Ralph Lauren once said “Fashion is not necessarily about labels. It’s not about brands. It’s about something else that comes from within you.” This creativity that comes from within is what powers that fashion industry. Native, culture-inspired fashion moves and unites people. Regrettably, fashion today in India is limited to big brand names that we can neither pronounce properly nor afford on a middle-class budget. But should fashion necessarily be this costly? Shouldn’t true art be accessible to all to cherish and admire? Especially those of indigenous and local fashion designers, whose work is equally worthy of apparels from big names. But there exists no suitable avenue that could properly represent them, up till now.
Come August 2020, a one-of-a-kind e-commerce platform that hosts young and upcoming apparel makers and sellers was born, helping display their works and gain a customer base from the deepest corners of the country. Fashionfore, a bootstrapped business founded by Kathiresan was set up with a dream to cater to affordable fashion to build a fashion-forward India. Based out of Bangalore, Karnataka, Fashionfore Services Private Limited, despite being launched amidst a pandemic, managed to achieve a viewership of 21 lakhs in its initial 4 months. Catering to the entire scope of fashion lifecycle, Fashionfore currently enjoys 60+ sellers and displays more than 20000+ products. “Be it a designer or an entrepreneur, who needs a platform to buy or sell products, we have it all. We are into branding as well, where we help companies to build and create an identity for their brands. We also provide app development or ERP solutions. We’ve all the solutions that the industry demands. We’re looking forward to onboard several leading and upcoming brands in the near future. In the next 2 years, we aim to expand the domain and become one of the best e-commerce platforms on a global level. Our vast categories of products include apparels, bags and accessories, footwear, scarves, jewellery, home décor and other essential items. ” says Kathiresan Director, Fashionfore.
Having started as a one-person army, Kathiresan Initially planned to launch a mobile application to impart knowledge of end-to-end fashion to those who are interested in and are curious about the fashion world, where the enrolled students would be given certificates based on their assessments through the tests taken. However, the unexpected events that occurred due to COVID-19 drastically changed his plans, compelling him to create a one-of-a-kind, e-commerce platform that can help buyers, sellers, and the vendors to procure clothing and deliver clothes that the common people in the country would require with the best of costs, to any part of the country.
Thus, Fashionfore came up with the ‘One-Stop-To-Buy & One-Stop-to-Register’ process after analyzing the purchasing patterns of people to support the Indian sellers to build their business. Fashionfore is also part of a multi-skill development program, an entity set up by institutes, establishments, and associations with the facilities for imparting basic training to apprentices (the National Apprenticeship Promotion Scheme (NAPS) which comes under the Apprenticeship Training Act 1961 by Govt. of India to promote apprenticeship training.) Fashionfore has also manufactured uniforms of the best quality and offered them at the best prices to skill India projects like DDU-GKY, PMKV, PMKK and UDAAN. It also enables State Skill India projects to purchase at its stores and have them delivered to their training centres.
“I live the idea that risk-takers are the ones, who succeed. When compared to other businesses, clothing is a necessity and fashion is the desire to look and feel good, bringing about the best in you. I wanted to make a significant contribution to the society that I reside in with the support of my technical and educational background. Our first ever production unit started as Fashionfore won the tender to produce cloth bags worth 6.5 crores from the Government of Kerala. The production unit put together solely for bags further expanded to producing uniforms, t-shirts for export orders and our latest product, Zewn, 100% cotton premium quality formal shirts for men. The members of the production unit are mostly local people who had lost jobs due to COVID-19,” says Kathiresan.
Within a year, Fashionfore has grown to a group of more than 55+ employees, priding in growing together towards the company’s success by inclining towards quality assurances and maintaining customer satisfaction and retention. The Fashionfore team comprises of fashion, accessory and graphics designers, sales & marketing personnel, human resources personnel, creative writers/ social media managers, web developer and several others. The production team comprises of supervisors, tailors and other help. Primarily focused on helping Indian sellers and conserving Indian tradition, The Fashionfore team efficiently handles the process from finding the sellers to agreement preparation, product uploading and price comparison, leaving absolutely no scope for mistakes. To deal with the COVID-19 19 issues, Fashionfore partnered with various logistic allies. “At times when the shipment got delayed, we had to find other options to keep the customers and sellers satisfied. We believe that trust and customer satisfaction is the most important aspect of this business,” he adds.
Thanks to his massive experience in the textile industry, Kathiresan has gained vast experience in different fields such as manufacturing, procurement, export and import, national and international marketing, and several others. He is also well versed in government policies and manages planning and implementation of company strategies while ensuring sustainable growth in the economy. “As I progressed in my career, I incorporated the leadership tactics I had in me, including the way I resolved conflicts, how I communicate to my colleges and my high level of organization. These factors enabled my growth as an entrepreneur. I look up to Mr. Ratan Tata and Azim Premji as the initial stages of their growth and the tough judgments they had to make during their journey while working and growing has me a lot. Also, my friends and family have impacted my career significantly. They have been my mentor, always generously supporting me in every step,” he mentions.
Moving forward, Fashionfore aims to continue fulfilling all the requirements of the fashion industry by specializing in designing apparels such as menswear, womenswear and kids wear. The team is excited to launch a unique fashion show for the designers and partner sellers to exhibit their products. This live show is planned to go live in April and will invite all the fashion designers, aspirants and entrepreneurs. Kathiresan intends to introduce Fashionfore App on Android & IOS platforms, launch Fashionfore’s Women’s western wear brand- FADORE, Luxury Menswear brand- ZEWN, a Graphic T-shirt Collection, luxury leather & fashion accessories, publish Fashionfore’s fashion & lifestyle magazine and explore marketing strategies & Brand promotions in South India & Metropolitan cities- all within the next 6 months. “I aspire to make Fashionfore one of the topmost e-commerce platforms in the world providing end-to-end solutions to the expanding digital and fashion world. Our mission is to serve people with the right products at their doorstep and offering reasonable pricing with hassle-free user experience and fastest delivery options and support and provide all small businesses with the right platform to sell their products,” he concludes.