Mumbai Is Known For Its Glamour, DIVAlicious Fits The Profile

 

With four successful exhibitions in Dubai that have grown from showcasing just 10 brands to 100 in a span of a year and a half, DIVAlicious has come to be known as a renowned brand in the field of exhibitions. It is now coming to Mumbai, for the first time on October 15th, 2012 at Blue Sea, Worli. We find out all about the brand that has come to be known for hosting a luxurious shopping experience from Founder Vanita Bhatia.

To begin with, what made you choose Mumbai for the debut of DIVAlicious in India?

I decided to launch DIVAlicious with a mix of the Middle Eastern trends as well as the stylish brands from across India in the country’s fashion hub – Mumbai. The city is known for its glamour and uniqueness, hence DIVAlicious perfectly fits the profile to host an exhibition that is a mix of Dubai and India in Mumbai.

You’ve studied Business Administration, had a career in banking, and now you’ve established a brand related to fashion. How do you co-relate these three fields – BA, Banking and Fashion?

There is a huge difference in the two worlds I have engaged in – be it banking or fashion. Even though I started my career with banking, I’ve always wanted to pursue my passion. My banking career assisted me to get a wider understanding of the business aspect and the flair for fashion enhanced the creativity aspect. I decided to combine the two and work towards a brand every individual could relate to as a shopper, exhibitor or sponsor. I started small to ensure my vision could progress slowly and steadily, and give the right direction towards expanding DIVAlicious. The combination of my business experience along with pursuing my passion has been an excellent decision, which has made the brand grow to such an extent that we have brands from various parts of the world wanting to be part of it. It’s something I am immensely proud of.

What inspired you to start a concept like DIVAlicious?

My love affair with fashion began at an early age and has only grown since then. I have always been fascinated by colour, texture, self-expression and transformation. Having never been a slave to labels or a blind follower of trends, I have firmly believed in personal style and bold individuality. Starting my career in banking, I always had this desire to offer something unique and distinct to the marketplace. I believe in concepts that are simple that individuals can relate to easily, understand it and want to be a part of it. Today, DIVAlicious has been accepted by shoppers, exhibitors, sponsors, and with each event the DIVAlicious family of sponsors and exhibitors is only expanding. DIVAlicious is a grand and luxurious shopping haven for the trendy and stylish ladies of Dubai. It includes the crème de la crème of exhibitors showcasing apparel, accessories, footwear, diamond jewellery, edibles, art, gifting solutions, home decor and beauty products. There was a desperate need to organise an event that not only gives the exhibitors full involvement but also shoppers a pleasant and luxurious experience. DIVAlicious was designed with these objectives in mind.

Does the exhibition have a theme?

Each exhibition has a theme. Since Diwali and Eid are in the next few months we decided to go with the festive spirit.

 What is the criteria to be able to showcase at DIVAlicious?

DIVAlicious includes established brands, boutiques and fresh budding talent. The criteria to showcase is very simple as we follow a screening process. Each brand is required to send us images of their products before we confirm participation. The reason being, we need to ensure that the product quality is as per our clientele/shoppers requirement. If there is a similar product we inform the exhibitors in order to avoid unhealthy competition.

Within a span of a year and a half, you’ve managed to put together four exhibitions in Dubai. What has the experience been like?

The experience has been overwhelming and definitely an eye opener in many aspects. To ensure that there was no room for errors, I decided to start small with a 10 exhibitor event in April 2011. The next event in October 2011 introduced 45 exhibitors and 12 sponsors. This further grew in December 2011 to 55 brands and 14 sponsors, and finally, the April 2012 event had over 65 brands and media partners as well. The upcoming exhibition in Mumbai will have 52 brands and 5 partners on 15th October at Blue Sea, Worli. The Dubai exhibition to be held on 20th and 21st October 2012 at Ritc Carlton DIFC will have 100 brands, 15 sponsors and 3 media partners. The fact that the brand has been growing with each event is that the pace of growth has been consistent keeping the vision in mind.

How easy/ difficult is it to gather exhibitors? Were all your exhibitors based out of Dubai?

When DIVAlicious started on a small scale, word had spread very easily, and brands were eager to participate with us for the next event. Our way of hosting an exhibition was very different from the way it is usually is done in Dubai. We introduced the concept of getting PR and media involved. The next step was to create DIVAlicious merchandise and goodies for our early shoppers. Then we held an exclusive preview show for the elite social women in Dubai which created a fair amount of buzz. When exhibitors noticed such unique activities with each event, the interest to be part of DIVAlicious grew rapidly.

What are the challenges you’ve faced while putting together DIVAlicious in the past?

Every venture has its ups and downs. Each success proves that the job is well done and shows ways to expand further.  DIVAlicious has given us many highs and lows which are the pillars for today’s recognition. This has undoubtedly been our achievement. The challenge faced initially was to be unique and a trend-setter in this field. I believe in my instinct and taking risks. That is when I invested in media coverage, DIVAlicious merchandise and the preview show for elite women. All these challenges were big risks but ended with positive results. The main achievement for me is that DIVAlicious is recognized as a brand and our shoppers await the event.

And now you’re bringing DIVAlicious to Mumbai for the first time. What are your expectations?

We are launching DIVAlicious in Mumbai with the expectation for the brand to be accepted with its unique offerings. People are aware of DIVAlicious in Mumbai. The only expectation is that the event does well and is appreciated.

There are so many exhibitions being organized in Mumbai city. Why should a shopaholic visit DIVAlicious?

First, DIVAlicious brings brands from Dubai with the Middle Eastern trends. These are established names and boutiques that offer realistic prices that will be showcased for the first time in Mumbai. Second, free portraits by Imprint Design from Dubai. Third, DIVAlicious merchandise giveaways for the early bird DIVAs. Fourth, brands from Hongkong and various parts of India. And lastly, our boutique partners and online media partners have very exciting concepts to make this a memorable and fun shopping experience. DIVAlicious also caters for trosseau, festivities, special occasions or just a shopping spree! We’ve tried to make the shopping experience comfortable and fun, away from the hustle-bustle of the city!

What do you envision for the future?

With our launch of DIVAlicious in Mumbai, DIVAlicious has decided to launch in at least one new city every year, thereby expanding and creating a niche in new regions. DIVAlicious will not restrict the brand to fashion, but has also introduced Art as a category that will now also expand to new horizons such as product launches, concerts and more!

As told to Suezelle D’Costa

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