Thursday, May 30, 2024

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“It is good to see the six yards gaining so much popularity around the world” – Pallavi Patodi, Co-founder,

May it be a women wearing bun like Audrey Hepburn and covering it with beautiful pastel shades with florets or a lady wearing a full length skirt and pleats at the back covering the upper body with a contrast shade shawl or band. Yet, on closer examination one thing is common that represents powerful cultural symbol: The Saree.

Saree an epitome of grace elegance and class is available in wide spectrum, every state has its own specialty and today these sarees have become the craze and talk of the western world too.

Traces of Sari has been found from 1500 B.C. It has evolved from Vedic era to modern times – The Style of wearing, the shades the patterns have definitely changed but one thing that has remained constant throughout time is the pleats – The tucked in pleats.

Talk about the sarees and Pallavi Patodi of would tell you all about sarees with a sweet smile and a sparkle in her eyes.

Pallavi in an interview with Suman Prasad spoke about her inspiration to start the entrepreneurial journey with, her experience as a fashion buyer that influences the brand, current trends, the evolution of sarees and may other interesting things.

Excerpts from the interview:

Q. What inspired you to start

Sarees have always been my passion. I used to admire it so much that I always loved trying on my mum’s sarees by draping it myself. So much was I attracted to it that every time I saw my mother or anyone from my family wearing a saree, I used to touch and feel the fabric, see the colour combination and also think of ways to make it look more beautiful. As I grew my love for sarees grew as much and led me to learn more than 10 different saree draping style. Also, my choice in sarees was always appreciated so much that my friends started to call me to shop for them. More than a career or a business, sarees are something I love, so i guess it is the love for sarees that inspired us to start

Q. How would you define your brand and who is it aimed at?

As the colour suggests – Yellow stands for Freshness and energy, and that’s what the brand stands for. We are a Fresh Fashion destination for Women Ethnic wear.

Our customers are Women in age group of 30 – 50 years, who wear sarees at least once a month. Most of our current customers are Fashion Forward Doctors, Teachers, Professors, Bankers and also housewives.

Q. What are the important aspects of business in which you believe a new brand should invest in?

Brands needs to invest time and resources to get all the key elements in place to give a holistic good experience to customers. Specially, in a fashion business, a brand needs to invest time on the pre and post buying experience apart from focusing on new and latest fashion.

Q. How has your experience as a fashion buyer influenced your brand?

As a fashion buyer, it is important to understand the market, the latest trends and most importantly customers. Lot of research goes in while buying a cloth like what quality of material has been used, colors, kind of variety I am getting and with which brand I am going with.

Same way if you see fabric which we use in yellow fashion sarees or lehanga are of excellent quality because I always try to keep myself at a customer’s place, if it satisfies me as a customer in terms of quality, fabric and designs , pattern then I go ahead to display it on our site. Also it builds customer trust which is utmost important to bring them back.

With our experience, we understand the women’s ethnic market, our customers and our supplier’s strengths, and that has helped us, at Yellow fashion, staying ahead in the latest trends and successfully cater to the requirement of the market.

Q. How has the response been so far to Yellowfashion? Which part of India is your key market?

Response so far has been encouraging. We are seeing a high amount of repeat buying, word of mouth referrals from our customers. This is just the start and we believe there is a long way to go.

We are seeing traction from across India right from Kerala to J&K. But mainly the customers are coming from South of India, Delhi NCR and East of India.

We are even receiving orders from small kasbas and towns where the population is less than 10,000. Most of these women customers are placing their saree orders using mobile phones.

Q. Can you talk about the current consumer trends in general?
There is a great demand for fresh fashion, as the latest in trend is always looked for by women customers.

Trends are changing based on regions. For eg. – We see darker shades being picked in South as compared to North. Since its winters, North buys more of Bhagalpuri and thicker material while South is buying crepes and cotton.

Q. The pattern, design and how women wear saree has evolved over the period of time. Can you take us through the evolution of Sarees?

The evolution of sarees is a very long journey and one that has no end. Sarees have always been very adaptable of different styles. Today, not just in India, but over the globe saree is admired and worn. I remember my mum and women in my family wearing traditional sarees like Benarasi, kanchipuram, Kolkata silk sarees etc. Today, there are designer sarees, half/half sarees, readymade sarees and dhoti saree. Also from the saree border that had zari work, we now have broad laces in beautiful designs that forms the border of the saree and there are also a number of patterns in saree petticoats and blouses. So the evolution has given a lot to the saree wearers and it’s good to see the 6 yards gaining so much popularity around the world and also being one of the most loved attire of Indian women.

Q. Fake products have plagued every industry – how do you address this issue?

This is one problem which concerns us as an Industry player. We at, work only with screened and genuine suppliers who we personally verify. Apart from screening suppliers, we quality check each and every product for all defects and variations – and only after QA, we dispatch these products to our customers.  We try our best to ensure that we only dispatch screened and quality checked products to our customers.  This policy has helped us to build trust and repeat customers too.

Q. With so much of western influence in Indian mindset, how much scope do you see in terms of consumer growth in this segment?
Saree is an Indian traditional attire. No matter how much western clothes we wear, even today, majority of women wear sarees on festivals and special occasions. Saree isn’t a mere trend that will come and go, it’s an attire that has been there for years, and will stay forever. Even in the west and all around the globe, sarees are admired and loved.

Also women’s wardrobe has expanded and so instead of buying 5 times a year, she shops 2-3 times every month. And so even while other categories like western wear has taken share of the wardrobe, Sarees and other ethnic products have not shrunk so much. Ethnic and western wear will co-exist in women’s wardrobe today and tomorrow.

Q. The ladies casual wear has a huge market potential. Why have you restricted Yellowfashion to Ethnic wear only?

We haven’t restricted ourselves as such but it’s the first category where we want to make an impact and control a sizeable opportunity and market share. We also have curated designs in readymade Salwar Suits, Casual Kurtis and Designer blouses on

Q. Do you plan to venture in other Fashion segments? 

Currently the focus is women ethnic wear. Even if we move to other categories, we’ll always remain a women centric fashion brand.

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