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    A new store on RK Salai promises to end the struggle for plus-sized workwear for ladies and gents

    DESIGNDO you think it’s a conspiracy that all the designer or high street clothes at malls and boutiques are only made for your slim friends? For the generously endowed who rely on custom-made or a trip to the West for stylish outfits, Design Post in RK Salai offers hope. Showcasing stylish western and ethnic wear for both men and women who traditionally shop for clothes that are XL and above, the outfits are sourced fromBurnt Umber and Amukti, both in-house brands.

    Feel good factor
    Kush Bhatia, director of the store that opened on March 30, says, “The aim was to create an experience similar to high street shopping in, say, London’s Oxford Street. And that’s the reason we went for a standalone store at a prominent location like Radhakrishnan Salai.” Bhatia, 25, is a mechanical engineer whose father, Kailash Bhatia, used to be managing director at Pantaloons. Inspired, Bhatia took an interest in textiles. He chose Chennai for their first store because it was his home for 13 years. ‘‘I completed schooling in Chennai,” reminisces the Mumbai-based entrepreneur fondly.

    In plenty
    Bhatia caters to a younger audience in the plus-sized market, and while the store doesn’t have any mannequins, he explains that theirDESIGN1 marketing strategy is simple. “Our taglines—‘chubby chic’and ‘don’t shed those pounds’—speak loud and clear to our target audience. Moreover, we wanted the consumer to experience the store from their point of view, not based on the visuals on display,’’ he shares. And for those who feel this kind of marketing can do with some finesse, Bhatia says, “‘Chubby’ is not being used in a negative connotation. It is only a way of defining large fashion.” Size zero here corresponds to XL, with options going up to 5XL. “We also have trousers for someone with a 56’’ waist!” Bhatia shares. Targeted at an age group of 20-35, the store stocks the spring summer line, featuring kurtas and anarkalis in cotton for women and linen shirts for men.

    Design Post is opposite Citi Centre. Pricing from Rs. 599 to 4,000. Details: 28471238

    — Sumitra Nair

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