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Devi’s Closet was co-created by long-time friends and New York fashionistas, Meera Patel and Sheena Patel. The site showcases the work of top notch and upcoming South Asian designers such as Payal Singhal, Amrita Singh, Anita Dongre, Gopi Vaid, Isharya, and Medhavini Agarwal, just to name a few.
Devi’s Closet is a start-up online fashion rental website serving as the “go to” resource for fashion conscious consumers seeking high quality, luxury brand, South Asian fashion at an affordable price.
Through its online rental site, Devi’s Closet will showcase the most sought after men’s and women’s designer fashions straight from the runways of Mumbai and New Delhi with the goal of providing the perfect designer outfit solution, complete with accessories, for every ceremony and celebration.
MO: What inspired you to open Devi’s Closet?
Meera & Sheena: Living in the fashion capital of the US we were both always seeking the latest fashions from the runway. We noticed Indian fashion becoming more and more mainstream with celebrities such as Lady Gaga, Gwen Stefani, Oprah and Rihanna to name a few all wearing Indian clothes, This along with the lack of availability, selection, process and cost associated with attaining an affordable Indian outfit inspired us to start an e-rental business for South Asian fashion. We want to bring the fashion off the runways of India to the US to provide designer fashion at an affordable price.
MO: How did you manage to come up with your idea and launch within a year? What were the main challenges you faced and how did you overcome them?
Meera & Sheena: Both of our siblings were getting married and we had over 5 weddings in 2011. We were frustrated with the availability, selection, process and cost associated with attaining an affordable outfit. After realizing how much time, money and effort was put into this endeavor we decided to do some market research and realized we were not the only ones who faced this issue. Once we came to this realization we were on a mission to write our business plan, partner with designers, find a web developer and get our business off the ground. Our biggest challenge was getting through a lot of the admin work to get our business off the ground and interviewing to find our perfect partners. With Sheena being our technology and fashion guru and Meera being the management and marketing expert this helped us get the business off the ground in less than a year.
MO: What are the main differences between South Asian and American fashion?
Meera & Sheena: There are many different types of South Asian outfits
1. Saree– a dress worn by women that consists of several yards of material that is draped around the body. Consists of a skirt and blouse.
2. Salwar Kameez– a pair of trousers worn by women with a tunic and scarf
4. Lengha – a long full skirt worn by women with a blouse and scarf
Indian tunics can be worn as a dress or with leggings. The scarves also known as dupattas can be worn with Western jeans or a dress and a Saree can be draped in many different ways. See our YouTube channel for definitions of Indian clothing and how to wear a saree.
MO: How did you create a network and relationship with the designers that you feature?
Meera & Sheena: I (Sheena) grew up in India, so she knew a lot of designers. We got in touch with designers through networking and researching. The uniqueness of our concept was attractive to designers. The partnerships also provide exposure for the designers in the US
MO: Why have you chosen the rental model for your clothing?
Meera & Sheena: Indian clothes are expensive and no one wants to repeat outfits. Fashion trends also change quickly and Devi’s Closet made perfect sense as it allows you to constantly refresh your wardrobe without having to repeat anything at an affordable price. Also, with numerous events on any fashion conscious women’s social calendar, he or she wants to standout at each and every event without breaking the bank. We also realized in this day and age of social media and mobile uploads that Devi’s Closet can provide a solution for new and interesting looks as well.
MO: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for Devi’s Closet?
Meera & Sheena: We are very excited to see what our first year bring us especially with Indian wedding season right around the corner.
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