Bengaluru's Casual Style | India ka Fashion Capital | Episode 5

If cities are living beings then markets aretheir hearts.

It's the marketplaces that breed the culture, tradition, style and trends.

That's why such markets become the fashion capital of that given city.

Our bandwagontook us to these fashion capitals to experience the heartbeat of Indian fashion.

This is Indiaka Fashion Capital powered by Flipkart Fashion.

And today our destination is 'Namma Bengaluru'- the heart of casual fashion.

When you think of Bengaluru, you mostly thinkSilicon Valley, Garden City, gorgeous weather, pub capital and Rock n Roll.

All that’sdefinitely true, but, there is way more to Bengaluru than meets the eye! For example, do you know there are more than 2000 textile and garment units here and several premiumbrands treat this city as one of their main sourcing hubs? Bengaluru is a truly cosmopolitan city.

Peoplehere know how to dress up or play it down, but they are best at everyday fashion.

So whetheryou are going in for office wear or college style, here’s how it’s done.

You couldbe dressed in formals, going for a meeting at IT Park or dressed in casuals going pubhopping across the city.

Whether you want that cool outfit for a college festival oryou wanna nail that dot com interview – Shopping toh zaroori hain! You need one market thatcaters to such diverse fashion needs, and your answer is Commercial Street.

You may think of Brigade Road when it comesto budget shopping.

You may think of Chickpet Market when it comes to gorgeous silk sarees.

And, you may think of UB City when it comes to high-end designer wear.

But what if youare a bit greedy like me and need all of this plus some everyday casuals at the same place?Commercial Street is the answer.

Pencil dresses, crochet tops, khakis, jeans, semi-formal shirts and t-shirts.

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Commercial Street is an ultimate fix for all your fashioncravings.

So, let’s meet a few people who have taken casual fashion to its deservingheights.

Established in 1985, Vashi’s House of Jeanswas originally called ‘The Jean Shack’.

Later, people began to call it Vashi, after the manwho started it.

This iconic place has been in business for over thirty years.

This iswhere your search for that perfect denim stops.

Today, we are going to have a chat with Vashiand Tarun, the boys behind Bengaluru’s favourite store! Ira – So, I’m here with these two gentlemenwho are completely after my own heart.

You run a jeans business – It's been here since1985.

Vashi – That's right Ira – So sir, in 1985, what was Bangalorelike and why did you decide to start a jeans a business? Vashi – My brother had a store where he usedto sell fully ready made goods like – tailor-made goods – so I said, “If he's doing tailor thenwhy don't I do readymade?” Ira – Right Vashi – So I started with 10 shirts and 10pants and that's what caught on slowly.

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slowly.

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slowly.

Ira – When liberalisation happened.

Globalisationhappened.

And other brands came into the picture, then what happened to the business? Vashi – I remember Levi's coming to me andasking me, “Why don't give us a guidance what is selling in and around?” Ira – Wow! Vashi – But then Levi's, they are a brandof their own, right? They wanted to tell people that 'Oh, we are Levi's and we will do whatwe want to do'.

I said, “Fine enough”.

So I never kept a Levi's in my store.

Ira – What was happening in Commercial Street?Were you guys the only ones doing this? Vashi – No, there were quite a few other placesselling jeans, of course.

But then it took time for them to come back to us over andover again because when we give the right stuff to the right people they will come backto us.

Ira – No wonder your customers have been cominghere for the last 25 years.

Vashi – Yeah, there are kids, I mean whenthey were in school, now they are married they bring their kids to me now.

There's athird generation.

Fourth going on.

Ira – Why do you think Commercial Street whichis where you have been for so many decades is considered one of the fashion capitals ofBangalore? Tarun – Well, let's move back down to the1950s when the Commercial Street was the base for the army camp and Commercial Street wasthe primary market at that point in time.

So all the Britishers and everyone had tocome to Commercial Street to get their wares to get their clothes – whatever they neededto get, right.

So from there, it transformed into this shopping street.

