True to its name, 1.O.A.K. (which stands for “One of a Kind”), features its own unique and fierce style of ladies wear that you won’t find anywhere else in Colombo. The proof is on the label. The clothing store stands firmly behind a policy that there will only ever be four items available of any one of their designs, one in each size and colour -- One of a Kind.
The 1.O.A.K. brand is the result of Chrishara Benjamin, a fashion marketer, taking all that she had learned as a marketing executive to many top international brands such as Dolce and Gabbana and Saks Fifth Avenue during her time in Dubai, and combining it with her skill of spotting new fashion trends. The brand, which was brought to life by her and her all-women team of tailors and pattern makers, creates unique ladies wear that is at the forefront of high-end fashion in Sri Lanka.
Inspired by the need for fashionable evening wear dress designs, that capture the spirit of strong independent women, 1.O.A.K has stepped up to fill this gap. In the five years since it opened its first store, 1.O.A.K. has grown to sell not just evening wear but a wide range of women’s clothes from casual to office wear, yet the brand still prides itself on its eye-catching designs for an evening-out. Their unique styles, the stylish cuts and especially their colours and fabrics, are not often found in any other clothes outlet.
To help stay as a forerunner in the fashion industry, Chrishara calls on her experience of working with leading fashion designers and brands, developing a well-tuned eye to spot shifts and trends that are likely to take off in the market, to fashion 1.O.A.K.’s unique dresses. Chrishara also taps into her base of loyal customers, considering their feedback in creating designs that are both in keeping with the fashion trends while also answering to the needs of her clientele.
1.O.A.K. has two outlets in Colombo; its first ever store at the end of Alfred Place, and the other at One Galle Face. The brand is also planning on expanding out of Colombo, opening its third branch soon in the hill capital of Kandy, to spice up the city’s party life. Even between their multiple stops, there are no identical dresses, so a tip to remember is that if you don’t find something that you like in one store, it is likely that one of their other outlets will have something you will like. A bonus tip if you are looking for something specific; the One Galle Face store focuses mainly on casual wear and their dresses also have a simpler elegance to their designs. In contrast, the Alfred Place store focuses on evening wear dresses with a more bold fashion styles in the dresses.
While 1.O.A.K. is the main fashion line, they also have three other brands associated to it. The first is called “Pretty Little K”. This is 1.O.A.K.’s brand for girls between ages 10 to 16. The styles here are mainly along the line of casual wear and party outfits for girls.
1.O.A.K. also has a new specialty, making bridesmaid dresses. These are generally based on styles that were already available in the store. However, these are made out to the specific fit of the bridesmaids and in keeping with the wedding’s theme.
Building on this, 1.O.A.K. is planning on launching a new brand soon, called “Brides by 1.O.A.K.”. As the name suggests this would be custom bridal dresses that are designed by 1.O.A.K. themselves. While it is yet to begin in full operation, it is certainly something to look forward to for all the ladies planning their weddings right now.
Like almost all fashion brands, 1.O.A.K. is available online through their website where visitors can check out the latest styles and purchase straight through the website. However, 1.O.A.K. does encourage you to visit their store when possible, as this could help you get a more personalized experience and you can also have the dress altered free of charge, so that it perfectly fits your figure.
Free alteration is something that is not often available with many stores but 1.O.A.K. is happy to do this for its customers any time and as often as necessary, so that your dress is always a perfect fit for you. Ideally, alterations take three days but under special circumstances you may be able to have the dresses altered within one day.
1.O.A.K. also showcases their dresses through their Facebook page 1oaksl and their Instagram page 1oak_sl, so you can try to see what new designs are in their store before heading over to buy the perfect dress for you.
All things considered, 1.O.A.K. is definitely a place to visit when you are out dress hunting and want that perfect dress for you that is both stylish, elegant and one of a kind.