Monday, March 19, 2012

Retro Fashion: eShakti

I recently came across eShakti online. For those who haven't seen this site yet, it's a fashion business, with styles that may tend toward Anthropologie or ModCloth. As a shopper, the site allows for color specific shopping, along with price range. This is a nice way to view their dresses, especially if you have a certain color you'd like to find.

They do have blouses, skirts and accessories, but dresses seem to be the main item here. What gives this e-store a different perspective, is the size range. With a bustline list from 32" (size 0 or XS) to 53" (size 26W or 3X) they can fit just about anyone. Now this is interesting to me, especially when the difficulty of grading a dress pattern this widely is considered. And not only that, they allow for customize styles. There are alternate versions of the sleeve available, and the hemline length can be chosen.

What the US consumer may not realize when they order their custom dress is that it won't be made in the states. Instead this venture is based in India and started selling to the US in 2008. At this time, their website does not list country of origin within their pages. Not in the 'about' pages or with each garment description. Even the fiber content description is loose, without percentages of fibers or a complete list of fiber content. Rather they give a general description of the textile composition.

EShakti prices are between budget and moderate, low prices being one of the main advantages of producing their product in India. Clearly, there are objections of such a low price point product in competition with domestic fashions. Some customized apparel businesses exist online, but not at this level of style selection. To try and reproduce the diversity, inventory and turn-around locally at that price point might be impossible. It would be interesting to see how a domestic company based on the same concept would do. If 'made in the US' becomes more popular, maybe we will see something like that in the future.

1 comment:

Lizzie - The Vintage Traveler said...

I had not seen this site, and found it to be interesting. I know of one made-to-order dress site where the clothes are made in the USA (still looking for the link), and also a site that makes men's dress shirts to order There is no way they can compete price-wise with a company like eShakti. Until Americans are willing to pay a little more to have a domestically produced product, we are not going to see much of this sort of thing.