STYLEMART is the most recognized name in the Singapore fashion landscape, yet its origin is a humble one. It started in the 1950s as a tailoring shop in Changi Village and soon became a prominent name in Indian fashion in Singapore. This is a story of grit and perseverance, vision and hard work.
Mr Gobindram Baxani, a well-respected, light-hearted gentleman was the founder of Style Mart, and initially made suits and uniforms for the RAF officers during the British time.Believing in teaching his daughters independence, he passed the responsibility of his creation over to his eldest daughter, Madam Huri Baxani, who would then pass it on to her own daughter, Kavita Thulasidas- the current managing director and lead designer whose vision is the soul of the company.
His wife, Madam Kunjbai was also an official shareholder from day one, and expressed her support for her daughter by manning the cash register at the store, tracking its activities and spreading the importance of good customer service before it was acknowledged.
Madam Huri’s story as a self-made entrepreneur is known to many. Forced by circumstances, she started small by making saris from home. Soon, she was able to move to a small office on the 3rd floor of 149 Selegie Rd where, in the 80s, she established STYLEMART- taking her father’s brand name and making it into a high-end Indian fashion boutique. From there she moved to Parklane shopping mall and took up a store of over 2000 sq. feet.
Kavita’s involvement in the family business started young. From the tender age of seven, she would travel with her mother on merchandising trips to India, where she enjoyed watching the gifted fingers of embroiders weave their magic into delicate fabrics and create works of art and colours. She loved the old architecture, the cottage industries and the antiques and handicrafts it had to offer- it was love at first sight.
She grew into a fashion savvy teenager and gradually became involved in discussions with designers and tailors and took key decisions on the merchandise at the store. Having returned from her Australian boarding school education in 1992, by 18 Kavita had officially joined the business. In a year, she released her first collection and put together her first fashion show on the 2nd of October at Hyatt Regency for 200 people. Today, the STYLEMART fashion show is an annual event.
In 1999 Kavita took over the reins of the business and has since grown it to new heights. Today STYLEMART still stands at Selegie Rd, and owns the prime retail shop front on the Orchard-Serangoon corridor.
There has been no turning back since. Year after year, the shows grew bigger and the garments more impressive, and STYLEMART has evolved into a name synonymous with high end fashion in Singapore.
Kavita ‘s skill and flair in creating garments with a fusion of Asian cultures is the signature identity of her designs and what the brand stands for. Her clients are among the elite in Singapore and beyond- from heads of state to royalties from around and afar.
Among the myriad of contenders that come and go, STYLEMART stands alone and distinct, tall and proud, close to the heart of many and true to the land it represents.