March 10, 2013 Leave a comment
When Meera Patel and Sheena Patel (no relation) were college roommates in NY City a few years ago, it was over their common love for clothes that they bonded. However, as much as their closets grew, finding the perfect Indian outfit for every occasion was proving to be a struggle. Between weddings, Diwalis, and Navratris, their social calendars were filling up faster than they could find stylish, yet affordable, outfits.
Then their eureka moment arrived: “What if we could rent outfits like we rent cars? What if designers could lend out their pieces at a lower cost to style-conscious women with a passion for fashion but limited funds?” The result: Devi’s Closet, a fashion portal that rents luxury Indian clothes and accessories. Its mode of operation is similar to Netflix, or any other online rental portal.
Customers have to visit the site (www.deviscloset. com) and choose which items they want to rent.The outfits are sent to the customer in a prepaid box before the event for which they are needed. Once done, the customer simply re-packs the outfit and sends it back.
Less than two years after it was founded in 2011, Devi’s Closet, which appears to be the first-ever online boutique in the United States that rents Indian party-wear for men and women, is doing brisk business. Compared to the first quarter of last year, sales have quadrupled this year. It has also tripled its user base in one year.
The site is a hit with both Indians and Americans. Americans seem to love Indian clothing.It’s become more and more mainstream with multicultural weddings and many celebrities wearing saris.Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Oprah and Rihanna have all been caught wearing Indian clothes.
The Devi’s Closet team has curated some of the best designers off the runway in India that Indian Americans can resonate with while getting glammed up for their special events.Outfits are custom made to cater the US market. The list of designers include Payal Singhal, Anita Dongre, Amrita Singh, Isharya, Ritu Kumar, Anupamaa Dayal, Ashish and Viral Parikh, Gopi Vaid Nautanky and Nupur Mehta. They receive inquires from designers to be featured on the Devi’s Closet website.
While conceiving their business, one of the main focuses of the two founders was affordability.The rental rates at Devi’s Closet start at around $40 for outfits and $15 for accessories. The most expensive piece costs just $150 to rent for four days.