J J Valaya is launching his e-commerce portal, and promises a ringside view of the luxury experience his designer label is known for
One of India’s leading couturiers J J Valaya has been working on the ‘World of J J Valaya’, billed as a flagship experience that gives a ringside view of the design label’s legacy and portfolio, both as an offline store and through a dedicated online platform. The pandemic caused a change in plan and the offline launch will have to wait till 2021, but Valaya is launching his e-commerce portal valaya.com on August 27; 6p.m.
Speaking on phone from Delhi, the designer explains that this e-commerce site will offer more than a click-and-buy experience, since it is likely to attract the well-heeled clientèle looking for luxury, heirloom buys: “When the website is fully functional on August 27 evening, you will see that it will be unlike the regular retail sites. We have a lot to share, since we have a 28-year-old legacy; and luxury cannot always be bought online. A large variety of garments will be available to buy with the prices mentioned; there will also be pieces where price will be shared only on request. Customers can book video appointments with our team to get a personalised experience before making a purchase,” says Valaya.
One of the main collections that will be available online is ‘Tabriz 2019-2020’, with motifs inspired by Persian art forms from the 16th to the 19th centuries. There will be two online exclusives: bespoke menswear line ‘Jhalamand House’ — a capsule collection of linen and cotton shirts and kurtas for men; and a D-I-Y line of jackets for women called ‘IKA’, which Valaya tems “younger sibling of our 2010 line Alika”. One can choose the fabric, print and other details: “It will be a fun experience,” adds Valaya.
‘Shifting Leaves Chevron’, a limited edition collection for men and women, and Valaya’s line of accessories will also be available online later this year.
The e-commerce launch comes at a time when customers are increasingly looking at online options during the COVID-19 pandemic. Valaya recalls being the first designer label in India to have a website in the mid 90s: “The Internet was new in India and the concept was unique. But in the following years we focussed more on offline stores. Now we are back in a new avatar to up the online experience.”
Talking about limping back to normalcy after months of lockdown, Valaya says the buyer interest is back and it’s time for the fashion industry to look at sustainable methods: “There will be more emphasis on quality and credibility. We have always tried to be sustainable. Some of our earliest clients come to us with their 25 or 26-year-old Valaya lehengas which they want to use for their daughter’s wedding. We are happy to have been making heirloom-worthy garments,” he says.