Last week I popped into the delightful Rouge Boutique after chatting with the lovely owner Frederique a few days before on email.The boutique is a little corner of loveliness in the High Street Arcade, near to other fashion treats like Looby Loo’s boutique and Hobo’s Vintage just round the corner.
Rouge hasn’t always been in the High Street Arcade though, having moved from the Morgan Arcade around a year ago. If you pop into a Vintage Affair, you’ll notice some very similar wallpaper (there’s pics coming up on the blog soon, don’t worry).
Frederique tells me there’s a slightly different clientele in the High Street Arcade, although there’s some loyal customers that have followed the shop. Here she finds the customers to be slightly younger, perhaps a bit more trendy, although there is probably a smaller amount of footfall.
As you might have guessed from the name Rouge, the owner’s name and the Parisien influences in the shop’s decoration, Frederique is French. Making the (slightly mad?) decision to leave Paris for Wales some 30 years ago, up until fairly recently she was a French teacher in a school in the Valleys. Realising that she didn’t want to do it until retirement, and always having a fondness for clothes and fashion, she decided to set up Rouge around 2 years ago.
Drawing on designer and vintage influence, the clothes are sources from clothes fayres and so on, and most of the designers are European. Prices are varied, with some of the accessories ranging from as little as £8, so there’s something in here for most price points.
Also working in the shop you’ll find Frederique’s daughter, Sophie who is also training to be a teacher. The duo also live together, but Sophie tells me they’ve managed to maintain a great relationship.
Another great relationship is between the shop and the arcades themselves. Both Sophie and Frederique tell me how much they love the arcades, and how they couldn’t imagine their shop being anywhere else. A common (and nice to hear) theme for many of the shop owners I visit.