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With malls and brick-and-mortar stores becoming difficult to run and maintain, luxury trunk shows are booming. We spoke to Dipali Sarin, Founder CEO, My Best Friend And Me — a trunk show slated to take place in New Delhi on 30TH March.


Why do you think chic trunk shows have increased in popularity over the last few years?

Over the years, the costs of running startups and individual businesses have increased substantially. With every passing year, the cost would keep going up for businesses within the affordable luxury and lifestyle segment as shopping malls and other brick and mortar stores have become expensive to run and sustain with higher rentals and running costs. Hence, it is a good time to make trunk shows the Go-To platform for contemporary upcoming and mainstream brands to showcase their products to a larger audience. These shows also help participating brands test the market for their latest collections and reach out directly to their target audience. And it also gets the brands instant feedback!


Tell me how you conceptualised My Best Friend And Me.

Actually, none of this was planned. It all started out as a lark with my best friend Sunaina and, almost seven years ago. She wasn't working at the time. I was already into professional fashion styling and celebrity make-up industry at the time, working with mainstream designers and celebrities like Satya Paul, Rina Dhaka and Gaurav Gupta to Malaika Arora Khan, Bina Modi and Zila Khan to name a few. It was during this time I realized there was no platform that catered to the mid-segment of Fashion and accessories. So, when I shared the idea with my best friend that I wanted to do something with affordable luxury and accessories, she said she wanted to work with me on it. And we started off with a private show that got a great response. And while I enjoyed working with my best friend, my other best friend i.e. my husband Anubhav Bhasin stepped in to help me with my show, and since the name seemed apt it has continued since.


What Is your vision and the core of My Best Friend And Me?

The core of My Best Friend And Me is to bring together affordable luxury brands to cater to the needs of confident stylish mature women. My Best Friend And Me is a trunk show where designers and brands offer quality products and styles flattering the Indian woman!


Describe your role as a fashion curator.

Well, on occasion I tend to wear my brands or brands that interest me as it gets me great instant feedback about what people seem to respond to and want more of. It helps me in curating my shows as well as the market demand for certain brands and designers. I am always on the lookout for quality products, new designers and brands, and love to go to shows to check out talent. I also believe in supporting young talent where there is potential. One aspect of being a fashion curator which is close to my heart is that of using my platform to also further a cause and make a difference. I believe in giving back and through My Best Friend And Me, we extend our support to NGOs by showcasing their products to a niche customer base which in turn helps create awareness and avenues of support for them.


When you launched My Best Friend And Me were you apprehensive about what the reaction would be?

Of course!!! Every new business gets that! But eventually you have the confidence that if you do good work it will work out and take off. One just has to be consistent and and eventually, everything tends to fall into place. For My Best Friend And Me, the key is to provide value for money. I want my trunk show to be one where she shouldn't feel it is a waste of time and I endeavour that my show has something for all.


Is Delhi receptive to a trunk show? How did you overcome hurdles and create brand value?

Yes, Delhi is responsive and receptive to trunk shows as people here are always on the lookout for something new. And while they may want something new, the novelty value of certain shows always works but you have got to keep it up consistently. Keep ideating and innovating to give the customer something worth checking out and coming back for. 


What is the bar set for choosing exhibitors? How does it work?

You have to ensure that there is no room for fakes or rip offs at your trunk show. One must do a thorough background check and verify as much as one can. I try to personally oversee the process and vetting of the brands.  And if someone comes by even once to the show with 'not very great quality products' we make sure we don't repeat them. We receive feedback for every show, be it from friends or customers' I encourage feedback and build upon inputs of who they liked, who they didn't, as that helps me curate the show better for the next edition.


Some complain media has enabled uninteresting fashion to thrive. Can curating interesting trunk shows change this situation?

To a certain extent, yes. Although, even though one may try to curate a show with a combination of contemporary, innovative and popular designers and lifestyle brands,  eventually, the choice rest in their hands. However, if the media enables deserving people to come into the spotlight in the eyes of the public, it would go a long way in changing the public mindset. Along with that, acceptance and response towards interesting new fashion would grow. I feel a lot of people tend to settle for less because they have no clue where to find the good stuff! 


What can we expect from My Best Friend And Me? How will it be different from other trunk shows? 

By putting up a cracker of a show focused on affordable luxury. We aim to be the best at what we do. We are credited as India's pioneer fashion accessories and lifestyle trunk show. In our space, we want our audience, which is primarily ''a mature confident woman looking to make a style statement'' to have access to a range of affordable luxury brands all under one roof in a relaxed luxurious ambience. If that makes us different, so be it! We pride ourselves in assisting styling the ladies as per their individual styles and purchases, in an ambience which is fun and relaxed. This SS18 show has complimentary fortune telling, henna tattoos, selfie-corner to capture fun moments, organic and artisanal eat treats and much more on offer!


On a personal level... how would you define your personal style?

Since I am in my forties, I steer towards more classic-casual styles and simpler looks. I feel thats way more effective and comes across as stylish and elegant. Also, I like to complete my look with great accessories, be it a statement neckpiece, classic earrings or rings. But of late, I prefer pairing my dress or indo-western outfits with a neckpiece, mostly from one of my showcasing brands! 

Dipali Sarin Bhasin, Founder CEO, My Best Friend And Me
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2018-03-31 14:20:41 MY BEST FRIEND AND ME