The mannequins in the windows, draped in bold, global garb, radiate confidence at the new shop Vira. Look at me, the clothes seem to say.
That’s the cosmopolitan aesthetic the shop’s co-owners, Vivek Patel, 25, and Radhika Rana, 30, are bringing to Charles Street. Specializing in women’s apparel from places like India, Singapore, and Romania, Vira (the name combines the beginnings of Vivek and Radhika’s names) has been challenging the area’s prevailing style since it opened in the old Beacon Hill Framery space in April.
“It’s about playing with clothes and using what you have and making it into something different,” Patel says. “In Boston, people are very conservative. They’re not using the full potential of their closets.”
When the Massachusetts natives met three years ago, they bonded over their shared love of fashion. But it wasn’t until Rana quit her managerial job and took a yoga trip to India that the two decided to follow their sartorial calling.
They moved to New York to study at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and started discovering designers from all corners of the planet. “There are so many styles around the world,” Patel says. “People, not only in Boston, but in America, just don’t realize that.” It was this gap in the market that convinced Patel and Rana to open their store on Beacon Hill.
Patel changes his uniquely styled window displays twice a week, outfitting the mannequins in pieces from Bodice and Yoana Baraschi. (Sometimes shoppers buy ensembles right off the figures, he says, laughing.)
Customers never know what in the world they’ll find at Vira — and that’s exactly the point.
107 Charles St., Boston, 617-367-0305, shopvira.com.
Mehak Gupta gold-plated earrings with semiprecious stones, $172.
Valliyan by Nitya silk tassel necklace, $188.
Yoana Baraschi “Capri Couture” silk dress, $366.
Thierry Lasry “Platony” acetate sunglasses, $383.
Bodice silk and cotton-thread top, $297.