Indian clothes shopping in the United Kingdom (UK) is easier than in a lot of other places outside of India. The reason? Indians have been settling in the UK for many generations and there are deep cultural ties between the countries and the people of the countries. The result? Curry is the UK's favorite dish (err, it's a food category as such, but lets not get into semantics) and there are plenty of shops to buy Indian clothes. One naturally assumes that given the number of shops selling Indian clothes, there are enough selling Indian designer clothes also – but this is an assumption that is often proven wrong when one tries to look for such shops.
The shops that sell genuine Indian designer clothing are few and even fewer amongst these actually stock the latest collections. The key cities in the UK that have a large proportion of Indian population and hence shops that sell Indian clothes and Indian designer clothes are (in alphabetical order):
- New Castle
In each of these cities the large Indian community means that there are shops that sell Indian clothes. Shops that sell designer clothing tend to be concentrated in London, mainly because of the population size.
Let us look at the example of London as a place to buy Indian clothes. The best neighborhoods to turn to include,
- East Ham
These areas have a concentration of shops that sell a large range of Indian clothes including sarees, Salwar Kameez suits, etc. Indian clothes are available in all colors, sizes and price points – but the quality leaves a lot to be desired. These are great to buy products that are going to be worn just once or only a few times. Shop with caution if you are looking for that beautiful piece of Indian designer clothing that is going to make a stunning entrance at your best friend's birthday party.
For real designer clothing, you have options in North London and West London – but most of these are individuals (not even businesses) who buy products in India and re-sell in London. The Indian clothes that they sell are not officially sourced and these people are not officially working with the designers. The implication is that there is hardly any customer service and the prices are usually very high compared to the Indian retail prices.
A lot of people have started to shop online at retailers like Strand of Silk to get genuine and appropriately priced Indian Designer Clothing . Such online retailers work directly with Indian designers and sell genuine Indian designer clothing. They provide a level of service that is not matched by some of the offline stores. And furthermore, they are accessible from any part of the country!