feel dressed up no matter what. Love the fact that I can always find something! Especially when I have a sudden event or need to rush off somewhere, this is the first place that comes to my mind.”
Dina: “Because you can wear Avirate at home, to a casual outing and even to a party or a quiet dinner. It’s a great feeling to be complimented on what you wear.”
Hasanthie: “All the other Doctors usually compliment me and ask where I get my clothes. Actually even my patients comment on how great my clothes are. It is a great feeling to be complimented by your colleagues and patients.”
Falak: “Absolutely perfect fit. I look slim and great. What’s better than having that feeling? Usually that’s how I feel in anything from Avirate.”
Angeline: “I also take great pride in wearing a Sri Lankan brand.”
Sandra: “Yes, the great export quality that Sri Lanka is famous for is finally available.”