Did you ever desire to have the designer wear you saw on the ramp show, but you know these are not easy to find, because after they have been flaunted on the ramp by the beautiful looking models, it takes time for those fashion wears to get to the stores and that too they’ll be available in selected outlets.
To solve this issue and cure your itch of getting hands on beautiful luxuries Asit, Mayank and Dipa initiated India’s first online luxury fashion pre-tailer for high-end Indian designer fashion.
We had an opportunity to talk to Asit, the Founder and know more about ShopTheRamp and the concept.
ShopTheRamp is India’s first online store for next season’s luxury designer fashion, How did the idea came up? How did it all start?
The seeds of the idea were sown when Dipa’s wife-to-be mailed him the image of a beautiful bridal designer lehenga that she had seen during a fashion show and asked him to buy that for her. Despite his best efforts, he was simply unable to find any physical or online store which sold this piece. That is when he called Mayank and me as were based in Delhi and Mumbai, the two fashion capitals of India, and asked us to help him search for this garment in our respective cities. A little research revealed that the pieces were part of the designer’s next season’s collection and would be available in a few select stores only after 4 months. That’s when our entrepreneurial minds got together and came up with the core of our idea. “Why don’t we provide next season’s fashion today ? Nobody else is doing it.” While next season’s look images and even fashion shows were available online immediately, there was still no way to purchase them which meant more customer frustration and less sales for the designer. A few months later, after detailed discussions with designers, prospective customers and a thorough evaluation of the industry’s existing ecosystem, we expanded on this idea, adding our unique e-trunkshow sales model along the way, and gave birth to ShoptheRamp.com.
What is the USP of your concept?
Not only are we the first online store, but also the first store of any kind in India that exclusively lets customers from all over the world pre-order and even receive next season’s designer collections before they are available in other online/physical stores. Another big part of ShoptheRamp’s appeal is the freedom it gives individual buyers to choose from the designers’ entire collections, rather than just the few looks that retailers typically stock.
How many Designers have you tied up with till now? And are there more coming in, that we can expect to see soon?
We currently host an eclectic mix of styles with top fashion mavens such as Agnimitra Paul, Meera Mahadevia, Geisha Designs, Niki Mahajan, Shilpa Marigold, Abhishek Dutta, Manoviraj Khosla and Nida Mahmood already on board and plan to bring around 20 more designers on board by the end of the year to provide more variety to our customers.
Tell us something about ‘Trunk Shows’? How is it different from the ‘Fashion Shows’ that we usually hear about?
A “fashion show” is the event where a designer launches his/her new collection and gives a presentation primarily to wholesale buyers. A “trunk show”, on the other hand, is a special sales event where designers/retail stores present merchandise directly to select, individual customers. Its history can be traced back to the early 1800’s when traveling salesmen would journey from place to place with their steamer trunks filled with the latest fashion garments and accessories and display them to an exclusive audience.
Based on the same traditional principles of showcasing the latest fashion collections to a discerning clientele, our unique e-trunkshow sales model is a modern take on this highly successful concept. We have opened up these once exclusive, by-invitation only events to a broader audience by allowing anyone to visit our website from the comfort and privacy of their own homes and shop next season’s collections during the limited duration e-trunkshows that we conduct.
What are the modes of payment for customers to purchase these garments/accessories?
We have made sure that we are providing all possible payments methods so that our customers can choose the one that they are most comfortable with. Currently for our Indian customers we accept credit/debit cards , net-banking and will soon accept cash, cheques and demand draft payments as well. For our international customers, we accept credit cards as well as payments done through Paypal.
Every unique idea does face some hurdles that it needs to overcome, what were the obstacles you have faced and have overcome?
The single biggest challenge was to convince our designers to partner with us. While they realized the benefits, some were worried about disrupting their set processes to accommodate us while some were naturally hesitant in participating in a brand new concept. However, after we explained our model in detail, we were able to make them see the value that we were adding and how we could be seamlessly integrated in their current operations.
Tell us something about the people behind ShopTheRamp? And where is it based out of?
Our founding team comprises three graduates of IIT Kharagpur with experience of working for both startups as well as companies such as J.P.Morgan and ZS Associates. We have also brought on board a former editor of leading fashion magazine, Vogue in an advisory role. We have a registered office in Jaipur under the name of Techsynth Online Services Pvt. Ltd. with branch offices in Pune and Delhi.
What are your future plans for ShopTheRamp?
We are currently in the process of rolling out new features such as customized sizing to enhance our customer experience. Our aim is to promote Indian fashion globally with the help of technology and innovative marketing and we would be continuously striving to achieve this goal.