Aispi, Curator for European Fashion: Interview With CEO Aisha Saraf Kothari Arkadiusz March 25, 2018 MESSFashion Aispi is a curator for affordable European fashion that discovers talent across Europe, and brings exposure to upcoming brands that are fashion forward and unique. Aispi researches boutiques and designers to get more clarity about how they work in order to present a quality product and selection to consumers of fashion within the fashion world. How did Aispi come about? What was the original vision for the company? Every time I visit a new city, I want to walk away with a piece of its heart – not a souvenir but a statement. Every time I enter a room, I want heads to turn as people ask me – where is that dress from? Because it is so unique and so me.” The vision stems from bridging a gap between consumers and talent. On one hand there is tons of undiscovered talent that is not getting the recognition they deserve and on the other hand, there are regular consumers looking to express themselves through unique fashion finds. AISPI brings these two worlds together! When was the last time you visited Florence, Paris, Milan or London and shopped outside of the ‘main shopping streets’, in the heart of Europe’s fashion scene? How much time did it take you to find those stores and how many of them were really worth the trek? AISPI takes recommendations from the best influencers, stylists and pioneers of the fashion world. We then unearth the story behind these boutiques, understand their price points, quality of product and create a validated selection to present to you. How does Aispi choose what brands, boutiques, and/or designers to bring in and work with? There are three pillars that guide our curation – Fashion forward: Fashion forward can mean many things, on trend, sustainable, timeless, classic. At AISPI fashion forward can mean all of the above as we are looking for finds that are hidden gems. Our diverse group of curators each brings a unique perspective that will leave you always yearning for more. – Value for money: Given my business background, I always believe there is a fair price for everything. You are either paying for the brand, the style or the material. Therefore at AISPI we always justify the price range, you need to have a feel good factor about what you buy and not a guilt factor! – Local and/or emerging: The end result at AISPI is that you find things that are hard to find. The fashion on AISPI is geared towards local brands, which can be big or small in their own way. While we steer away from mainstream brands, we do encourage multi brand stores. This is because we see the selection of each multi brand store reflects the curation of the city. Similarly we work with young emerging designers that are willing to personalize and customize clothes for our clients. Where does Aispi see itself as a brand in ten years? If any, what impact has Aispi left on the industry so far? What will that impact be in ten years? How will Aispi grow? “The one grounding factor that holds everyone at AISPI together is that we yearn to have a positive impact. Being able to help someone take a step towards a better direction. We have worked with over 100 boutiques and designers; many of who never had a photo shoot or barely know what social media is. At the same time, we have made personalized shopping itineraries for numerous consumers. Even though we are only a year old, we are on the path of helping people express themselves through fashion and giving recognition to the many talented people that deserve it. As a brand, we see ourselves as the go to place for emerging talent and unique finds. A place where people don’t have to think twice before buying something as the value for money is justified. India is home for me, and in 10 years, I definitely see taking AISPI – a collection of European designers and creating amazing collaborations for the Indian market which is simply waiting for this revolution. Approximately how many designers and/or brands and boutiques come through Aispi each year? Given that we are a year old we have 100 shops and 15 designers on our database across 12 cities of Europe. I don’t have a specific number in mind as quality and curation is everything. That is also the reason as to why we don’t charge designers or boutiques to be on the platform as we would like to ensure high quality and independence. How many of the brands, boutiques, and designers that Aispi works with are featured in fashion shows globally? Fashion shows are a large source of inspiration and curation for AISPI designers. We try to attend the shows focused on emerging designers to curate new content and collaborations. Therefore, almost all designers are featured in fashion shows and our aim is, through AISPI TALENT to allow the others to reach these shows as well!