Ira – When you go abroad you do see trends.

Do you bring those back here? And how do you see that spreading outside even this storebecause in many ways you guys are pioneers? You set the trends here.

Vashi – I remember one thing.

I think it was7-8 years ago when I went to London.

Tarun – Yeah.

Vashi – I bought a pair of jeggings.

I pickedup one and sent it down to them.

I said copy this.

This won't click.

Till today we areselling thousands of these.

Crores have been sold.

Ira – Now Jeggings are huge.

Vashi – For Indian figure that's the bestwith a sort of a kurti.

They can just pull that on and go.

Ira – Yeah Vashi – That's why it caught on.

It was thefirst jegging I bought from London in India.

Ira – Coming to the time when you decidedto close shop.

That was very interesting.

You know you've been in the business.

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Vashi – Close shop in the sense like I hadenough.

I had been serving for 30 years now.

3 decades.

So, I thought I'll give it a littlerest and let him carry on with it but he wanted to do something else.

I said okay.

We closeddown for 2 months.

Ira – Just 2 months! It was all over the papers.

It was in the Mumbai Mirror.

It was in The Hindu.

Everyone was crying about the storeclosing.

Vashi – And then the wife threw me back.

Goback to work otherwise, you are not coming home.

Ira – Like a Sindhi woman.

Vashi – Yes.

Now we have a bigger place.

Tarun – And this is all we know best.

Vashi – We carry on what we know.

As Mr Vashi said selling Jeans is in his genes.

He really is the denim mogul of the city and is the testimony to people's rising demandfor something trendy and casual.

Our next guest has a unique voice on everythingBengaluru.

Let's hear straight from the horse's mouth, what casual fashion means to our belovedGarden city.

RJ Sriram is that Voice that keeps you companywhen you’re stuck in Bengaluru’s infamous traffic.

If you’re a Fever Radio person, chances are that he has become an integral part of your life.

Today we are going to pickSriram’s brain to know more about Bengaluru and its fashion sense.

Ira – So, Sriram, you are a through and throughBengaluru boy.

Sriram – That's right Ira – What is your earliest memory – fashionmemory from your childhood in Bangalore? Sriram – Fashion memory for me personallywas always about wearing comfortable clothes.

Walk around in the least amount of clothesthat possible.

Ira – And where is this place in Bangalorewhere you used to shop? Sriram – So, Brigade Road usually has tonsof shops where you get specific printed t-shirts.

In almost every part of Bangalore now, thereare these shops but at one point of time, it was just Brigade Road and Commercial Streetwhere you get these.

Ira – You mentioned Commercial Street.

Doyou still shop there? Sriram – Yes.

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yes.

Ira – What do you go looking for over there? Sriram – So, Commercial Street is very veryspecific for some items that you don't find anywhere else like the nook and crannies inthe gullies of Commercial Street.

Like for example, if you say jootis – Let's say youwant to pick up a nice kurta – A pathani suit.

All these are things that you find, authenticones, only in Commercial Street.

Ira – What is the fashion scene in Bangalorelike, really? Is it like everywhere else in the city or you guys have a very unique takeon it? What do you feel? Sriram – Thanks to Bangalore's weather, Ithink it has a lot to do with, people are allowed to experiment a lot.

You find peoplewith all scales with fashion here.

Ira – Do you think street shopping in Bangaloreis really happening? It's sort of up to power with anywhere else in the country.

Is therestuff that's affordable out there? Sriram – Commercial Street definitely is theplace for street shopping in Bangalore.

Ira – When you were younger how has CommercialStreet changed? Give us some sort of image of Commercial Street then and now.

Sriram – Commercial Street is the most old-schoolBangalore that you can find because in spite of all the sprucing that has taken place – ithas all the shops, all the Shivaji Nagar influences – that's right next to Commercial Street – tothe place.

And a whole lot of culture in itself which is so unique to Bangalore, so many fashionand influences you get to see in over here.

Ira – Amazing! Thanks so much, Sriram.

