OTRview XIII: Duru Armagan of Sloane Boutique
Duru Armagan is the proprietress of Sloane Boutique, a new store of women’s apparel and accessories at 1216 Vine Street. The location is a familiar one. 1216 Vine is between A Tavola Pizza and Cincy Haus: Tours and Store to the north and Senate restaurant and the soon-to-open Abigail Street to the south. Duru is a recent transplant to Over-the-Rhine, and she’s excited and proud to be part of OTR’s renaissance. Become a fan of Sloane Boutique and stay up to date with its progress at its facebook page here. Please enjoy OTRview XIII:
Sloane Boutique at 1216 Vine
You appreciate Over-the-Rhine. When did you first learn about and/or experience OTR? How has your perception of it changed since your first impression? Was it love at first sight?
I first experienced Over the Rhine just exploring the city trying to find a place where I could fit in. I remember my first time walking down Vine and Main Street – I immediately felt inspired by the area. After drinking my first cup of coffee at The Coffee Emporium I knew I had to live somewhere within walking distance! When I first told some of my fellow Cincinnati friends I wanted to move to Over the Rhine their reactions weren’t necessarily positive. Despite what everyone said I was determined to move here and make it work – and that’s exactly what I did. I’ve always known Over the Rhine was great but the progression these past two years has been fascinating. All these new restaurants, shops and galleries – people moving here from all parts of the world. Over the Rhine is a gem! It was definitely love at first sight and it isn’t even close to fizzling out!
Duru Armagan, owner of Sloane Boutique, in New York
Could you tell readers a little bit about yourself and how Sloane Boutique came into being?
I never thought I would move to Cincinnati. Honestly, I had never even visited the city before I decided to move here about two years ago. I graduated from The Ohio State University, where I studied International Business, in 2009 and immediately came here. My brother lives in Los Angeles and my parents in New York so when I first moved here, being a city girl, I refused to live anywhere else besides near or in the downtown area. Silence is eery to me – so the city is where I belong! Shortly after visiting I discovered Over the Rhine and fell in love. The minute I came here looking at apartments I knew this was the place I wanted to be. No one had to convince me. I’ve been living on Main Street in OTR ever since and I cannot imagine being anywhere else.
When I first moved here I knew I wanted to open a Boutique but I just wasn’t ready. I nannied for about a year, which was an amazing experience. I met so many influential Cincinnatians through working for different families. Although fun, my dream since I can remember has always been to work in Fashion. Even as a 4 year old little girl I used to dress up in my mom’s clothing and put on Fashion Shows for everyone I knew. I come from a very Fashion Forward, Entrepeanural and Artistic family. My brother is a Fashion Photographer in LA and my Dad has started and ran his own businesses since he graduated from college. I knew I wanted to work in Fashion but I also knew I didn’t want to work for a big corporation.
Recently, I worked as the Fashion Coordinator for Venue Magazine: A Lifestyle and Event Guide, where I had the opportunity to style photoshoots. I also worked at another local Boutique to gain even more experience in the industry.
I’ve definitely gone through some obstacles to get to this point but in the end I decided the best way to do this would be on my own! I’ve been working towards this for the past year and I am so excited my dream is finally coming true.
Sloane Boutique's neighbors: A Tavola Pizza, Cincy Haus Tour and Store, and Abigail Street (storefront under construction in background). Photo via 3CDC
Why did you decide to open Sloane Boutique in OTR?
I can’t imagine having my store anywhere else, other than OTR. One of my favorite things about the neighborhood are all the beautiful and colorful historical buildings. Each building is unique in it’s own way. I immediately dove into the history, researching it’s ups and downs, and was fascinated. Over the Rhine is such an amazing location, being near downtown, close to UC – it’s perfect. I also have never met so many driven, artistic, influential and genuinely nice people then the friends I have met in the OTR community – everyone has something to offer and I knew I wanted to be a part of it. What 3CDC
is doing in the area is so great and I knew I wanted to be a part of the movement.
Cincinnati is a growing city, becoming more and more urban everyday and I am proud to contribute to it’s progress. OTR will be the next big thing – I just know it!
Interior of Sloane Boutique
Who or what inspires your personal style?
My style is constantly evolving. I am always inspired by the people around me, people watching is one of my favorite things to do. I am most inspired by the women of NYC and Istanbul – it doesn’t matter what is ‘in’ or what is ‘out,’ they dress for themselves and that’s what is most important when it comes to your own personal style. One of my favorite Fashion Icon’s is Sienna Miller – she always looks fabulous in whatever Bohemian inspired outfit she puts together.
How did you come up with the name Sloane?
An area that I have been inspired by in my many travels has been an area in London – Sloane Square, located in Chelsea. The name ‘Sloane Boutique’ was inspired by this area and the term ‘Sloane Ranger.’ In England, a ‘Sloane Ranger’, also known as ‘Sloanies’ and ‘Sloanes’ are the upper class, Fashion conscious but conventional young women of the area – they are the Socialites. Lady Diana was one of the more famous ‘Sloanes.’ My customers are my Sloane Rangers!
Sloane Boutique interior
What kind of product are you going to sell?
Sloane Boutique will offer a unique mix of both women’s clothing and accessories from tried and true labels along with up and coming Designers, both local and global. From dresses to separates, jewelry and other accessories, we’ll have it all.
Sloane Boutique at 1216 Vine
What is the price point?
The price point will be from $50 to $300. It is important to me to have something for everyone. You can walk into my store and buy an amazing top or dress for under $100 but I will also have a lot more unique and expensive pieces – my goal was to be able to cater to the Fashion minded college students as well the young professionals in the area.
When do you plan to open?
I plan on opening mid to end of October. I will be throwing a fabulous grand opening – Champagne, DJ’s, Special Appearances, Red Carpet and all 🙂
Duru Armagan with fellow boutique owner and friend, Amy Kirchen
What will your hours be?
I will be closed on Mondays. Tuesday – Saturday I’ll be open 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM. Sometimes later depending on special events. In the Spring and Summer I plan on being open on Sundays from 12 to 5 as well.
I will also be offering ‘In Home Styling’ by appointment. I can bring the inventory that I believe will work best for my Sloane Ranger for them to try on in the comfort of their own home.