is perhaps more famous for academia than for fashion, but in this
month's In Style magazine the Top of the Shop Award for Best Multi-Label
Shop Outside London was awarded to none other than Vanilla, one
of Summertown's own clothing shops.
owner Renate Beaumont
course, this does not come as a surprise to any fashionable female
in Oxford, but it did come as a pleasant surprise to the shop's
owner, Renate Beaumont: "It was absolutely brilliant
believe it, absolutely excellent, really lovely and a big party
in the next week or two
Beaumont is everything that one would expect the owner of Vanilla
to be. She has style, she's worldly and has a wonderful warmth about
her. Beaumont has been in the business of fashion for over 16 years
and it's obvious from her fabulous array of labels that she knows
what she's doing. She carries British designers like Betty Jackson,
who pairs tough street-chic with soft feminine touches, John Smedley,
who is known for his ingenious knitwear and Antonia Ghazlan, whose
lingerie is not only comfortable but feminine and sexy, with liberty
prints and florals. Renate carries labels from France and Italy
as well - her only criteria is that she love the clothes.
you walk into Vanilla, you feel like you've just entered your very
own walk-in closet, complete with a leopard print bench, antique
mirrors, a chandelier and to top it all off a delicious pink ceiling.
The tempting displays beckon you in, and you just might be offered
a coffee or glass of wine. You cannot resist the latest Cacharel
shoes and you start to imagine which holiday party you'll wear them
to. There's never a need to worry about wearing the same outfit
as someone else to a party in Oxford because Renate knows her clientele
so well she won't let that happen: "It's personal service;
I'm actually buying for our clients now, as I know what they want."
Beaumont wants you to look amazing. Her staff is helpful and friendly.
There is no hard sell, they know their merchandise inside out and
can dress you for any occasion. Vanilla's clientele ranges from
young girls from St Edward's buying little t-shirts to loyal clientele
in their glorious seventies.
good to know that you don't have to go to London to shop. Oxford
has many great clothing stores, catering to everyone from young
students looking for hip clubwear to older people looking for elegant
eveningwear. With great stores like Vanilla putting Oxford on the
fashion map, it's only a matter of time before all the other great
fashion shops in Oxford start getting more coverage.