A couple of weeks ago Aizuri opened in the upper part of El Raval, on Carrer Notariat 8. It is both a studio where clothes are made and furniture is upholstered, and a shop where both finished articles are sold.
It has been brought to life by Hiske ter Veld, a friendly designer, who is originally from Amsterdam, and moved to Barcelona nine years ago. She has a passion for both beautiful fabrics and getting to know her customers, and therefore chose to open her own space rather than produce her line of products to have them sold by somebody else.
The colour implied by the name Aizuri is reflected in a number of the clothes and also plays a prominent part in the fabrics used to upholster the various furniture items Hiske has displayed in her lovely shop.
Tasteful details can be found both in the shop’s decorative elements and also (especially) in the clothes on display. These are feminine and dainty, and stand out from what is on offer in most boutiques.
My eye was drawn to this Chinese screen, which Hiske has customised, and upholstered with Indonesian batik. Behind it is the changing room, and so the screen is not merely a decorative element. I like that its original purpose has been reclaimed.
The shop has a front and a back section – the front where the products for sale are on display, the back where new products are designed, cut and made. Batik and other fabrics on shelves and on rolls share the space with a large cutting table (that I am rather envious of) and racks filled with patterns and new garments shielded from view by dust sleeves.
A bowl of stroopwafels (Dutch syrup wafers) stood invitingly on the cutting table, and while we both nibbled on one, Hiske told me about herself and how her shop came to be. She genuinely cares for both her products and her clients and that is a great basis for any enterprise.
If you’re in the neighborhood be sure to stop by and check it out. If she doesn’t have your size or favoured colour, she will be happy to make it for you. A shop with a heart!
*** Aizuri closed its doors in the Autumn of 2012, unfortunately. Should a new shop be opened, I will let you know.