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While e-commerce has been big for over a decade now, the world is being forced into a new digital era, with offline businesses being forced to go online thanks to the pandemic.
Nowhere is this more evident than with Indian fashion designers, who till now focused on the luxury market with retail experiences and unparalleled services in their flagship stores. As some of the biggest names in the business take their platforms online, Mumbai based designers Monica and Karishma join them in the new wave of Indian couture shopping with the launch of their e-commerce platform and services.
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Their couture label JADE now offers a seamless and intimate shopping experience for brides-to-be, her entourage, as well as for connoisseurs of couture. The platform also offers one on one virtual consultation and e-meetings with the designers themselves that tie in with shopping directly from the brand’s very platform for bespoke made to order solutions for special occasions.
Monica Shah shares, “We’re entering a new era of digital living. The beauty of e-commerce is that it breaks geographical barriers and brings you closer to your audience across the country and globe. We are very excited to bring JADE to couture lovers, wherever in the world they may be.”
Karishma adds, “The New Age women see couture for more than just the novelty. They want to invest in a bespoke creation that is timeless, versatile, and experimental ï¿½ so that there’s sustained use over time. This applies even for bridal couture, where they want pieces they can make the most of, while still being able to pass it down. We’re so happy to open up our world to brides like these all over the globe!”
IANSlife caught up with the designer duo to get all the details. Read Excerpts:
The fashion industry is one of the worst-hit in the world due to the pandemic, according to you what are the most pressing issues which have resulted from it?
Monica Shah: Ensuring everyone in our supply chain ï¿½ right from our in-office teams to our kaarigars is safe and healthy is our greatest concern and priority.
Despite Unlock Phase 1, numbers are rising exponentially and psychologically people fear to step out, what do you predict for the year ahead
Monica Shah: Every bride’s story must continue and as soon as the government norms are eased out brides will plan their wedding, albeit in a smaller way. We’re prioritizing custom ensembles and focusing on creating pieces that aren’t confined to a particular season or time.
You recently launched your e-commerce site, do you think now online is the future of retail?
Monica Shah: India is on the cusp of a new digital era. Given the current times, people are online now more than ever. An online presence is essential for brands to engage with a wider base of audience.
You’ve been in the business so long, eCommerce has been popular for decades, why didn’t you have a site up and running till today?
Monica Shah: Luxury and couture are more about a one on one experience, long conversations, and a personal touch. We wanted to focus on offering our consumers a whole experience rather than just a transaction. Despite not having our native e-commerce platform, we have had an active presence online as well as strong relationships with our clientele across the globe.
Heavy rentals, overheads and running costs with no waivers for months of lockdown have added a burden on brands like yours?
Monica Shah: It has been an unprecedented and challenging time for all of us. We have been lucky to be able to survive. But we know it’s been difficult for the industry by and large.
JADE launched its bridal e-consultancy to tell why it’s essential to have such a service in these times.
Monica Shah: We have been offering virtual consultations to our international clientele since the beginning. But are now focussing on amplifying it. India has entered a new digital era, and consumers are more attuned to online shopping than ever. We have the technology and means to tap into and reach a whole new set of customers. It’s about time we launched an eCommerce platform of our own and found better ways to stay in touch with our clientele and offer them a seamless and intimate luxury couture experience virtually.
Bridal trends in the COVID-19 era for the slim but luxurious Indian wedding?
Monica Shah: This time of pause has reinforced a whole new appreciation for local arts and crafts, and mindfully made pieces. So, I see brides taking a keener and a deeper interest in their wedding ensembles. I think brides are going to incline more towards pieces that are versatile and functional something they can wear even after the wedding, like breezy skirts with shirts rather than traditional blouses.
The JADE Bride has always been one who’s mindful and discerning about her ensembles. Our brides know that when they choose a JADE outfit, they choose a legacy of artisanal excellence, they choose to support quintessential Indian crafts and techniques that still maintain a global appeal. And I only see this becoming more and more prominent in the coming times.
You have worked on many social initiatives, share one closest to your heart during the current times
Monica Shah: We have founded the Chanakya School of Craft, to educate, empower, and support girls and women from underprivileged backgrounds as well as preserve India’s arts and crafts. Nurturing this talent and doing our bit in sustaining India’s artisanal legacy is something very close to our hearts.
Many designers are being forced to shut down retail spaces or close brands entirely. Do you think it’s a combination of the crisis or a result of bad management?
Monica Shah: It’s really an unexpected and unprecedented time. No one ever imagined a time like this would come. So, the struggle is inevitable. Every brand has its own set of challenges and its own journey. We only hope we can all come together to support the community through this challenging time.
