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Corsets are not lingerie: Suman Bharti
CorsetDeal is a signature online store for high-end and authentic steel-boned corsets. It is a part of the global fashion company Corset Wholesale Inc. USA & Corset Wholesale Ltd. India. The company has a worldwide reach with presence in the UK, the US and Australia. These steel-boned corsets are designed at the company's design studio in Gurgaon and are sold in more than 32 countries across the globe.

THIS KIND of fashion, not so popular before, is now picking up. Suman Bharti, CEO & Founder, CorsetDeal.in, in a candid interview, told this citizen journalist how India is rapidly adapting to this kind of trendy fashion, which has also helped to remove misconception of Indians to see corset as lingerie. Excerpts.

CJ: Why corset in India, where the weather is hot and humid?

Mr Bharti: The past few years we have seen huge transformation in the Indian women’s apparel segment. She is ready to experiment with her looks. Corset is an apparel which can be coupled with western and Indian outfits and makes one look different and sexy. Also, at CorseDeal the collections for summer have been designed taking into consideration the tropical Indian weather. The corsets have a soft cotton textured inner lining to keep one comfortable by keeping the heat and humidity at bay.

CJ: Customers in India have a huge choice in apparel. Are you confident that people will buy specialist and occasion-specific corsets?

Mr Bharti: People will buy these now more than ever as Indian consumers are experimenting with combining styles, as seen in the recent “Indo-fusion,” boom, which mixes the silhouettes of the East with the comfort cut of the West. Plus there has been a perception in India that corsets are lingerie, which is not true. Corsets can make for funky wear at parties, clubs and lounges. Corsets can be coupled both with western and Indian outfits to create a different and sexy look. A corset with a skirt or a pant can be worn for a night out partying. You can also team your corset with a sari/ lehenga at the next sangeet or cocktail function at a wedding to get the traditional and glamorous look at the same time!

CJ: You are obviously targeting a niche customer base. Who will be your target audience?

Mr Bharti: My corsets are especially designed for women. Women’s wardrobes have traditionally been limited to home wear and items for special occasions. Now, women are more willing to dress differently when they venture beyond the home. And that is my target audience, the discerning woman of today, who wants to look good, experiment and embraces the idea of fashion as a means of self-expression, and not merely as a functional purchase.

CJ: Can you tell us the price range at which corsets will be available at your online store?

Mr Bharti: Rs. 2000/- onwards

CJ: How and where will you get your manufacturing and finishing done?

Mr Bharti: The manufacturing and finishing is done in CorsetDeal's manufacturing units in Gurgaon. In an attempt to maintain the highest standards of quality necessitated by its customer profile worldwide, all the design ideation, fabric selection, finishing and quality check is done in-house at their studio & manufacturing centres in Gurgaon. Every fabric is put through a series of tests to ensure that customers receive high quality products and complies with the stringent quality standards of CorsetDeal. About 250 highly skilled workforces are involved with a fussy quality assurance team in converting these fabrics to stylish, form-flattering and exquisite corsets.

CJ: What's the worldwide trend as far as corsets are concerned? Are they part of popular fashion? Or do corsets figure primarily in fashion shows, specific official events, and among conservative population in the West?

Mr Bharti: Corsets now are part of a worldwide massive trend for body shaping underwear. Also, there has been a boom in vintage and burlesque styling over the past few years.

CJ: Will you scale-up step by step in the Indian market? Did you test market demand for corsets in India?

Mr Bharti: We are looking at expanding in a big manner. We have plans to open stores in Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi & Gurgaon. Just that these stores are not just for sale. We intend to couple our current on-line model with the off-line model to create a new concept in the apparel segment.

Like the Dell, our stores would be for showcasing our range of corsets. Visitors can choose designs from our store which will then be customized to their liking (design, colour, style, pattern & fit) and delivered at their home. A direct business model - where we will design, manufacture and customizes products to customer requirements. Yes, we have done extensive research in the Indian market to adapt designs and sizes as per the liking, demand and requirement of Indian women.

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