We’ve all eyed outfits that were way out of our budget, that we didn’t have occasions to wear it to or was just plain unnecessary. The persistent hope of "I wish I could just rent it" has always existed and now, finally, you can. Bengaluru-based stylist and designer, Deepa Kalro’s initiative, The Dress Bank not only allows you to rent out an ensemble, but lets you tap into her expertise to put together an entire look for the occasion!
Nobody likes to repeat their outfits to social gatherings, let alone be mortified when someone recognises when you wore it before. "It was also a big concern with friends who were moving to the city and found it particularly painful to have their heavy clothes couriered," says Deepa, who believes that fashion has to be affordable and accessible to the masses. For the 29-year-old who is an alumnus of JD Institute of Fashion Technology and Commits Media Institute, fashion was always a hobbyhorse. "I started my career in online marketing before shifting to fashion marketing. I soon had an opportunity to work with one of India’s leading designers, Ritu Beri. That, and the endless possibilities of fabrics and designs kept me inspired," she says. With the help from her family who has been in the fashion retail industry for over 37 years and a husband who is the CFO of an e-commerce portal, the 29-year-old decided to take the plunge.
Her Koramangala studio houses over 700 dapper styles – everything from dashing gowns and floor-grazing lehengas to tuxedos and jumpsuits. While most have been designed by her in-house, others are curated from across the country. How does it work? Walk into her store, rent out what you want (alter it if it doesn’t fit) and return it when you’re done! "If you aren’t buying the outfit, you most likely wouldn’t buy the accessories. So, we provide a complete look," she says about the bonus of shoes, bags and accessories available for as less as Rs 100. What’s seeing Bengalureans flock to this Bank is the fact that you can rent out your wardrobe too! Deepa agrees that the inventory is however the biggest challenge. "We look for fast moving designers, colours, fabrics that last long and sizes to make out buying decisions. The key is to always have something ever green," she adds.