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Don't think small, big is beautiful

By Good Life | Jul 15, 2010 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

FIGURES, both in numbers and in body shape, have always been Dr Gugu Gule's first love.

So it came as no surprise that after 25 years of working with numbers, Gule finally switched to fashion.

Six years ago, armed with her designing skills, Gule explored her passion for fashion by launching GG Boutique, one of the few fashion stores that specialises in clothes for fuller-figured women.

Being a fuller-figured woman herself, Gule, who holds a BA in Statistics and Mathematics, and an MA and a PhD in Demography, says that as she reached the pinnacle of her career she struggled to find beautiful and stylish clothes to portray a professional image.

"I love clothes and I love looking beautiful. I was frustrated that whenever I went shopping for clothes I could not find a retailer that offered stylish and elegant clothes that complemented my body shape," Gule says.

She says while on a business trip in the US she came across a boutique that catered for big women.

"I couldn't believe that I had finally found a shop that had lots of stuff that fitted me perfectly. The store really made me feel good," she says.

Gule says that the New York retailer inspired her to open a similar shop in South Africa.

She opened GG Boutique and the store immediately became a hit and attracted high-profile clientele that included business executives, senior government officials and politicians.

Motivated by the desire to empower plus size women and make them look beautiful, attractive and stylish, Gule last month opened another store in Johannesburg.

Situated in the Sandton Eye Mall in the upmarket Sandton suburb, the boutique boosts a stunning collection of designer clothes, shoes and handbags, with exquisite jewellery to match the clothes.

For those women who want to occasionally drop the serious look but still be stylish, Gule included simple, but elegant pants and a range of funky tops that complement the body shape in her collection..

Gule attributes her business success to the quality of the clothes she imports and her constant advice to her clients to dress according to their body shapes.

Her other services include wardrobe planning, which focuses on wardrobe clean-up and alterations, as and when the need arises, and personal shopping.

"We always guide our clients and show them clothes that flatter and accentuate their body shape," she explains.

"Finding clothes that compliment the body shape is very important. Clothes that hang on the body are a big no. We want our clients to leave the store feeling special and exclusive.

"She must wear something that charges her soul. As you know, when you look beautiful you feel good and gain confidence, and that gives me a kick - knowing that I have made a difference in someone's life."

But why are there so few shops that caters for plus-sized women?

"The fashion industry is not interested in fashion for fuller figured women. The focus is usually on slender, petite models despite the fact that plus-size women have the purchasing power to support their desire to look beautiful and stylish.

"GG Boutique strives to change the perception that plus-sized women cannot look as sexy or contemporary as their thinner counterparts. Besides, getting stylish clothes for fuller-figured women is not an easy task. It's intricate.

"The trick is to find clothes that are tailored to suit the body shape for plus-sized women and maintaining it. Luckily, GG Boutique is here to provide just that," says the confident Gule.

She says her next project is to open branches of her boutique in Durban, Cape Town and in neighbouring Swaziland to ensure that "curvy women all over have access to high-end fashion".




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