Friday, July 13, 2012

Style Edit Spotlight: Duru Armagan

Cue Spotlight: Duru Armagan
Age: 25
Hometown: Columbus, Ohio
Profession: Owner of Sloane Boutique

SE: What sparked your interest in the fashion industry and starting a boutique? 
Duru: I'm sure everyone says it but I really feel like I was born to be in the fashion industry...I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I come from a family that has always been into fashion as well - from my grandma, who sewed/designed all of her own clothing (as well as my mother's) to my brother, who is a fashion photographer in LA. Believe it or not, it was my dad who really sparked my interest...although, I am sure he has regretted that at times (wink).  Growing up in Columbus, my parents made it a point to take my brother and I abroad or to New York City at least once a year to emerge ourselves in culture...for me, fashion was a big part of this! My interest in opening a boutique came later...I knew I wanted to work in fashion and I knew I wanted to work for myself. I always wanted to do my own thing...what better way than to open my own store!

SE: What was the first job you started working in fashion? 
Duru: My very first experience in fashion was shadowing a buyer at Limited corporate! I was fascinated and intrigued by the buying industry from that point on...
SE: Where does the name "Sloane" come from?
Duru: I had been throwing around names for awhile ...I was even flipping through the dictionary at one point! I came across the name 'harper' but 'harper boutique' didn't sound right. I then thought I would use two words when I came across 'sloane'-- 'harper sloane' ...which is what I started with (my business name). After doing more research on 'harper sloane' I found a publication company in England that was founded in the 1900's titled, Harper Sloane. The publication printed a manual for women, basically highlighting ettiquite and proper dress called 'the sloane ranger handbook' (how fitting)!!! Further research discovered the term 'sloane ranger', which refers to a stereotype in the UK of young, upper class women (or men) who share distinctive and common lifestyle traits. It just fit!

Duru & M at Sloane Boutique
SE: Who are your favorite designers? 
Duru: Lauren Alexander and April Leight with LNA - the designers of the perfect tee - and now, so much more! I could live in everything LNA and their prices are great! Also, Daniel Feld of Kymerah -- beautiful contemporary ready-to-wear pieces...his dresses are amazing. 
SE: What is your go-to outfit? 
Duru: When it's cold, I grab my perfect fitted jeans (that I've had for years), a soft tee, a leather jacket and boots. I'm so simple when it comes to my style. In the heat, you can usually spot me in a maxi or cut off shorts!
SE: What has been your favorite part about owning a fashion boutique in Cincinnati? 
Duru: I've met soooo many inspiring people. People I would have never met, or had a conversation with, if I didn't own a boutique. I get every kind of person walking into my store and I love it! I've even met some of my close friends after opening. 
SE: Cincinnati has a "conservative" reputation when it comes to fashion. Do you find that that perception is now changing? 
Duru: I do! That was definitely one of the reasons why I wanted to open Sloane. I wanted to bring edgier fashion to the city and, I've found that people are accepting it with open arms. I've had so many people say "we are so excited you opened" or "please don't ever leave--we need stores likes this!". It's so rewarding and refreshing.

SE: Do you have any advice for young, female entrepreneurs like yourself who are looking to make an impact in fashion? 
Duru: My biggest advice would be..dont be afraid to take risks. Fashion is all about stepping out of your comfort zone. And, ask questions! Before I opened Sloane, I found other boutique owners I aspired to be like and approached them for advice--most were sooo helpful! My biggest role model and inspiration for opening Sloane was owner of Rowe Boutique in Columbus, Maren -- she guided me through the whole process.
SE: What is something you wish you could do more of? 
Duru: Sleep!
SE: What are your goals for your brand, Sloane? 
Duru: Continued success! And, possibly a men's store...(smiling). 

Sloane Boutique is having it's first  DEEP Sale Event next Thursday, July 19th! Up to 70% off Spring, Summer and Fall! Drop in for tasty cocktails and great shopping! x


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