However, that is no more romanticized in today’s digital age and time. The evolution of the consumer buying behaviour over the years has been an exponential phenomenon. Gone are the days, when shopping used to be a family affair where families would go to that one particular store before festivals like Eid and Diwali. Shopping today, has become a much more personal experience with a plethora of options to pick from; be it the HAUTE COUTURE, international labels, swanky shopping malls or the myriad of E-TAILERS. The shopping experience has changed immensely by leaps and bounds
There are a handful of stores still that have survived it all, through passing decades and changing trends, and are standing tall, owing to their unbending perseverance and stalwart brand value. Baroda can proudly boast about a few of such iconic stores that have become synonymous of our city’s fashion and culture.
We at Ciceroni, list 5 such major players that are still relevant after all these years and continue to be the go-to place for the quintessential city shoppers, visiting NRI’s and outstation explorers.
Unless you have been living under a rock, you definitely would have heard about this iconic store called Seasons, one of the most preferred shopping destinations of Baroda since almost 3 decades now. What started as a small apparel store with a capsule collection of heavy embroidered suits and dress materials, has now metamorphized into a swanky multi storeyed showroom. It houses a mammoth collection of apparels and fabrics curated from over 20 different regions of India. They have recently opened a new store in Bangalore named ‘BAGH’ with expansion plans in place across India.
From traditional weaves and handloom sarees in khadi, kala cotton, linen and mul to richer fabrics like Chanderi, matka, modal silk, maheshwari, brocade and kanjivaram sarees adorned with zari borders, hand embroidery and kantha work to fancy bandhanis in silk and georgettes with mirror and sequins work, their saree collection is quite elaborate and ever-evolving. Some of the other hot selling products comprise of beautiful dress materials, casual kurtis, chic tunics, kaftans, stoles and western tops and dresses. A perfect place for understated elegance, Seasons has been the go-to -place for working professionals and textile aficionados alike.
They have a separate store for fabrics and home furnishings. With more than 50 types of different fabrics to choose from, Seasons is a MUST VISIT PLACE for anyone looking for shopping in Baroda.
Established in the year 1983, when couture and designer labels were relatively alien concepts in the sanskari city, two designers from NID decided to follow their passion and build their lives around it. Bodhi, the creative venture of Mala Sinha and Pradeep Sinha, is one of the rare treasured jewels that Baroda will always be proud of.
Their collection consists of block printed as well as screen printed sarees, stoles, dupattas, fabrics, kurtas and kurtis that are designed, printed and embellished by local artisans and trained craftsmen. Timeless designs that are well crafted and long lasting is the sole mantra of this brand. Bodhi strongly believes in sustainable manufacturing and adheres to eco-friendly practices all along. Each piece from their ensemble resonates with the founders’ ideology and reflects their deep connect with the roots.
Having won the UNESCO’s ‘SEAL OF EXCELLENCE’ for fine craftsmanship in hand block printing and embroidery, Bodhi is surely one of the most prized possessions of this city. It is truly a paradise for art connoisseurs and textile lovers with an array of handwoven fabrics and unique designs to pick from.
Reviving age-old art and heritage crafts for 50 years in Baroda, Sejal Handicrafts can easily be termed as an extended cultural identity of the city. What started as a modest printing unit in 1970 has translated into a resplendent cultural legacy that serves as a home to a gargantuan range of product line to pick from.
Their array of products ranges from home decor items like beautifully embroidered wall pieces to ethnic table runners with patch work and vibrant cushion covers and bed covers with intricate kantha work. Their quaint floral bedsheets and bespoke batik print bed-sets reflect unrivalled aesthetics that the brand stands for. They also have an elaborate collection of kurtis, dresses, sarees and dress materials in various styles and range to cater to everyday casual as well as festive sartorial need of their clients. Owing to the exceptional quality and budget friendly pricing of the product range, Sejal has been the go-to place for both NRI’s as well as localites.
Baroda Prints is to Baroda what vadapav is to Mumbai! The 60-year-old store encapsulates the art, culture and spirit of the city like no one else. Their extensive range of collection caters to buyers of various class, style and age, alike. And all of this, without hiring any professional designers or trend researchers. Their two major reference points remain to be – their customers’ demand and their local tailors’ insight. And it’s commendable how beautifully that works for them, given how busy the store remains till date.
The majority of their clients are either NRI’s or outstation visitors who come with their long due shopping list. Whether it’s their bright and colorful phulkari dupattas or their hot selling cotton bed-sheets, their bandhani sarees and dress material or their ever popular “Baroda print” fabrics and sarees, there is something so relatable about each and every product of this store. You will find everything here, right from your daily casual wear attires to exotic festive weaves. Their exhaustive range of fabrics, a perfect blend of traditional prints and contemporary styles, will surely awaken the hidden designer in you.
If you think crushed skirts in pastel florals, spaghetti tops in ethnic prints and halter tops in ombre and stripes are relatively more recent trends, then you surely must have never been to Friendship Bazaar. For this store has been selling it all since a couple of decades now in Baroda. Enabling every little girl’s big fashion dreams since 40 plus years, Friendship’s contribution to this cosmopolitan city’s fashion game has been significant. This is one store that has been way ahead of its time and can make for a classic case study on being relevant.
The collection at this store ranges from wrap-around skirts to contemporary blouses, chic tank tops in ajrakh print, formal tops, maxi dresses, salwar suits, patiala sets, kurtis, sarees, dupattas, stoles, mirror work jackets, culottes, cigarette pants, palazzos, dress material, chaniya choli, lucknowi dresses and a lot more. The quality of the products explains the popularity of the store over the years and their modest pricing makes it extremely affordable.
While they are known for their apparel’s unique designs and extensive range of variety, their fabric collection is something to look out for. Crafts of India have their abode in Friendship Bazaar as they display an exhaustive range of Ikat, Batik, Gamthi, Ajrakh, Dabu, Shibori, Leheriya, Bandhani, Sanganeri and Bagru prints. Their textiles vary from Benarasi brocades, south cottons, linens, khadis, gaji silk, modal silk, matka silk, crepe, mul, kota doriya, satin, organza and tissue. It is your go-to place for traditional abhala chaniya cholis as well as fusion ensembles like skirts and crop tops for upcoming Navratri season. Their range of cotton sarees in traditional motifs is definitely the one to bookmark. Besides apparels, they have an interesting range of home décor and handicrafts products under the brand Village Crafts.
To sum it all, Friendship Bazaar is your one stop destination for all your sartorial needs, be it ethnic, western, formal, fusion or chic.
Which one is your favourite store?
When was the last time you shopped from these places?
Share it with us in the comments below.