KOOKA by Sonia Mahajan

Looking for a place to find…everything? KOOKA is your one-stop-shop for every type of women’s fashion. Ranging from hipster day-wear to glamourous party-wear, KOOKA has it all. Although the store is not restricted to one specific theme, it is predominantly organized into trending colours of the season. Most pieces are designed with elegant, clean lines, enabling you to add your own style to each piece or simply wear it on its own.

Storeowner, Andrew Frazao, opened KOOKA five years ago, and today the business has spread into three thriving locations across Montreal. Frazao chooses all the pieces in the stores himself from designers predominantly based in Los Angelos, California, but several from the Montreal area as well. He refuses to buy in bulk, which maintains the uniqueness of every piece and every customer that buys the products.

One of my favourite pieces from KOOKA is the choker collar top, which has the flexibility to be worn as a casual daywear piece for work or class, as a more formal top, or as a fun piece perfect for a dinner with friends.

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Alison Sanz, store manager of the KOOKA branch on Saint-Laurent, described Frazao’s approach to fashion as personalized shopping. Sanz has been in the fashion industry for ten years, and has had experience working for mainstream brands; however, she finds that the boutique experience is a far more personable experience.

KOOKA employees are encouraged to imbue a sense of honesty in their interaction with customers, because let’s be real, nobody trusts a salesclerk who pushes the line, “Oh my god, you look GREAT in that.”

“I am a huge believer in collaboration. I want to work with my customers to make them feel their best instead of lie to them just to make more sales,” stated Sanz. As a result of her mantra, she has established a broad clientele of repeat customers.

Contrary to the high-end, elitist perception that consumers have of boutique shopping, few items in the store are more expensive than $80, and come in a wide variety of sizes. Sanz’s advice to shoppers is to remain openminded. There is no such thing as too fat or too short, because at KOOKA, there is something for everyone.

To learn more about KOOKA, check them out on Facebook, and Instagram.

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