This is AntFarm’s third venture after launching advertising venture Fork Media in April 2013 and travel venture Arrive in July 2013, which is currently in closed beta. Khiani notes this is the first consumer company being launched by Ant Farm.
Founded by Avnish Chhabria, Rishi Rajani and Anjana Sharma (who ran Lakme Fashion Week in 2011 and 2012), Stylista is an online private label wherein the company collaborates with select Indian designers to create a fashion collection, manufacture them in-house and retail them on its online store. Speaking to Medianama, Khiani said the focus here is on providing affordable designer wear and high street clothing from prominent fashion designers, which otherwise wouldn’t be affordable for consumers.
Designers: Stylista has signed up around 30 designers until now, of which six designers Nishka Lulla, Wendell Rodricks, Priyadarshini Rao, Rinku Dalamal, Tanya Sharma and Yogesh Chaudhury will be showcasing their collection at launch and other designers like Masaba Gupta and Neeta Lulla will be showcasing their collection in the following weeks. This is in addition to Stylista’s own private label.
The company plans to introduce a fresh new collection on Stylista every few weeks, although to make these collections exclusive, it produces a limited number of garments in each collection and it is rarely repeated.
We are a bit curious to see whether Stylista will work when other private labels like SherSingh haven’t worked in the past, but Khiani believes both have a completely different model. He said SherSingh aimed to build a separate brand on its own with its private label, while Stylista is working with prominent designers, who are in trend and already have a fairly large following in the country, for designing the apparel and managing the manufacturing side of the garment. He claimed that they have a manufacturing setup which can bring a design to the stores in few weeks.
Khaini said the proposition for designers is that they can focus on creating the design for the collection, while Stylista manufactures them and retails them on the online store. While he declined to comment on the exact nature of the partnership between designers and Stylista, he said the company doesn’t pay any minimum guarantee to these designers and its more of a revenue share arrangement.
The site currently offers apparel like tops, dresses, pants, skirts, shorts and jackets and one can head over to any specific designer or collection through the navigation bar. It also has a section called ‘Be The Stylista‘ which allows users to vote on their favorite design, following which the design with most number of votes will be created. There is also a loyalty program in place, which offers points for various actions like favoriting an item, sharing an item with their friends, buying a product and others.
What’s also worth noting is that Stylista has integrated an animated-gif like video for each apparel listing to provide an indication on how the apparel looks like. On the payment front, it currently offers all the regular payment options like credit and debit cards, netbanking, cash cards, cash on delivery and Paypal (for International orders only). There is also cash on delivery option for orders above Rs 500 and it charges a flat Rs 70 as COD charges.
It claims to deliver products in 2-5 working days for domestic shipments and offers free shipping for both domestic and International orders.
Competitors: Stylista will essentially be competing with dozens of online fashion retailers in the country like Myntra which recently forayed into designer wear segment by partnering with fashion store Biba, Zovi, Flipkart and others. There was also MiraiStore which shut shop in July 2013 and is now focusing on its private label Felicia, which is expected to be available across online and offline stores in India.
The biggest question that Stylista will face is whether it will be able to scale up its operations in the forthcoming months and survive the current e-commerce turbulence in the country.