The Scandi-style boutique run by 3 stylish sisters
D.A.Y is a new independent clothing and accessories boutique in Peckham for style-savvy men and women. We chat to one of the three sisters and Co-Founder Arpana on everything from the hottest Summer trends to how it feels to take the leap and be her own boss.
Photography by JoJo Mead
D.A.Y, the new South East London boutique specialising in Scandinavian style has recently opened down leafy Bellenden Road amongst other Peckham favourites like Anderson & Co coffee shop and Flock & Herd butchers. “Bellenden Road is one of Peckham’s best kept secrets,” says D.A.Y Co-Founder Arpana. “The people are exceptionally friendly, it’s a real community.”
D.A.Y is co-founded by three sisters who grew up sharing clothes and shaping their styles by merging both their Indian and British influences. “Style is so much more to us than clothes, it’s a true expression of who we are as individuals” says Arpana - known to her friends as Apee.
Apee, 32, who lives local to Peckham and is Head of Branding & Marketing at D.A.Y says opening a shop with her two sisters Disha 36, Head of Buying & Styling and Yukti 38, Head of Online & Merchandising was ‘a dream of ours’.
The sisters decided to take the plunge this year after a sad event made them evaluate their lives. “Our father passed away at the beginning of the year," says Apee. “When your world is flipped upside down all you can do is dig deep to find what makes you truly happy, and for us it was working together and continuing our Dad’s legacy by venturing out to create our own business.”
The sisters between them have experience in buying, styling, branding, and marketing. Disha worked in retail for Ted Baker and Net-a-Porter, Yukti previously worked as a brand ambassador for jewellery line Stella & Dot and Apee for a WPP branding agency. They have always had a strong vision of the type of shopping experience they wanted to create, however, bringing that vision to Bellenden Road Apee believes to be ‘a now or never moment'.
Before D.A.Y opened at 143 Bellenden Road, another boutique – Bias, occupied the space. “I was a regular customer at Bias, so when Sally, the previous owner told me she was giving it up, I was devastated,” says Apee. “We have been lucky to have a great foundation but it was important for us to add our own personal stamp to create our style of shopping experience.”
D.A.Y, which is made up of the initials of each of the sisters, brings together a carefully considered and curated range of clothing and accessories for men, women, and kids.
This Scandi-style boutique with its crisp white walls, bright artwork by artist Komal Madar and minimalistic layout makes for a bright and welcoming retail experience. Yukti, one of the three sisters is also a freelance interior designer so has been the main influence on the direction and style of the store.
Another essential part of the D.A.Y brand identity is their logo. Their logo which represents the sisters' initials on a button is very personal to them, as it was designed by a close friend Yente Jansen, a designer based in Amsterdam. “Fashion is the thread that connects us as sisters,” says Apee. “In the same way, the holes of a button are connected with a thread.”
The trio has put a lot of emphasis on the service, atmosphere, and assortment of brands. “We wanted to create a shopping destination for all age groups and an opportunity for people to talk to us about styling,” says Apee. “We have pieces that are well fitted, well designed - perfect for every day, but also some stand out trend pieces. We are very particular about handpicking brands and styles that we personally love.”
Having travelled a lot, the sisters say their source of inspiration comes from all over the world. “Some of our favourite boutiques being in Copenhagen, Antwerp, New York, Istanbul and Melbourne,” says Apee. “We believe there is no better way to get to know a city than its local restaurants and boutiques!”
The trio love Scandi-style because they believe it’s ‘ageless, sophisticated and clean.’ The sisters understand the importance of people wanting to have clothing that is comfortable and pieces that can transition from day to evening as well as focusing on pieces that are a little more unusual than your typical high street garments. “We are always hunting for a piece you won’t see on everyone else,” says Apee.
D.A.Y regularly introduce new independent labels based locally as well as brands that the sisters discover on their travels like Moria Handmade bags. A brand Apee discovered whilst living in Istanbul. "I found this boutique off the beaten path in Galata," says Apee. "It's a boutique/workshop and each piece is handmade. The leather is handpicked by the Moria Handmade craftsman from Turkey's largest leather distributors."
The sisters say they pick brands that they love and wear themselves, every single brand in the store is one they know personally. Look out for brands like Selected Femme/Homme and Samsoe & Samsoe which the sisters say they have loved for a long time “We are extremely excited about stocking those” says Apee.
Apee's style has been influenced by her having lived in a few different countries over the last few years. Her style has evolved into 'trendy chic' and she only wears trends that suit her body. Her sister Disha says her style is a little harder to define. “It’s dependent on my mood and the occasion. I follow seasonal colours and trends but ensure they work for me and the look I am trying to achieve.” Whereas Yukti is all about the ‘relaxed cool’ style. “Being the petite sister, I have to adapt my style to find clothes that fit well and represent me,” she says. “I love shirts and t-shirts - they are a must in every wardrobe.”
Asking the sisters what their favourite fashion trend for this summer is, Yukti thinks this season is all about colour. “Pastel ‘ice cream’ colours like soft hues of lemon sorbet and pistachio greens are perfect for long summer days,” She says. Disha loves ‘tomato red midi length skirts and dresses’ and Apee thinks bright jumpsuits and bold cat eye sunglasses is the way to go.
D.A.Y customers can also enjoy the pop-up segment of the store where they host independent labels from across the globe like handcrafted leather accessories by GBcrea and EPH, an organic, screen printed T-shirt brand with designs influenced by travel and poetry. The pop-up space is very personal to the sisters as many of the brand creators are friends of theirs who do not stock anywhere else in the UK – also giving customers the opportunity to pick up something truly unique.
Seeing the rise in women business owners in Peckham over the last couple of years, we wanted to know what it’s like to take the plunge and be your own boss, asking Apee how it feels to now be a #girlboss. “I love this! We also regularly use the saying #sistersdoingitforthemselves.” She says it has always been a dream of hers and her sisters to set up a business and run it together “Being your own boss means you can really follow through on your vision and see the direct impact of the hard work you put in. You are working 24/7 but it doesn’t feel like work! Especially, when you are working alongside your sisters.” Also, with both her sisters Disha and Yukti having babies this year, she says it gives them the flexibility to continue ‘working on building D.A.Y’ as well as enjoying time with their families.
Apee, who lives on Havil Street in between both Peckham and Camberwell loves Peckham’s fashion scene. “You have a mix of fashion styles here, from the very retro to chic, sophisticated and relaxed” she says. “One thing you can be sure of though, is the array of vibrant colours!”
‘Vibrant’ being one of the words Apee uses to describe Peckham “I love Peckham. I love that there is a strong local community which people are very proud and protective of.” She says “Customers are always pleasantly surprised when they come and visit us from other parts of London. I love walking them through Rye Lane, down the back streets to Bellenden Road… the sights, smells, vibrancy and overall energy is unlike anywhere in London.”
Apee’s favourite Peckham coffee shops are Brewbird “Living on Havil Street, Brewbird is my local – I love it” but also loves Anderson & Co coffee which is just next door to D.A.Y. However, picking a favourite restaurant in SE15 proves a bit trickier for Apee “I honestly find this so difficult!” she says. “I feel truly lucky to be a walk away from so many unique and independent restaurants. So, I am going to plead the fifth on this one and say you are absolutely spoilt for choice in SE15!”
Along with an online shop coming soon (you can sign up now to hear about exclusive offers, new brands and events) D.A.Y also has a gorgeous Instagram feed featuring product updates, behind the scenes and sneak peaks at new collections.
D.A.Y, 143 Bellenden Road, Peckham