(This article was originally published in Ciceroni – Your fashion guide)
The glossy fashion magazines and the glamorous entertainment industry has been the driving force to measure a woman’s self esteem, especially in the way she looks and conducts herself. It has been observed by industry experts that half of the businesses in the world would shut down if a woman started accepting herself the way she is. With the up rise in the ‘body positive’ slogans and the campaigns that veer towards accepting every kind of beautiful, it is heartening to most of the women across the globe to know that curvy is beautiful.
But by merely accepting the fact that curvy is beautiful wouldn’t do, right? Change will be visible when you notice that fashion brands are catering to their needs.
Take a moment to think of atleast three brands that cater to sizes bigger than XXL for women?
Is it difficult to recall?
We were keen to find and recommend that one store that would offer variety not only in colours, style and trends, but also in sizes. Team Ciceroni thus went on a mission to scout for Fashion stores in Ahmedabad that would cater to all sizes of women, be it is XS or XXXL or more.
And we did find a small treasure trove right in the heart of the city – DIPASHNA
Dipashna is a women’s wear store that houses stylish and affordable ethnics and western wear for women of all sizes. Renu Kirpalani, the woman behind the success of Dipashna, started this brand way back in 1989 as a home business. The journey that started as a mere experiment of providing women of Ahmedabad with fashionable clothes from different places of India, has now taken a modern approach of identifying trends, understanding market and providing in-vogue fashion to the fashionistas of the city with the help of her two young daughters Dipna Kirpalani and Aashna Kirpalani.
Excerpts from our tete-a-tete with the founders:
How did the idea of getting into Fashion Business germinate?
Renu Kirpalani – We had shifted to Ahmedabad almost three decades back. I am originally from Indore and my husband is from Mumbai. There was a distinct difference in the way I would dress and the way others would. Interestingly neighbourhood women started requesting if I could get for them the same things that I wore. I was definitely delighted that my aesthetics were appreciated.
I decided to get few samples from Indore with a meagre investment of Rs.1700 to test the waters. To my utter disbelief the entire consignment got sold off in just two days time. I had made my first profits through my skill of identifying fashion and merchandising.
The first sell-off boosted my confidence and I started stocking apparels for women at home. I would work only from 5.30 pm to 8.00 pm as I wanted to maintain a balance between raising my family and nourishing my entrepreneurial streak. I started participating in GCCI Women’s wing organized exhibits every year. This led to lot of popularity for us and we kept getting repeat and new business.
From then till the year 2012, we used to operate from home only. It is only in the year 2012 when my both daughters decided to take this business ahead that we decided to shift to a proper store format.
Ashna used to work with a leading media house whereas Dipna was associated with communications & media domain. Once they assured that they would quit their jobs to propel the business forward, we took a leap of faith and opened a large format store in Nehrunagar.
What is the key USP of Dipashna store?
Aashna Kirpalani – We believe in providing new trends to Ahmedabad market before it seeps in to other retail stores. Besides being trendy, we provide quality fabrics in affordable prices. Our game changing USP is that we are perhaps the only store in Ahmedabad that provides sizes from XS to 10XL.
Women literally give a sigh of relief and their eyes shine when they find apparels that are trendy and in their sizes. That smile on their face, the sparkle in their eyes and the confidence in their gait after wearing our collection makes us keep going in this business.
We know we are doing it right when we see that happy expression.
What kinds of apparels are available at Dipashana?
Dipna Kirpalani – We are a women’s wear store that houses a range of ethnic wear and western wear apparels starting from cotton kurta, maxi dresses, palazzo, leggings, sulwar, dupatta to skirts, capes, jackets, party wear gowns, anarkali dresses and more. We catch up on trends very fast, so you would find a range of off shouldered tops, high-low tops, cold shoulder tops, dungarees, poncho tops, dresses, jeans, pants and long maxis.
If you are going for your honeymoon or planning to attend a cocktail party, if you have a Pooja to attend to or a fresher’s party to dance to, we have garments for every occasion.
Our prices have been an icing on the cake for our loyalists. We are an affordable brand. Our basic tops start from 300 to max 1000, kurta from 400 to 2000, dresses from 600 to 1500 and maxi from 800 to 3000. Our recent range of Navratri wear has bright skirts starting from as low as 800to maximum of 3000 for full sets.
How often do you replenish the stocks & add new styles?
Aashna Kirpalani – In last 27 years, we have created a loyal set of customers who keep coming back to us for their daily and occasion wear apparel needs. We also advice them on what looks right and what doesn’t. Our honesty gets us more customers every day. Thus to keep pace with the increasing demand from the consumers, we refill our stocks every 20 days with new designs, colours and trends.
What are the trends that you feel will rule this festive season?
Aashna & Dipna – We strongly feel that long gowns are here to stay. People are opting for more Party wear gowns now for festive occasion as compared to sulwar kameez. In the ethnic section, floor length anarkali dresses are making a come-back. Team them with cigarette pants. Long skirt with jacket and/or kurta is another trend that will survive this season.
Culottes & crop top, cold shoulder tops, tasselled dresses and skirts will rule the party season this year as far as western wear goes.
So what are you waiting for?
Head straight to Dipashna store to buy affordable fashion and thank us later.
Follow them on FB : Dipashna