If you’re married, you’ve probably faced the situation of not knowing what to do with your wedding outfits. They are pieces that you’ve invested in significantly-both finance wise and emotionally- and you’re entirely unsure of what to do with them now. You’ve used the lehenga separately, paired it with a subtler shirt and worn it to a cousin’s wedding. You’ve worn the choli with another saree. But now, despite your commitment to reusing it several times, you know that you take any part of your wedding outfit for another spin and it’s going to be one too many times. Luxury resale is a relatively unexplored segment in India, though it seems to have plenty of takers. Aashni Shah, the founder, was having a discussion with someone during the pandemic about the same thing and that’s what sparked the idea of Revivify. ELLE caught up with her to get a lowdown on what she aims to do with the brand and what kind of pieces you might find on here.
She says, “Discussions during the pandemic when there was a supply crunch in India due to factories being operated at limited capacity got me thinking about the vintage and pre loved category that are so big internationally but in India, there is a gap. I was influenced by the idea of circular vintage fashion when I was thinking about reviving and reusing my mom’s Sabyasachi saris.”
Of course, that wasn’t the only thing that sparked the idea of a Revivify. Aashni Shah admits that she was toying with the idea for a bit. “I thought about it for a good 9 months before taking the plunge due to uncertainty of this venture as there is still a certain mindset around pre loved couture in India. The more I witnessed international stores and brands embracing pre-loved, the more confidence I gained and after analysing our market research, I figured it was only a win-win situation for all- our brands, both ventures, customers and above all- our environment!”
The pre-loved, circular fashion industry in India certainly has seen a huge upswing. There’s demand, and there are brands catering to this demand. In this market, how do you stand out? Aashni Shah says, “In our curation you will find fantastic out-of-production pieces which are still on trend. We have a special vintage curation and I am particularly chuffed that each item has a story to tell.”
While she had anticipated it, for Aashni the fact that pre-loved is looked down up, and that second hand has a bunch of connotations, had her dealing with this first. Her first port of call was figuring out a way to make pre-loved appealing and destigmatizing second hand mentality. Accessibility was also one of the things she was aiming to address. Pre-loved pieces bring down costs, making hitherto out of reach piece more appealing to the discerning consumer. Aashni explains, “Rare forms of embroidery – Gara work by designers like Patine makes for an expensive purchase due to its rarity. By recycling and reusing the pieces at affordable pricing due to its pre-loved nature, we hope to make it more accessible to consumers who otherwise would be reluctant to make that particular purchase. Heritage weaves such as Patan Patolas and Jamdanis are high on our curation list along with sourcing vintage Chikankari pieces by designers.”
We ended the interview asking Aashni which piece from the collection she would pick if she had to dress a millennial/ Gen Z person. She said, “I would pick the metallic woven embroidered jacket set by Anamika Khanna which is in immaculate condition (as good as new) can be worn together or as separates, and can accessorize to layer the look. It is one of our most versatile pieces.”