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Hide hues


SHADES MIGHT sound like a collection of cosmetics or an assortment of sunglasses, but least would it occur to you that we are talking about hide and leather here. Shades, probably named to reinforce that leather does not just come in black and tan, is part of the Valentino group. It is among the few exclusive leather outlets that do not just sell export surplus stuff. What started as a small trading unit in Periamet has grown to manufacture and export leather products for popular European brands.

"We want to change the notion that leather goods are expensive. That was one of the reasons behind starting our outlets in the city apart from exports," says Riaz Ahmed Baig of Valentino. "Earlier there were just two categories — finished and unfinished leather, but now there is so much variety. Also the idea that leather is luxury is slowly changing." At Shades, the price of the products starts from Rs. 350 onwards. "Our mission is to provide high quality leather products at affordable prices," says Baig.

The shop which is the group's third outlet in the city — the other two being located in Periamet and Anna Nagar — stocks a variety of leather products, ranging from bags, wallets, jewel cases, organisers, laptop bags and suitcases to corporate gifts, shoes and belts.

With the leather fair happening every year, there are more takers abroad for leather products from India. Apart from exporting for brands such as Salamander, Walmart, Adora and other European brands, Shades also manufactures and markets shoes in its own brand name. "We have started with shoes and hope to diversify into other products. Woven leather is a new entrant which is immensely popular among women in both India and abroad," he adds.

Shades also has special offers for students all through the year. The shop is located at No. 9, Chitra Avenue, Choolaimedu High Road.

PRASSANA SRINIVASAN

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