Ladies, if you thought your fashion retail options on Grand Cayman were limited, think what it’s like for men: Cayman does not offer a huge number of clothing stores to begin with, but when only a fraction of the available retail space is given over to menswear, the options for the sartorial man are few and far between.
Jodi Hunter, proprietor of Funky Monkey in Governors Square, soon found out just how much demand there was for fashionable, quality clothing for men when she started a small line of menswear. Within a year and a half of opening the store, she expanded the retail space from 11,000 to 18,000 square feet to create a dedicated space for men. She now stocks casual board shorts and short pants, as well a range of linen pants and shirts – the ideal island wear.
The Stone Rose collection of fine fit contemporary men’s woven shirts, with the signature patterned lining inside the cuffs and collar, are inspired by the day-into-night lifestyle. This versatile collection, which comes in vibrant colours and can easily be dressed up or down is proving particularly popular. “Its a high end shirt, but the price point is half that of many quality shirts,” says Jodi. Although the menswear line has expanded, there is still plenty for the ladies to choose from. The clothing at Funky Monkey is divided into four categories: sporty, beachy, yogi and sweaty. When the store opened a little over three years ago, the focus was more on yoga and active wear but as time went by the everyday, casual lines have grown and the store is now a riot of colour with beach wraps, cover ups, tunics and bikinis in bright, bold patterns.
The active and lounge wear is still there, but it is much more than a sports clothing store, says Jodi. About six months ago she introduced a line of contemporary regular-wear line of dresses, tops and bottoms from Analili, all of which come in original prints and styles. Funky Monkey now has the best selection of Analili clothing on the Island and is the exclusive retailer of the 2011 spring and summer collection.
Jodi makes a point of only ordering in small numbers, so that ladies need not worry that they will turn up at a party wearing the same dress as someone else. Analili dresses are being so well received, she says, they “fly out the window” as soon as she gets them in.
VATA Brasil is a unique line of active wear inspired by Brazilian beach wear. The line is made of a one-size fit-wear material that stretches four ways so does not bind, constrict movement, lose it’s shape, sag, bag or pill. Fitting sizes 0-14, VATA Brasil will infuse some Brazilian gusto into your active life.
In the yogi category, stylish yet durable yoga wear is available from the Thai Dragon/Pink Lotus company. In an unusual twist for yoga apparel, the Thai Dragon line sometimes features studs, buckles, skull motifs or tattoo prints. The Pink Lotus on the other hand offers a softer, more feminine choice.
In addition to the clothing there are all manner of charming accessories, from wide-brimmed sun hats, to sandals with Swarovski crystals sewn in, bags, jewellery and more.
The emphasis at Funky Monkey is on keeping things fresh, new and unique. “There is new stuff coming in every single week,” says Jodi, explaining that she tries to offer something that no other stores on the Island carry. Her stock comes from all over: the US and Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Colombia. New stock will soon be arriving from France and she also has high hopes for an Italian line in the future. New labels and vendors are being introduced all the time: over the summer, new divisions of Quicksilver clothing – Quicksilver Girls’ and Quicksilver Women’s – will be arriving.
Part of the charm of the store is that it is small enough to be very personal: Jodi aims to provide good service with integrity. She listens to her customers and tailors her purchasing accordingly. This is not confined to general requests for ‘more menswear’ or ‘evening dresses’ but also for specifics: she keeps a wish list in the store so that if a client is looking for something specific, she will take down their contact details and a description and either order in the items in question or look out for them at the trade shows she attends twice a year.
Fasionistas be warned: each item is ordered in small quantities and the stock is constantly being refreshed, so it’s advisable to visit the store regularly if you don’t want to miss out on a real gem.