Fashion & Beauty

Everyday sneakers and structured gowns

Everyday sneakers and structured gowns, the vie

Gaurav Gupta now has an online store. Also, there’s a new space for sneakerheads on Ajio

Sneakerhood by Ajio

The Sneakerhood — apart from being a catchy-yet-not-trying-too-hard pun on the term sneakerhead — is a tidy little marketplace from online shopping platform Ajio for the first-time sneaker-shopper as well as those who are looking to acquire another for their collection. They have a fairly large virtual inventory covering the usual suspects like Armani Exchange, Nike, Skechers, Adidas, Steve Madden, ASICS and Puma. The price range (from approximately ₹2,000 to ₹20,000) will leave most buyers happy with the choice at hand.

The sorting could use some work as it keeps throwing up other irrelevant options (like briefs and trunks under shoes!). But outside of that, you can arrange them neatly enough — by colour, size, style, brands — to zero in on what you may want.

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But serious sneakerheads who nerd over every upcoming launch may not be entirely taken with this site. It is a collection of regular sneakers and not the coveted lifestyle ones (like Air Jordans, Nike SB, Adidas Yeezy) which have people queuing up online or outside stores and the kind which sell for many times on the seconds market. Very few addresses sell those in India and even then, the launches are on pre-appointed dates and times. I suspect Ajio too will acquire such events and that would add some serious cred to their already large inventory.

Even if they don’t, remember that those chaps make up a tiny percentage of the total sneaker sales volumes. The regular Jai doesn’t want to spend two months’ earnings on a pair of shoes and most people will never get the deal behind camping overnight for anything that you will wear on your feet! Add in a few exclusive discounts and deals and you are sorted. So, by all means, check out this new online space; even if not for buying, it’ll make for some seriously cool eye candy.

Up next: Hopefully, a dedicated tab to navigate to Sneakerhood from the Ajio homepage and improved search options that do not include all the footwear on the site

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Joining designers like JJ Valaya and Tarun Tahiliani, Delhi-based Gaurav Gupta has brought his couture to the online space. And in just a couple of days, smaller items like the Galactic loafers for men and ruffled tops for women have sold out.

While the Comfort Couture edit features structured pantsuits, capes and gowns starting at ₹30,000 for a co-ord set, both men and women have bridal edits — evening wear, reception, sangeet and destination wedding included. Unlike many other designers, Gupta isn’t reluctant about adding ‘sale’ to his beautiful website. There are inaugural discounts of up to 70% for the taking — try the peplum dresses for under ₹10,000, linen bandhgala jackets at ₹24,000 and Gupta’s signature sari gown at half the price.

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The brand’s online couture process is fairly straightforward. Once an order is placed, a design consultant will get in touch for sizing and customisation details (lining, coverage and length). The garment will be handmade in their atelier and delivered in sustainable, recycled plastic packaging. The site is laid out seamlessly and is light enough to load even with a slow internet connection (useful if you are shopping while on another endless Zoom call). A quick view option would make for easier browsing. Payment options include credit and debit cards via RazorPay and PayPal.

Up next: Augmented reality shopping and ready-to-wear collections

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