IT WAS around two years ago that the idea of an online retail store exclusively for Bollywood fashion and trends came to Vinayak Kalani. “I had gone to see the Hrithik Roshan-starrer Bang Bang and loved some of the clothes worn by the actor in the film. So straight after watching it, I searched online to see where I could find some of the jackets and other clothes worn by the actor in the film. But I couldn’t find anything, not even a close match. I tried searching for products from other films too, but the result was the same. All I got were some limited-edition ‘inspired’ collections, which were just not the same,” says Kalani, adding, “I realised that there was a big gap between requirement and availability when it came to Bollywood fashion. There was no single platform from where one could buy the exact outfits as worn by actors onscreen.”
And thus was born Bollywoo, an online e-commerce portal dedicated to Bollywood fashion, earlier this year. The portal has a collection of exact outfits worn by actors in films like Tamasha, Cocktail, Pyaar Ka Punchnama 2, Roy, Khoobsurat, among others. “Some of our top-selling items are Ranbir Kapoor’s boogy jacket and toubib shirt from Tamasha, Deepika Padukone’s shirt and Gaiety dress from the same movie, Cocktail’s wrap dress, chevron skirt and melange top, etc. Also in great demand are the squatter jacket and midnight dress from Roy,” says Kalani, a big Bollywood buff himself.
And that’s not all. Kalani says they are now planning to offer a whole range of accessories, as well as Bollywood locations in the coming months. “We don’t want to be restricted to just apparel from the movies. We want to sell pretty much everything related to Bollywood, and that includes locations. Bollywood movies are shot in some of the most scenic locations across the world. After Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge released, there was huge demand for travel packages to Europe. Movies like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara made Spain very famous and there was a substantial jump in demand for travel packages to Spain, which continues till date. So this is what we intelligently wish to encash,” explains Kalani.
It’s no secret that Bollywood has a huge influence on common people in India. Young boys and girls especially idolise film stars and aspire to be like them. But till recently, if you wanted to dress like your favourite cine star, all you could get were imitation lehengas, saris, sherwanis, etc. And this is where Bollywoo comes in. With a price range starting from as low as R500 for exact replica of outfits worn by movie stars, Bollywoo has now made it possible for thousands of Bollywood buffs across India to dress exactly like their idols.
And it’s all legal. “We do everything by obtaining permissions and within legal parameters. We have either tied up with or have reached a common understanding with production houses. We are, in fact, in the process of executing contracts with Yashraj Films, Fox Star Studios, ICM Entertainment, Viacom18 and many others,” says Kalani.
The response, says Kalani, has been very encouraging. “When we started, we had around 100-200 daily visits and two-three orders daily. Today, we receive around 2,000-3,000 daily visitors with 25-30 orders daily. Many of our customers are repeat buyers… we have witnessed traffic as high as 4,200 visitors in a single day. Currently, we are generating revenue of around R35,000 per day,” says Kalani, adding, “The long-term plan is to be the official Bollywood platform.”
Kalani isn’t alone in capitalising on the craze for Bollywood in the country. Movie production house Bohra Bros recently launched its initiative Cheers 70mm in India. For those who can spend the moolah, Cheers 70mm makes it possible for your house party to turn into a shooting location for a Bollywood film, a movie star to send out video invites for your party on your behalf, your house designed like a film set for the party, etc.
Clearly, there is nothing like the glitz and glamour of Bollywood.