How To Buy Designer Wear Online
As Indian labels are striving to establish a strong foothold in the international market, Indian designers and retail sectors are exploring newer avenues to make homegrown fashion accessible. According to The State of Fashion 2019, a new report co-published by Business of Fashion and McKinsey & Company, India has been projected as one of the top emerging markets with its GDP expected to grow at the highest rate. International luxury brands have already anticipated this economic shift and started focusing on this highly fragmented market. Meanwhile, Amazon fashion is slowly building an e-commerce segment that plans to democratise designer wear in India by bringing a diverse mix of well-established Indian designers as well as fresh, young talent together on one platform. The Treasure Trove is a unique initiative on the Designer Boutique at Amazon Fashion that curates ready-to-wear heritage pieces from designers such as JJ Valaya, Ritu Kumar, Abraham and Thakore, and Pankaj & Nidhi, which remain relevant to younger consumers till date. Excerpts from an interview with Aparna Batra, Head of Designer Wear and Luxury at Amazon Fashion, on the viability of selling designer-wear online.
How do you curate signature pieces for a younger cohort of customers?
We wanted to reignite some recognizable designs from the archives of designers who have built their labels over the past two decades and add to that, a younger, more eclectic list of designers who handpicked pieces from their collections that remain classically relevant to customers over time. The designs are not only versatile but also an affordable range for customers wanting to buy a classic piece without being exorbitant. The final ensembles on the website not only have sophisticated nuances but also the effervescence and fun that would appeal to our younger consumers. The selection starts at INR 6000.
How do you plan to democratise designer wear in India?
At Amazon Fashion, our overarching aim is to provide the largest selection of homegrown and international brands for our customers under one roof. The Designer Boutique on Amazon (DBA) was launched in October 2017 with 52 designers, as well as emerging new labels including design school alumni looking to launch their brands in India. The boutique has tapped into the existing white spaces for designer wear and made it accessible to customers across the country. Offline, most of India’s designer wear is retailed primarily out of a handful of cities with little or no presence in Tier II and III cities, despite burgeoning customer interest. DBA is gradually bringing a shift here by making designer wear not just affordable but also making it available to customers no matter which part of the country they are based in. The designers, in turn, get access to consumers pan India with no additional infrastructural investments. The idea for us in this space is not to supersede physical retail but to create a secured shopping experience for consumers who want to indulge in designer wear but do not have direct access to the stores.
Do you feel the Indian audience is ready to buy designer wear online without trying it first? Can you suggest some tips on how to make an online purchase?
Detailed product specifications, sizing and images from different angles, allows the customer to read up and make an informed choice before making a purchase. From an online perspective, we take pride in presenting an engaging buying experience that allows the customers to understand the designer, the product, the sizing and other key inputs before they make a choice.
For online shopping in any segment, it’s extremely important to trust your marketplace partner, find an engaging store experience that closely replicates the inputs you would find in an offline store including guidance on the product, make and size.