The label’s limited-edition bridal couture collection, along with its first-ever luxury collection makes its debut on www.jadebymk.com. (IANS)
With the festive season on in full swing, iconic brand Johnnie Walker, is all set to re-energize the country's after-hour culture. Through its one-of-a-kind campaign #RevibeTheNight, the brand brings together beloved music artists like Divine, Ritviz, Lisa Mishra, Taba Chake along with popular indie bands like When Chai Met Toast and Mad Boy Mink, among others to perform live across iconic community spaces in India.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. The brand's goal is drive social regeneration in India and bring back the vibe of socializing through local music artists and reignite the trade, driving social culture by executing the live events with Covid measures in place and a limited capacity audience capacity.
The collaborative effort by Johnnie Walker aims to bring back the after-hour culture through live performances across popular hotspots in India. | Photo by Vishnu R Nair on Unsplash
Prior to the world going into lockdown, the after-hour culture in India bloomed at celebrated community hubs, that eventually became a safe-haven for individuals, a place where they found their sense of self-expression and belonging, that fuelled progress. This community was driven through the culture of live music and enthralling performances that created their very own vibe, a vibe that built extraordinary, forever-lasting relationships. Through #ReVibeTheNight, one can reconnect with this community bringing music curated by artists who have a history of captivating crowds with their one-of-a-kind live experiences. Catch the gigs and live performances for artists in these venues/cities for the live performances.
(Artiicle originally published on IANSlife) (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: johnnie walker, social, #revibethenight, performances, community, artists, culture, festivity, begin
By Nikhila Natarajan
In a continuing study on the effects of machine learning (ML) on public conversation, Twitter has confirmed that its algorithms amplify right-leaning political content. "In six out of seven countries - all but Germany - tweets posted by accounts from the political right receive more algorithmic amplification than the political left when studied as a group," Twitter blogged.
"Right-leaning news outlets, as defined by the independent organisations, see greater algorithmic amplification on Twitter compared to left-leaning news outlets." Since 2016, Twitter users are able to choose between viewing algorithmically ordered tweets first in their home timeline or viewing the most recent tweets in reverse chronological order.
"An algorithmic home timeline displays a stream of tweets from accounts we have chosen to follow on Twitter, as well as recommendations of other content Twitter thinks we might be interested in based on accounts we interact with frequently, tweets we engage with, and more. "As a result, what we see on our timeline is a function of how we interact with Twitter's algorithmic system, as well as how the system is designed."
The new research is based on tweets of elected officials of House of Commons members in Canada, the French National Assembly, the German Bundestag, House of Representatives in Japan, Congress of Deputies of Spain, House of Commons in the UK, and official and personal accounts of House of Representatives and Senate members in the US, as well as news outlets, from April 1 to August 15, 2020.
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. | Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash
The study was conducted by Ferenc Huszar (Twitter, University of Cambridge), Sofia Ira Ktena (now at DeepMind Technologies), Conor O'Brien (Twitter), Luca Belli (Twitter), Andrew Schlaikjer (Twitter), and Moritz Hardt (UC Berkeley).
The questions probed were:
How much algorithmic amplification does political content from elected officials receive in Twitter's algorithmically ranked Home timeline versus in the reverse chronological timeline? Does this amplification vary across political parties or within a political party?
Are some types of political groups algorithmically amplified more than others? Are these trends consistent across countries?
Are some news outlets amplified more by algorithms than others? Does news media algorithmic amplification favour one side of the political spectrum more than the other?
Tweets about political content from elected officials, regardless of party or whether the party is in power, do see algorithmic amplification when compared to political content on the reverse chronological timeline. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: algorithmically, timeline, algorithmic, tweets, political, survey, twitter, study, germany, skew
Even as India celebrates reaching a milestone of 100 crore Covid vaccine doses, Snapdeal co-founder and COO Rohit Bansal on Friday lauded a man who facilitated 64 registrations for the vaccine on the CoWin portal. In a video shared on his Facebook and Twitter page, Bansal hailed Sonu Kumar as a "citizen celebrity".
Bansal said that Kumar not only helped "just co-workers and family but complete strangers too. With patience, empathy and uncanny jugaad". He added that Kumar joined him "many moons ago" and completed his open school from a parking lot.
"Education has helped this wonderful man enable others to get India back on track. Bravo! The CoWin portal on Thursday mentioned that a total of 100 crore vaccine doses has been administered so far to the eligible population under the vaccination drive in India, nine months after the nationwide inoculation programme was started to protect the people against Covid-19.
"It's a cause of significant celebration and happiness," Bansal said in the video. He said that while people just help a few around them, Kumar "bridged the digital gap" for 64 people, who were finding it difficult to register themselves online on the vaccine portal. Kumar said he doesn't feel that he has contributed much towards the 100 crore vaccine dose count. "I have been able to help only 64 people, if I was able to help more I would have been happier." (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: cowin, covid, india, people, Rohit bansal, Sonu kumar, vaccine, snapdeal, registrations