Thursday, 1 December 2011

Azure concept store opens in Ballito

It means calm, it’s the colour of the sea, and Azure is also the latest and edgiest boutique offering on the Durban women’s fashion scene. Azure Collection has found its place in the new-look Lifestyle Centre in Ballito, and this fun-to-browse concept store is making a statement.

It’s a labour of love for owners, Sue Kuhn and Kerry Osborne, whose fashion interests include the Purple Orange Fashions’ personal-shopping brand.  And the love is evident in almost every aspect of this ground-breaking space, which showcases carefully sourced local and international clothing, a quirky décor and gifting selection, and a sampling of designer furniture.

It’s a statement as much about the eye-catching, feminine yet classic fashion lines as it is about the inspiring store interiors. A shop design - that would capture attention in an international retail context as much as a
local one - conceptualised by installation artist, Brendon Edwards. Naturally aged silvered wood compliments a brilliant azure-blue wall alongside custom-designed wallpaper and raw metal sculptures reflected off a
polished cement floor.

This is the eye-popping backdrop for the 20 odd clothing designers jostling for attention in the store. Amongst them is JO CARLIN - no stranger to the Cape Town, London and Tokyo design world but a new comer to other South African cities, and certainly Durban.  Jo Carlin’s carefully cut garments, which are simultaneously elegant and sassy, are made from top imported fabrics and show the signature cutting edge design and quality evidenced in her furniture ranges. The country-wide search for “stand-out” South African talent also culminates in the likes of Leigh Schubert, Colleen Eitzen, Ruff Tung, Vino, Miss Su, Ruby, and some new rising stars such as Cape Town label, Non-European.

The mix of highly wearable clothing with an edge is accented by select findings from overseas ranges including a funky Italian dress range, designer jean labels, resort and beach-wear exclusive to Azure, and some hand-picked accessories.

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