From the House of Ritu Kumar comes the affordable Aarke, a designer wear option brand for price-sensitive millennials

If your Insta feed is flooded with hometown labels inspired by Indian silhouettes, you’re certainly the right fit for Aarke—the latest brand for cool, casual and affordable picks. Young, rooted, with earthy colours and contours, the debut collection from the House of Ritu Kumar is powered by Amrish Kumar, the fashion house’s Managing Director and Creative Director, and currently is only being sold online. The portmanteau? “It’s just a name that works with the initials of the Ritu Kumar brand,” explains Amrish. “Aarke comes in as accessible quality designer wear for women in their everyday lives, a perfect pick for the multitasking urban woman.” 

However, with almost every social media conduit flush with designs and more designs and on top of that big discounts and credit card-powered offers, the virtual market is pretty much a crowded space at the moment. Add to that the pandemic-induced slowdown. Tricky terrain?

In India, online is still largely discount-driven, this will change going forward. Eventually, online sales will take a larger chunk of the sales pie, though they will not completely replace offline purchases. I believe it is a great time to launch a brand online, especially one which carries value proposition,” says Amrish, who feels there’s space for everyone here. “The market segment is undeniably large and is expected to go up to Rs 60,000 crore by FY 2024,” he adds.

The first Aarke collection carries the signature touch, with prints and patterns flowing stylishly, in keeping with the consistent Ritu Kumar palette of sandy, cappuccino, mocha, teal, forest green, all in languid fits to flatter the Indian form. There are dresses, kurtas and tunics, and a splash of pastels. “Breezy, light, comfortable,” says Amrish. “Palettes are dictated seasonally, so it is not one palette that will continue forever. Of course, the brand will retain the aesthetics of the parent company but will have its own ecosystem to grow

Shilpi Madan for Sunday Standard

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