How new age entrepreneur Ayushi Gudwani is redefining bespoke fashion in India?
In an exclusive interaction with Ayushi Gudwani, Founder- CEO, FableStreet sheds light bespoke market is changing in India.BY Shipra Srivastava | September 19, 2018 | comments ( 0 ) |
How did Fablestreet start? What was the inspiration behind? Also share your entrepreneurial journey so far?
As a professional women working at McKinsey &Co, I personally struggled with finding the right fitting western professional wear in India. In contrast, during my international travel I could easily find good quality formal wear for myself.I realized that this was a major problem faced by most working women in India. Owing to the stark difference in the demand and supplyratio with regard to well fitted and inclusive work-wear for women in the country, I started FS with a vision to solve this problem. FableStreet’score philosophy is to make Indian working women feel beautiful and comfortable in their own skin. The idea was to offer international quality work-wear designed to fit Indian body types, catering to the likes and preferences of Indian women. I would say, my entrepreneurial journey has been challenging yet fulfilling so far. In the last two years of successful operations, we have surpassed our own expectations with regard to the growth in business. We are now known as a trusted brand offering R&D backed tailor-fit solutions to Indian woman globally.
How do you see the market of bespoke(made to measure) fashion is growing in India?
Made to measure has existed in India for decades in form of unorganized sector – boutiques, local tailors etc. Bespoke and M2M, therefore is just a new terminology which has had a significant market and ever increasing with consumers becoming increasingly conscious. At FableStreet, we have innovated on this model by offering customized fit, online, at scale and high quality at the convenience of your home, which a consumer wants today. This enables us to serve consumers in all cities – metros, tier1, tier 2 etc. and internationally as well. Currently, we are the only brand globally that offers ‘Our Style, Your Fit’. However, we now see a few new start-ups and businesses entering this space and understanding its need gap and business potential.
What kind of distribution Fablestreet has right now? Going forward, what would be the strategy to scale up the distribution?
Our primary mode of distribution currently is through our website (www.fablestreet.com). This enables us to serve customers, all over the world and all cities, within India. We are now opening up avenues for No-inventory retail opportunities in form of Pop-ups and shop in shop or concept stores. A large portion of our customer base is attracted via word of mouth publicity and online advertising. We are also looking at tie-ups with other leading ecommerce platforms.
Kindly shed light on your consumer base and bestselling lines?
Our customer base primarily comprises of working women in metros and tier 1, 2 cities in the age group of 23-40 years. By the virtue of our styles and simplicity plus the option to custom fit, our customer base goes beyond working women as well. In addition, we have strong customer base internationally (US, Australia, UK, Dubai, Singapore)In India, our bestselling lines are Co-ordinates (Jackets + Trousers), Statement Dresses. In India, we have the largest assortment of work jackets and trousers for women. Our Designer Edit collection – made in handlooms, is our bestselling collection, for international customers.
Who do you see as your potential competition from leading brands such as H&M, zara etc.?
Although we do not have any direct competitors operating in the Indian subcontinent since we are the only one that offers a three measurement tailor fit to our customers; we can consider the product quality offered by Marks & Spencer’s at par with what we offer. Other fast fashion brands have a business and distribution model that is very different from ours and thus cannot be considered as competitors.
Have you raised any sorts of funds so far or plan to?
We have received the first round of seed funding from angel investors namely Kanwaljit Singh (MD, Fireside Ventures), Harmeet Bajaj (founding member, NIFT), Pameela P (senior director, Unilever), Fusiontech Ventures and others. After two successful years of operation, we are working towards procuring the second round of funding sometime in the future.
What is your social media strategy to promote the brand?
We have noticed that most shoppers turn to social media for retail and often look for help with buying decisions. Our Social media strategy is based on communicating who we are and what we stand for, therefore our content is about – Our customers- real women, our product fabrics, quality and focus on functional workwear – e.g., we recently launched an adjustable slit dress, which can be adjusted to conservative work situation and an evening out.
Our social media content is consistent and engages with the relevant audience. We have more than 100k followers on Facebook and ever-growing Instagram, where we became active recently.
At last, kindly highlight your expansion plans?
In the coming years our intent is to position the brand as the most preferred work wear brand for Indian women domestically and globally. We have witnessed lucrative growth of business and we hope to continue growing at the same pace. Following the immense requests from customers, we plan to set up FS studio, an expediential store to give customers a sense of touch and feel of the brand. In May 2018, we launched our first designer capsule collection in collaboration with NanditaBasu for which we received an overwhelming response from our customers. We also are hoping to introduce accessories and other categories of work-wear items with time. We exist to address needs of a professional woman and therefore will aim to continue delivering quality and desired products. FableStreet is known for its R&D and functional designs, we ensure that we provide best sizing available to Indian women. We are constantly working towards strengthening this algorithm further in the coming years.