New Boutique on the Books
Sloane Boutique will be the newest of many businesses opening their doors on Vine St. in Over the Rhine. While there’s currently only blank walls and an empty floor behind the "Slone Boutique: Coming Soon" sign on the window, owner Duru Armagan is eagerly piecing together all the parts of her store for the forthcoming launch.
And, quite literally, she is piecing together the store – with the help of various designers’ lookbooks.
Each designer and design haus creates lookbooks that give buyers a preview of their latest upcoming collections. However, lookbooks just don’t cut it for Armagan. She wants to touch, feel and try on each piece to make sure it is exactly what she wants to sell in her boutique.
Armagan says she likes to travel to New York and Los Angeles for buying during shows to discover new designers. She also likes to go and casually visit showrooms where it’s more quiet and calm than the shows.
"I absolutely have to go see everything in person, feel it, touch it, play with it, try it on. I then put aside the pieces I like then again go through and eliminate or add pieces," says Armagan. "I take pictures of every piece front and back and bring those along with the lookbooks back to Cincinnati and then the real work begins."
Once she gets home, Armagan then makes what she likes to call "paper dolls." She goes through all of the lookbooks again. However, this time, she cuts out pieces of collections that she chose from the designer showrooms and then puts them all on a corkboard. This way, she is able to see everything at once. Then, she can see which pieces look good together.
"The buying process is so much fun. [It] can be challenging at times, but [it’s] so much fun and one of my favorite parts of owning a store," she says. "Imagine how hard shopping for yourself can be… Imagine shopping for a whole city!"
Fashion has always been a big part of Armagan’s life, even early on when she would travel often with her family. She would bring back styles that weren’t yet in the United States, which set her apart from all the other kids in school. It also set in motion her love for fashion. With a skilled eye for fashion, and the love of styling, Armagan knew that she would one day work in the fashion industry.
Today, this 24-year-old lives in Over the Rhine, and is proud to open a boutique there in the coming weeks. "Once I lived in Over the Rhine for a year, I knew this was the place for me to start my dream business," says Armagan.
From start to finish, there is no detail that will not go through Armagan. She says she insists on being very hands-on with the whole process of running Sloane Boutique. From designing the interior of the boutique, to the buying process of hand selecting each piece of clothing and jewelry that will grace the shelves of her store, Armagan says she won’t leave a stylish stone unturned.
Armagan plans to open the doors to Sloane Boutique the beginning of November. And even though she’s buried in work making her dream a reality, she still takes time to enjoy the occasional surreal moment. "I’ve been working toward this for the past year, and I am so excited my dream is finally coming true," she says. "It’s definitely not easy and it can be overwhelming at times, but it is all worth it because I am doing what makes me happy."