This party season, look sharp with luxury apparel without spending a month’s salary on them
HT48HRS_Special Updated: Dec 17, 2015 20:33 IST
Louis Vuitton (LV) famously never goes on sale. Its handbags are coveted and high on aspirational value. And it’s not hard to see why. With a price tag that’s not shy about sporting six digits, it’s difficult for a regular Joe (or Jane) to flaunt such luxury brands. But that’s no longer the case, thanks to a handful of new fashion portals.
On Luxepolis.com, an original LV shoulder bag that costs Rs 1,40,000, can be yours for a lakh. The catch? The product is ‘gently used’. Pre-owned, in simple terms. And shoppers don’t seem to mind that. The brands on Luxepolis, which went live last month, extend to big names — Chanel, Dior, Bulgari, Fendi, to name a few — and the product range spans sunglasses to shoes and apparel. “Indians are value-conscious,” says Vijay KG, founder of Luxepolis. “People would rather not spend a lot if they can help it.”
Envoged.com, launched in April this year, is another website that lets you sell your ‘gently used’ luxury purchases. After the items pass the authenticity check, they are listed on these websites at a discount.
This party season, if you’re feeling guilty about spending a bomb on an outfit you may well end up wearing only once, consider renting an outfit instead. Flyrobe.com and klozee.com let you rent designer wear for a fraction of the cost. Pick from categories like western wear, ethnic wear and accessories, all by well-known designers such as Shehla Khan and Suhani Pittie, and brands such as Zara, Mango and FCUK. No matter what the occasion – weddings, brunches, family get-togethers, dates, parties — they’ve got you covered. The range of outfits on offer is exhaustive — from maxi gowns to Anarkalis, from jumpsuits to lehengas. “We’ve had a lot of brides as our customers,” says Shreya Mishra, co-founder of Flyrobe. “They’d rather spend Rs 10,000 on an outfit which costs Rs 90,000 otherwise, and spend the money saved on their honeymoon.”
The market in India, both Vijay and Mishra feel, is more than ready for such concepts. “We initially thought people would be hesitant, but they are practical these days. And they get bored of the same fashion faster than ever before. Our service is centred around giving you choice,” says Mishra. The party season helps, and their traffic surges every Thursday and Friday. “We see a rise in sales during festivals. We often have customers calling in to buy a product for themselves, and one for a relative,” Vijay shares.
In September this year, when sales and marketing executive Garima Shewkani (22) had an important office party coming up, she picked an outfit from Flyrobe. “I heard about the company from a friend. I only spend money on essential clothing, and I especially wouldn’t want to spend a lot on traditional wear. So, renting is a great option,” Shewkani says. With deliveries within three hours on the same day, home trials with multiple sizes, stylists to offer advice and surprise accessories to match your outfit, Flyrobe poses an interesting new entrant in the online fashion retail space.
Concerns of authenticity and hygiene are adequately addressed by each of the portals. Besides checking for authenticity, products are refurbished or sanitised when required. For renting portals, a thorough cleansing process involves dry-cleaning and anti-bacterial cleaning. And then, it’s pressed and delivered, almost as good as new.
Take your pick
Flyrobe: Lets you rent branded apparel for three days.
Envoged: Lets you buy and sell luxury and premium fashion wear.
Luxepolis: Lets you buy and sell pre-owned luxury fashion merchandise. Also sells brand new products.