Before Duru Armagan opened Sloane Boutique
, she called on the help of her neighbors.
She hired Switch
to design the lighting, Joseph Williams Home
to provide furniture and Such + Such
to build interior woodwork. The three businesses are based within a short walk from Sloane, the high-end clothing boutique that Armagan opened at 1216 Vine street in Over the Rhine last month.
Armagan said she hopes her store can become a hub for a growing set of style conscious women in Cincinnati, and she wanted to draw from the creative character of Over the Rhine when she designed the business.
“I think there is a hunger for edgier fashions, especially with the young professionals who live downtown and in this area,” she says. “I think a lot of the people who make edgier fashion picks end up ordering online or going to New York, Chicago or other big cities to do their shopping. But I have made it my goal to get Sloane to be their shopping place instead.”
Armagan moved to Cincinnati from Columbus three years ago, and was swept into a growing community in Over the Rhine.
“I met so many people here that were really motivated and inspiring, and it became my home,” she says.
It was around this time that she began to plan her boutique. She shadowed a business owner in Columbus who had opened one of the first clothing boutiques in the Short North district there. She worked in a high-end boutique in Cincinnati, and prepared a business plan to open her own store.
By the time she was making preparations to open Sloane, Cincinnati’s fashion scene had seen major new additions like Cincinnati fashion week and the women’s style magazine A-Line. Also, Over the Rhine’s business district had grown significantly.
Sloane opened just before Black Friday and Small Business Saturday, a weekend she said was an overwhelming success at Sloane.
“A lot of people saw OTR on the news or from reading different articles and I think that sparked interest out in the suburbs as well as within the neighborhood,” she says. “There were a lot of people who came to Over the Rhine instead of going to the mall on Black Friday.”
Sloane carries a stable of designers that are new to Cincinnati, who’s work she describes as “edgy and contemporary, but comfortable.” Some of the labels carried at Sloane include Aaron Ashe, Ellie Shabatian, Funktional, Rails and LNA.
The boutique is named after a fashionable district around Sloane Square in London which gave rise to the term “Sloane Ranger,” referring to members of a hip and high class young set living in London in the 1980’s. Armagan likes to call her customers “Sloane Rangers.”
By Henry Sweets