An American Sojourn

Nachiket Barve and Rahul Mishra are the first Indians to have their work available on America’s premier designer dress rental website.

Written by VIDYA PRABHU | Published: April 27, 2013 2:35:15 am

LAST October,a few days after he had showcased his Spring-Summer 2013 collection at Delhi’s Wills India Fashion Week (WIFW),Nachiket Barve had some visitors in his studio. “Designer Bibhu Mohapatra,along with members of the Rent The Runway team,came down to browse through my work,” says the Mumbai-based designer. The team,which represents what is America’s premier designer dress rental website,then placed an order with Barve for his SS ’13 line. “This is an important order for us as Rent The Runway has an immense reach within the United States (US),” says Barve.

Founded in November 2009,this New York-based company has over 25,000 dresses and accessories from over 165 designers across the US,including leading international names such as Badgley Mischka,Vera Wang and Calvin Klein. Apart from selling designer apparel and accessories,its business model allows people to rent these high-end designer items on a four-to eight-day-basis.

After the order was placed last season,garments from Barve’s SS ’13 collection are now available on Rent the Runway.

However,Barve isn’t the only Indian name to enjoy this distinction: Mumbai-based Rahul Mishra’s designs have also recently been on the website. For him too,the selection process was similar.

Both the designers have produced capsule collections for the site,comprising four styles each. The outfits — an array of sheath,shift and maxi dresses — have a bright and summery feel. So while Barve has worked with hues of fuchsia and turquoise blue,Mishra’s line has cheery yellow,spunky black and white,as also shades of blue and white.

The response has been encouraging. Mishra says that even though the website primarily deals in rentals,it chose to purchase the clothes from him,as opposed to offering him a commission. “It shows their commitment to our brand,” says the designer,whose dresses command a rental of up to US $115 per outfit on the site.

“In the US,sales and rentals are driven by how appealing your outfit is. As long it’s a pretty and eye-catching dress,it will attract business — and this is irrespective of the designer or brand,” says Barve.

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