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Curating timeless fashion amid the pandemic’s uncertainty

Posted by Vaneeta Jaikishan on

Among the once busy streets of Vancouver, Kapade is a store where shoppers can find unique clothing pieces

Only a few blocks away from Vancouver’s iconic Gastown steam clock, one can stumble upon Kapade, a local fashion boutique that opened its doors in 2018. With its carefully decorated space and meticulously curated clothing, Kapade’s design is intentionally simple and sleek. The ambience is meant to illustrate quality in the workmanship and quality that inspires each collection.

The shelves are stocked with handcrafted bags from the Netherlands and Germany, multi-function dresses, handcrafted jewelry by Designs by Sonia and a signature collection of Kapade designed by Vaneesha Advani and sold internationally in stores in Japan and Europe. In addition, Kapade also carries a screen-printed jewelry collection by Dutch designer Uli Rapp. Advani, curator of Kapade, has built the ideal boutique for women to create enduring and versatile head-to-toe looks.

Iris Apfel, a client of Vaneesha Advani, also wears Designs by Sonia. 

It was with this attention to detail that Advani started her career as a multi-faceted designer. Having studied at Parsons School of Design in New York, she has spent much of her time focusing on jewelry and clothing, collecting ideas gathered throughout her travels across Africa, the United States, Asia, Canada and Europe. These travels and accompanying experiences including fashion shows have helped Advani shape a vision for her store that holds avant-garde pieces from designers around the world.

A designer herself, Advani began her own line of jewelry named Designs by Sonia, which is comprised of materials dear to her heart including beads from her home country, Ghana.

Some of Advani’s Designs by Sonia work-in-progress pieces. 

With the pandemic hitting Vancouver, Advani, along with many small businesses, faced closures and numerous hardships, which led the store to explore other avenues. Although an e-commerce store already existed, she saw this outlet as an immediate opportunity to further connection with customers.

She outlined how quickly she was able to pivot Kapade’s strategy and make changes to the supply chain that for her store only takes days, but for larger brands can take many weeks. A part of this advantage is the small-batch nature of her clothing, making it the absolute opposite of high volume fast fashion, allowing Kapade to swiftly make changes to the supply chain.

When asked about the increase in pandemic trends such as athleisure and brands creating loungewear for working from home, Advani notes, “I’m honestly not following anybody, what they’re doing, or what their vision is because at that point you will really get lost, and your vision will disappear in the middle of trying to be like somebody else.” Staying true to self and the brand is something that Advani exudes through Kapade and that philosophy is here to stay.

As Vancouver continues to navigate the ongoing pandemic, Advani is happy to tackle things day by day, given the state of the world. She is taking time to curate the next season of the fall/winter collection. Having travelled the world and built relationships with designers and creators around the globe is something that has helped develop Advani’s view of the world.

The different fashion shows she has attended through Europe and the purchases arranged with the same buyers that buy Yohji Yamamoto and similar designers has helped bring afloat the timelessness of the store’s pieces.

Not only are the pieces designed to last, but so are the friendships built in the process. Ironically, our interview was conveniently interrupted by a call from her friend in Sweden, whom she met at her store event a few years prior.

A mix of the different home items, clothing and jewelry that can be found at Kapade. 

Despite the uncertainty in today’s world, you can always expect to be greeted with a warm smile and a lovely conversation at Kapade. From unique clothing items that will last in your wardrobe for many seasons, to newly introduced home decoration pieces, Advani has carefully hand-picked, or handmade, everything in her store for you to look good, and feel good.


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