Words Manisha Wijegoonawardena and Kamalika Jayathilaka Photographs Menaka Aravinda
I walked into the all too familiar department store, which was abuzz with shoppers as usual.A store member at the door nodded his head to greet me as I made my way towards the stairway. Every floor was filled with men, women and kids of all age groups, trying to find something to their preference. This is undoubtedly one of the most popular stores in Sri Lanka where all segments of society shop for trendy, affordable and high quality clothing and appliances.
A household name for over a decade, House of Fashions is synonymous with the local fashion arena. Located in the heart of Colombo, House of Fashions is essentially recognised by both locals and tourists alike for offering fashionable clothing at a reasonable price.
The four-storied modern department store basically encompasses ‘everything you need’ with the core business being garments. Apart from ladies, gents and kids clothing sections the store offers homeware, handbags, winter clothes, luggage, saris and toys as well.
The store recently introduced a number of designer brands in the clothes section, and a little known fact is that House of Fashions offers a large variety of saris, including bridal saris, which are becoming increasingly popular. The House of Fashions selection of saris includes the designer label Satya Paul as well. Customers come from far corners of the country, at times as far as Jaffna, to purchase bridal saris.
Winter clothes and luggage sections also offer a range of durable and stylish products, including jackets, scarves, gloves and much more. Many Sri Lankans living abroad visit the store while holidaying here, specifically for their winter clothes and gradually it is attracting the foreign clientele as well. Many tour buses make it a point to stopover at the store as part of the shopping experience in Sri Lanka offered to the tourists.
The House of Fashions is the brainchild of Preethi and Neelamani Jayawardena who established the store with the focus of offering day-to-day clothing, which is affordable. The first store was opened within a compact space in a shopping complex at Wellawatte and later expanded to a bigger area. A few years later they reached a landmark with the opening of the current department store in Bambalapitiya.
The secret behind the store’s immense success is the commitment and hardwork by Preethi and Neelamani. The power couple are very much involved in the daily activities of the store, since they strongly believe that teamwork and team spirit are the key to their achievements.
To them it is important that their employees are treated with good care, which is why all staff members are provided with meals and accommodation. As an organisation they also conduct many major philanthropic projects, which are not publicised. As a fully Sri Lankan enterprise, House of Fashions contributes to society in many ways and has helped thousands of families through numerous programmes. They believe that all this is made possible because of their valued customers, who indirectly contribute to all the charitable activities by simply purchasing products they enjoy from the store.
House of Fashions hopes to mesmerise their customers with a one of a kind project that is planned for the near future. The project has been a mission they have been hoping to achieve for a period of time. It will be bigger and better than anything they have done before and a unique experience for the public.
The store will offer more rewards and benefits to their huge customer base both local and international who has been with them for years, offering a truly fashionable experience.
House of Fashions
28 R A De Mel Mawatha, Colombo 5
Tel: (+94 11) 250 4639