Saritoria continues to focus its activities in India on the luxury market, in part due to the overall weight of the wedding industry. If the bride is buying new, the guests still need something to wear. The company believes being a niche is what will make it a change agent in the South Asian fashion market. “In the few weeks since our smooth launch, Indian brides have made offers and many attendees on our site,” said Soomro. She points out that the average Indian wedding has between 300 and 1,000 guests, all of whom prefer not to repeat their clothes.
For those who don’t want to buy second-hand, renting is another option. Indian customers outside of India shopped at Front Row, a luxury rental service based in London and founded by Shikha Bodani. Bodani says that after adding South Asian formal wear to the site two years ago, the company has seen an increase in interest. “We have seen a huge increase in demand for our Indian clothing, especially after the lockdown,” Bodani said. “We currently have more customers who book for our Indian clothing than our Western clothing. Women especially rent heavier pieces for occasions such as wedding, reception and sangeet [a pre-wedding ceremony]. “
Rental is also picking up in India, but at a much slower pace. “We are a land in love with wealth and consumption. Marriage is a way of showing success, and an ostentatious lifestyle denotes power, ”says Brijeshwari Kumari Gandhi of Mumbai-based auction house Prinseps. She believes that some Indian families may take a while to get used to the idea of saving money, although she notes that there is a niche set of conscious and influential luxury buyers. For now though, designer Gupta is predicting that brides in India could use these platforms to breathe new life into their own wedding wardrobe, with brides outside India being the main buyers.
Soomro from Saritoria also recognizes that education is needed in India around saving as a concept. About a third of Saritoria’s budget is spent on marketing, she says, particularly influencer marketing. They have previously worked with key influencers such as Netherlands-based Diipa Buller Khosla (who has over 1.4 million Instagram followers). Saritoria items can already be purchased all over the world, from sellers in India and the UK and they hope to add countries that have a strong South Asian diaspora like America and Hong Kong. In these countries, finding good Indian designer bridal wear can be a task. Trendy Indian bridal wear is also coveted by brides from neighboring countries, and Saritoria will also be looking to stock labels from across the South Asian region – giving Indian brides the option of buying something from Pakistan. , for example.
Poshmark plans to leverage local influencers and Indian celebrities to drive user acquisition, especially those who are “sustainability oriented and budget conscious,” says Balasubramanian, reflecting a strategy used to develop Poshmark at United States, Canada and Australia. It will also host events designed to educate newcomers to Poshmark.
Players in the region are hoping attitudes will change about the second hand. “Trend-setters in India are now realizing that they need to be more aware of their spending habits and see the freshness of buying in the secondary market,” says Soomro.
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