One of the most trendy boutiques in Bahrain, Avenue Collection is an independent boutique that stocks cutting edge brands from international emerging fashion designers. Avenue Collection, co-owned by two fashionable ladies Sheikha Manal and Sheikha Maram Al-Khalifa, is a hit with the local Bahraini style crowd. Khaleejesque got together with Sheikha Manal Al-Khalifa to get the lowdown on the Avenue Collection Boutique.
How long have you been in the fashion industry?
Having lived in London for few years I’ve always been drawn to the fashion scene, after achieving my business degree I found myself working in the fashion industry where I have been now for the past 10 years!
What made you decide to open “Avenue Collection” and what challenges did you face as a business owner?
My best friend, Maram Al Khalifa and co-owner of the boutique was studying in Washington DC, she was travelling to New York and happened to attend a fashion exhibition for evening and formal wear. She immediately took an interest and saw it as a great prospect; at the time there was a shortage in the evening wear/formal wear segment in the fashion market in Bahrain. Given our long childhood friendship Maram and I discussed the possibility of entering into a business partnership and we both decided to go for this exciting opportunity!
Avenue Collection started out as a specialty evening wear/formal wear boutique. Launching a business 10 years ago wasn’t as big a challenge as it is nowadays as startup costs were more reasonable. As the evening wear market segment started getting saturated we had to think of alternatives. We eventually started carrying lines by emerging designers.
What brands do you stock and why did you choose these brands in particular?
We specialize in carrying brands by emerging and independent designers worldwide such as Baum Und Pferdgarten from Denmark, Boessert / Schorn from Germany and Marquito Couture from UK. We introduce new designers each season to keep things interesting, we also work with regional and local designers to show our support to home grown talent.
How do you select the brands/styles when it comes to catering to your clients’ tastes?
It’s not an easy task to satisfy a variety of palates, as each individual is unique and different. Experience in the fashion buying field for the GCC market has helped me identify styles that fit within their demand requirements.
Are you influenced by any fashion icons?
I’m not influenced by any fashion icon in particular however I do sometimes find myself drawn to the classics like Hepburn, Bardot, and Jackie O.
What’s your favorite fashion trend?
My favorite fashion trend are cardigans, I can’t live without my cardigans; I have them in all colors, styles, and lengths!
Whats in the future for “Avenue Collection”?
Our future plan is to continue to support homegrown and regional talent through our concessions project. We are trying to spread awareness to new emerging designers; Avenue Collection is a great starting platform to get their name out there and be recognized. I am also seriously considering opening a branch in Kuwait where I have a strong customer base.
Location – Shop 148-149 Ground Floor, Al Aali Complex. Tel: +973 17587887
– Fajer Al-Zallaqi.
Images courtesy of Avenue Collection