Jewellery designer, entrepreneur, woman-about-town and celebrity wife – Maheep Kapoor wears each of her many fabulous hats with equal ease. Now the Mumbai-resident has taken on the mantle of Fashion Director for VIVA-LUXE. Here she is to give you a behind-the-scenes look at our online store and some hints of what’s on offer.
How is VIVA-LUXE different from other e-retail sites?
We have beautiful pieces many of which have been created exclusively for us from some of the best Asian Designers in the industry. More importantly though, we aim to offer the very best customer experience. Our website's easy-to-use with FREE delivery anywhere in the world. We want our customers to love their VIVA-LUXE purchase and if for some reason they're not happy and we can't fix it, we'll give them their money back - even on made to measure outfits, if we can't fix whatever is bothering the customer first. This is very different to a lot of sites and shops out there who don't give the customer any refund options on bespoke tailoring.
As Fashion Director, what does your role entail?
I am constantly looking for the latest, exciting designers and collections and put forward the names of the Designers who I think should come on board the site. I also work with the team to help create beautiful collections that I know our customers will love.
What were you looking for in your Designers?
Some of these are Designers who I’ve known, I’ve worn their clothes, I’ve met them, worked with them and essentially I believe in them. It’s as simple as that. Others I've watched and seen them grow and again believe in giving them a platform to thrive. VIVA-LUXE is very selective about the Designers that we bring on board – they must represent the our values of outstanding elegance, class and quality, at a good price.
Some names to look out for on the site?
Anita Dongre, Shehla Khan and Seema Khan to start. We have much more in the pipeline from some of the biggest names in the industry so keep watching this space!
Have the Designers had to adapt in any way for an international audience?
Well we have done extensive research into the Indian diaspora, learning that style tastes differ around the world and our Designers have in turn implemented that in their designs. We are always talking to and listening to our customers – you drive what we offer, not the other way around!
Tell us a little bit about yourself. Have you always been interested in fashion?
I first started with designing jewellery, which I have been doing for about 15 years now. I’ve lived in London, the Middle East, Australia, Switzerland and Africa and only moved to Mumbai much later but my jewellery is very traditional. If a woman is spending so much money on jewellery she wants it to be an heirloom piece. Not something she will get bored of by next year. We follow a similar philosophy at VIVA-LUXE with some of the more timeless products we showcase.
You recently opened a new luxury store called Bandra 190.
Yes, there was this fabulous empty building we knew of in a prime location and we were wondering what to do with it. I called up my partner [VIVA-LUXE Designer] Seema [Khan] and it just went from there. With Bandra 190 we wanted to give the shoppers of Mumbai a completely new physical retail experience, much like VIVA-LUXE gives people a completely new online experience. It’s a one-stop shop with many brands under one roof, we’ve got everything from furniture to Christian Louboutin shoes, but it still has an intimate boutique vibe.
Is online the way of the future?
Definitely. 100%. Even the Designers we approached knew that. We also know that every day more and more customers are keen to experience the ease, selection and convenience that online shopping brings.