Youhave been amazing and so informative.

RJ Sriram really gave us the bird's eye viewof Bengaluru’s fashion scene.

He was right about Commercial Street’s importance toBengaluru's culture.

It has everything for everyone.

From printed t-shirts for rock loversto affordable knick-knacks for fashionistas, every lane has something to offer.

This isexactly what a fashion capital does for its city.

Let's see what the people of Bengaluruhave to say about their favourite Commercial Street.

Ira – What is so special about CommercialStreet in Bangalore as a fashion place? Shop owner – Commercial Street and BrigadeRoad are the first fashion streets of Bangalore.

Ira – Have you shopped today? What have youshopped for? Shopper – I shopped for my mom.

Ira – What did you buy? Shopper – I bought a ring and I bought ascarf for her.

Shopper – I bought this wonderful…traditionaloutfit.

Ira – Wow! Shopper – Yes.

Ira – So do think Commercial Street is likethe fashion capital in Bengaluru – It's the place to shop.

Shopper – Yeah, with a limited budget, wecan say yes.

Shopper – In Bangalore, if you really wantedto go through all the brands then Commercial Street is the right place.

Shopper – There are two things people cometo Commercial Street for – Firstly if they want variety.

Ira – So you can find variety and you stillfind the correct fit over here.

Shopper – Yes Ira – That's pretty amazing and it's affordable.

Shopper – It's affordable.

That's what thesecond thing was.

Ira – You think Commercial Street is likethe fashion capital of Bengaluru? Passerby – Yeah.

That's true.

Ira – Why? Passerby – People from different places comehere because prices are reasonable and they can get everything they need.

Passerby – Commercial and Brigade are basicallythe main heart city of shopping centre in Bangalore.

To be able to meet the incessant demand forcasual wear across all of India is a mammoth challenge.

However, Flipkart Fashion continuesto overcome this challenge.

To find out how, we spoke to Prinka Wadhwa, Arnav HazarikaSom and Sachin Takkar.

Prinka – We at Flipkart understand that eachcustomer is very different in terms of their likes, their dislikes and in terms of thefashion products they want to buy.

Some people like to buy the basis of a certain set ofbrands they like.

Some people like to look at the variety.

Some people like to know thetrends, the latest products in the market and then decide what products they buy.

Wewant to understand all of this information about the user and build an experience personalisedfor each user so everyone feels it’s a Flipkart for them and not a generic experience.

Arnav – We at Flipkart have noticed a differencein shopping behaviour between men and women.

This broadly revolves around two areas.

Oneis in terms of the callouts that attract men vs.

what attracts women and the other is interms of their searching and browsing behaviour.

In terms of how we have built a differentiated offering for both men andwomen, we have done very interesting things.

So we have something called visual filtersand conversational filters.

So for example, if a man comes on to the app and is lookingfor a t-shirt – immediately he is prompted to choose whether he wants a polo t-shirt.

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around neck t-shirt before he can eventually go on and select his colour, size, etc.

Wehave done some interesting stuff for women as well – It's a very rich experience.

Weoffer her fashion tips, latest styles, trends, etc.

and make that experience much betterfor them.

Sachin – We at Flipkart are aware from thedays where people used to have one watch and 3 to 4 pair of shoes.

They have moved to occasionbased buying now which means more watches and more shoes.

Repeat purchase has becomeshorter.

People are now buying on trend-based merchandise like colourful watches, colourfulsneakers, classic collection and even men are becoming more fashion-forward now.

And here we are, at the end of this fascinatingfashion journey.

On a personal note, I have acquired an entire new wardrobe as diverseas this country.

Ethnic fabrics, vintage lehngas, chettinad silk saris, chamba-lama jewellery– I pretty much have it all.

And you find can find all of these stylish pickings onFlipkart, where you have the essence of all the fashion capitals under one roof.

Thiswas India ka Fashion Capital powered by Flipkart fashion.

I hope you enjoyed our show.

Thisis Ira Dubey signing off.

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