Saturday, July 20, 2024

Bringing the world together through the medium of fashion

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The creative force behind AiSPi, Aisha Saraf Kothari, recently brought in her creativity through her Haute Dreams trunk show, hosted by Manish Malhotra’s flagship store. The Pioneer interacts with the founder herself to learn about the idea behind the show and the collaboration with the ‘King of Glamour’.

Tejal Sinha

Hyderabad recently witnessed the much-anticipated Haute Dreams: A Date With Couture trunk show by AiSPi. Hosted at the Manish Malhotra flagship store, Haute Dreams transforms the space into a visual playground through flirtatious and daring curation.

AiSPi aims to bridge the gap between Europe and India by offering travel guides featuring over 2500 boutiques in more than 30 European cities, including Paris, London, Stockholm, Megève, St. Tropez, Courchevel, Rome, and Barcelona. The Pioneer interacts with the founder of AiSPi, Aisha Saraf Kothari herself, to discuss the trunk show and her idea behind the concept of the brand.

The concept of an AiSpi is very heavily inspired by the Michelin guide, and she begins, “What I noticed was that food is something that is connected to the world; we see that fashion has the same potential, but it’s not there yet for people to travel to and often talk about. I stayed in the centre of Europe and managed to travel. We wanted to find a way to discover a unique brand exclusive that you can still wear out to a birthday party or an event, something that is replacing your contemporary fine. The aim behind AiSPi has always been to be a global connecter to raise boundaries, bring together the entire world through the medium of fashion, and give access to things that are not easy to find.”

Asked how these trunk shows help them, she says to know the customers and their needs and wants, reflect on it, and change their offerings. She adds, “It helps us to come back to something bigger and better each time with the physical wonders, which of course helps us build trust and helps people get a glimpse into the product base. The future for us is digital; I would not say online sales, but virtual sales, and we are definitely seeing a high rate of repetitive customers and loyalty, which is why we have the AiSPi Club. The majority of our digital drops are just for members, so you can’t really access them from the website; you only get a link to shop them through WhatsApp during the period that they go live. This entire process has really helped us to remain streamlined and extremely curated because we are consistently listening to our audience adapting in a single tap to want to do other than just go in for all and not turn non-responsive and will definitely want to be customer-centric.”

As we were really intrigued to know more about the trunk show, Aisha described the story to us as pretty special. She described herself as a desi-Delhi girl, having been born and brought up in India before she shifted to another country, central Europe. “India to me has always been home, and every time I’d go back, I used to see such good courtiers, and generally, we are so tight at bargaining because it’s not easy to please an Indian customer, somebody who has been spoiled with choices. One can just not compete with the karigars of India and the kind of work that they bring together. It’s always been a dream and vision that accessories and handbags, which are our strongest-performing categories, are our strongest-performing categories. I strongly believe that there’s a lot that the Western world has to offer. How can we combine these two worlds? When the concept of working with Manish Malhotra came up, we jumped on it because he is the king of glamour, and it has been my personal vision of how we can bring together the Eastern and Western worlds in the most glamorous and mature manner. Haute dreams mean that what are the dreams that you have that are extremely out there and out of this world, and how are you going to flirt with a courtier? When people think courtier, they think serious and can be worn at certain types of events and people, but we want to break those boundaries and challenge the norms by saying, We have a heart-shaped bag, and why can’t you wear it with a beautiful pearl embellished Manish Malhotra lehenga?”

Her collaboration with Manish Malhotra was more of a manifestation. Well, who wouldn’t want to work with the king of fashion? “Basically, during a show in April, we had a show in Emporio, New Delhi, and the team stopped by the show. Later, when we were exploring venue options for the Hyderabad trunk show, my previous collaboration was with a really close friend, and we were looking for a similar sort of set-up when we noticed the Manish Malhotra flagship. We approached the team, and here we were.”

The trunk show aimed to bring in the perfect bold and statement pieces that would befit the Manish Malhotra collection and add a flair of personalities with Western designer bags but with Indian courtiers.

Well, being in the city with their statement collections, how could we not ask about what attracted her the most about the ‘City of Pearls’, to bring in their trunk show? She recalls, “From our last show in 2022, what we have noticed is that the Hyderabad ladies are extremely independent-minded and look for exclusive beautiful products. They look at something and buy it. They are brand conscious, but more than that, they are extremely confident with their choices. They are not scared to experiment; they are not afraid to go out there and buy what they like. Hyderabad has always been a well-performing market for us because we love to experiment with fashion.”

While Aisha aims to inspire people to buy things without any physical boundaries, get ready to witness more of the innovative things coming our way!

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