Thursday, 9 June 2011

Shop Review O'nitaa London: Indian and Pakistani designerwear destination

Photo credit to
I recently spent a weekend in London, and on my list of shops to visit was O'nitaa. I've written about the designer collections they stock, such as Nickie Nina which were showcased at the 2010 Asiana Elite Bride Show and more recently the Yousuf Bashir Qureshi instore launch.
However I'd never visited the store in person and was keen to see some of these designer outfits up close.

The first thing to note about Onitaa is the location. Based on Glenworth Street, NW1, this store is nowhere near any of London's main asian fashion hotspots. This isn't one of those shops you'll come across by chance, it's somewhere you'll go out of your way to visit.

The store itself is unlike any other asian fashion shop I've ever visited. It feels very grand when you walk in with its long walkway down the centre of the store (which seems like it goes on forever!) and each designer collection spread out on either side of you. I had my husband with me when I visited and he described the store as being like every girl's dream walk-in wardrobe.
Photo credit to
I took my time browsing, recognising some of the outfits from fashion shows photos and from Onitaa's adverts in Asiana Magazine. Most of the outfits in store are sample pieces so there was a level of wear and tear/loose threads etc. but even then this was minimal and I really liked a lot of what I saw...however this place is a definite no no for asian fashion fans on a budget!! If I wasn't visiting for asian fashion blog research purposes I probably would have left very quickly after seeing the first few price tags - many of which were in the thousands.

Whilst in the store, I saw a customer trying on the very beautiful Zainab Sajid outfit above (at least I think it was this one). I also had a chance to check out the price tag for this, if I remember correctly it was around £4000. I know asian bridalwear is increasingly becoming more and more expensive but I think you'll agree with me that most ordinary asian brides in the UK wouldn't be able to justify a cost like that - nevermind spending that amount on a formal outfit!

When you take into consideration the average prices in O'nitaa, you start to understand why they chose a location so far removed from the other asian shopping areas like Green St, Southall, and Ilford Lane, because O'nitaa's offering isn't really accessible to asian fashion fans who don't have a big budget!
So pricing aside, I asked, store owner, Onita to talk me through some of her collections. She was keen to point out that she doesn't necessarily go for "big names", instead, she goes for designers whose work impresses her. One designer she highlighted was Asim Jofa, she highlighted the craftmanship of his outfits - the stitching on the embroidering was so perfectly finished to the point where you didn't get that "sticky" effect you often have when your embroidery catches on other fabrics.
The collection by Arnab Sengupta (a double winner at last years IAFA Awards) also caught my eye - the amazing details that goes into each piece is barely captured in the photos I'd seen before.

My overall thoughts on Onitaa are that this shop is every girl's dream, but for most people that's all it'll stay as - a dream! If you're after designer name collections from India and Pakistan, without having to travel there yourself, then O'nitaa is perfect for providing this service...although if you're anything like me, you might need to save up first!

If you're looking to visit O'nitaa, why not attend their launch for the HSY Spring Summer 2011 Pret collection, which is taking place from the 16th - 19th June:

Do I have any blog readers who have shopped at O'nitaa? Leave a comment with your thoughts!


  1. I love ur blog its very interest and useful keep it up. A kind request can you please upload pictures of Pakistan Fashion Extravaganza 2011 please..thank you.

  2. Thanks :) I'm waiting on photos from the official photographer at Pakistan Fashion Extravaganza and will post them up as soon as I get them. So far I've only seen backstage photos from the event.

  3. thankz..same here ive only seen the backstage photos. :)

  4. I'm looking to go to the HSY exhibition next week, and I'm certainly expecting there to be big price tags to go with such a big designer.
    I had a similar experience when I went to an Imani exhibition at a hotel in Knightsbridge a few months ago. Although it had several big names (like Sana Safinaz and its own Imani clothes), the prices for the outfits were a lot more than an ordinary shopper would be looking to pay. Stands to reason that it would be in Knightsbridge (where all the big shoppers come, namely for the Harrods!)


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