Our time in quarantine has put a pause on life as we knew it. The lockdown has meant adjusting to a new, more amicable relationship with the virtual world. For the first time in generations, shoppers have spent more time on e-commerce stores than in brick and mortar outposts for their essential and non-essential needs. The behavioural shift isn’t going to change radically even in the coming months. This is why brands and designers are constantly re-assessing their digital offerings to create the most seamless experience possible. Now, in a unique collaboration, e-commerce giant Amazon Fashion joins forces with DBS Lifestyle LLP to launch RIVER (Season I). A multi-designer brand, RIVER is created in partnership with four of India’s most celebrated designers including JJ Valaya, Ashish Soni, Manish Arora and Suneet Varma. It’s USP? The just-launched label will offer prêt and occasion wear, catering to both men and women, at affordable prices.
Speaking of the initiative, Mayank Shivam, director, strategic initiatives, Amazon Fashion India, disclosed, “When we think of the customer for Amazon Fashion, each customer is looking for something different and the same customer is looking for different things at different times. So, with that kind of a model, one thing that still connects all customers to Amazon is trust. We make sure that for every customer the experience is unique and as personal as possible through technology and customisation.”
The first drop presents a diverse range of 270 styles, from dresses and jumpsuits to saris and tunics, reflecting the designers’ signature aesthetic. Just as its name suggests, Soni’s Millennial Man collection, which took over 18 months to complete, is targeted for a younger audience. “I have been inspired by the youth of India and that segment is hip and energetic. It is even for people who might be older and want to look like the current generation. My collection includes the key elements that the Ashish N. Soni brand carries, and also aligns with RIVER. In terms of the actual product, it is far more ready-to-wear, easy-going unlike my main line that’s more structured and formal. This collection has many separates that can be mixed and matched with the pieces in your wardrobe and has a lot of athleisure influence,” says the designer.
New Delhi-based designer JJ Valaya’s Royal Sports Chic line also boasts of easy contemporary separates, which are a departure from his usual couture pieces that are “essentially Indian in spirit. We have taken the spirit of my design DNA, which is seeped in royalty and applied it to a clean, modern ‘royal sport’ line of separates unlike anything we have done before. The core idea of RIVER was stylish accessibility. What do Karl Lagerfeld, Roberto Cavalli, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Victor & Rolf, Lanvin and Kenzo have in common? The fact that they are all super luxury brands which at some point of time collaborated with Swedish fast fashion brand, H&M. And I am happy to say that RIVER is at the forefront of a similar revolution in India.”
In contrast, Varma ensured to bring his eponymous label’s ethos to the forefront with the Floral Glam line. “I wanted our first collection for RIVER on Amazon Fashion to encapsulate the Suneet Varma timeless idea. It is very much inspired by our DNA, so I would say it’s more classic, but still girly and flirty. Whether it’s the frills or the flounce, the pastels, or the beautiful prints that I like to associate my inspiration with, we pulled off those elements on the design board. We then pulled out the strongest out of those which would be true to the fact that RIVER was coming out a collection with the Suneet Varma mind. So, it was a very interesting experience I have to say.”
Scroll through for a glimpse at their collections.
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