Virtual Reality

The trend of e-commerce portals roping in leading designer labels is on the rise

Sitting in a café in Patiala's busy Bhupindra Road, Kirandeep Aulakh is furiously swiping her freshly manicured fingers on an iPad. The 26-year-old banker is off from work but has a choc-a-bloc schedule. In a month-and-a-half, Aulakh will be off to Bangalore where her fiance is posted. "I have just a few days to finalise my trousseau," says Aulakh as she browses through her selections on the iPad. "Personally, I love Manish Malhotra," she says. Aulakh has her heart set on a coral net sari with a sequined border that she spotted on the popular e-commerce portal Perniaspopupshop.com. Introduced to the website recently by a cousin, she has been browsing the World Wide Web and has been pleasantly surprised by the designer options she has found.

With an increasing number of e-commerce portals such as Perniaspopupshop.com, Fashionandyou.com and Couturerani.com tying up with leading designer labels, consumers such as Aulakh are spoilt for choice.

Last year, designers Tarun Tahiliani, Rohit Bal and Ritu Kumar created festive lines for Fashionandyou.com. Recently, Karan Johar+Varun Bahl, a menswear label by film director Karan Johar and designer Varun Bahl went online for the first time at Perniaspopupshop.com. This is just after the portal "celebrated" 25 years of ace couturier Suneet Varma with a special pret line, also available online.

"Designers are indeed warming up to the idea of associating with established e-commerce portals to attract a ready clientele for the products they offer, and to familiarise them with their brand," says Pernia Qureshi, founder, Perniaspopupshop.com.

While the concept of multi-brand stores is not new, having a range of products by different designers in an online format, agrees Qureshi, attracts more customers because they have more options. "It helps buyers compare and contrast designs, prices and quality and then make the purchase best suited to them," says Qureshi, who also feels that such portals give designers visibility and also lead to indirect traffic for less-known designers.

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