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July 2010 Issue | Cover story - Drew William | Fashion Cares - Obakki | Fall 2010 - Carlie Wong | Retail - Wear Else | Accessories - Coral Moon Jewellery |
| Behind the scenes - Liz Bell | New Face - Jasmine | Fashion Pro - Laela Blanchet | School - Jillian Rothert | Events | Fashion Schools Overview |

Nowhere Else But 'Wear Else'
by Steely
Photos by Peter Jensen -

Nowhere else but 'Wear Else' does inspiration and fashion converge into such fabulous trends, stylish selections and great service. If you've not yet re-discovered this 30-year old Vancouver fashion institution you are missing out. Established in 1977, Wear Else was bought by Zahra Mamdani in 2007.

After having lived in New York, Boston and Geneva while working for the World Health Organization and McKinsey & Company, Mamdani returned to Vancouver knowing it was the right time to follow her passion for fashion and open her own clothing store. She realized she would be bored opening just a single store after having been a consultant for The Fortune 500. With a deeply rooted business background, she was fully aware that there was going to be no easy way into the fashion world. If she was going to follow her heart she had to dive in headfirst.

Having done her research, she decided on Wear Else and its four lower mainland locations. It was a store she once loved to shop at while attending university, but had changed over the years. "It had lost the pizzazz it once had been known for." says Mamdani. She capitalized on this opportunity to re-brand the chain. Her goal was to bring Wear Else back to its fashion roots by making it "…a hipper, cooler place again" and targeting women in her own demographic of 30-55 who lacked fashion choices. Women's lives have evolved "…into all encompassing, work, play and party and the re-branded Wear Else now caters to all of those elements". It offers personal shopping, allowing clients to save time and making for an exclusive personal experience. Wear Else also offers styling appointments, closet makeovers, gift concierge and even delivery! Mamdani knows that there needs to be a reason for women to want to come in and experience Wear Else. "It's the unique exclusive designs and services that you cannot get anywhere else that draw clients to shop with us. It really is a one-stop, boutique-inspired shopping experience."

Careful not to alienate the relationship of long time clientele, Mamdani believes, "It's a lot easier to lose a customer than it is to gain a new one". She has walked a fine line, letting her existing clients know that she is not abandoning them. Wear Else still offers items that are true to its original reputation, but now has a lot more choices by way of great brands and designers that can work for these women. It carries fabulous sexy choices that accentuate all women. "There's no need to dress a certain way because one is a certain age." Wear Else respects that!

Mamdani supports local designers as much as possible. They carry the adored Jacqueline Conoir line and local jewellery designs by Zuka. Fashion newsflash ladies! Starting in September Wear Else will also be carrying the fabulous Jason Matlo. For that reason alone I cannot wait for the fall season! However, before we rush through summer, Wear Else is exclusively featuring fantastic summer dresses by Tibi. Mamdani is also excited to feature Line for their gorgeous knits, as well as the cool unique designs by Nanette Lepore and Love Moschino and classic lines like M.Missoni and Red Valentino.

Please visit for information on their newly launched pop-up outlet store, Wear Else fashion events or to book your personal shopping experience at any one of the three locations, Park Royal, Oakridge or West 4th.

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