Tina Tahiliani Parikh’s new designer goods discount store, Design Vault

Trends, mostly, live in seasons. Classic fashion, on the other hand, is a little more long-lasting and always in demand. It’s probably on this premise that the newly-launched Design Vault started. Set up by Tina Tahiliani Parikh at the Ambawata Complex near the Qutb Minar, Design Vault is a multi-label designer store.

There’s everything from Tarun Tahiliani to Rohit Bal, Lacoanet Hemant, CUE by Rohit Gandhi and Rahul Khanna, Payal Jain, Ana Singh, Varun Bahl and Abraham and Thakore, to name some. The new thing is, everything’s on discount – 10 per cent to even 90 per cent of the original price. “Sometimes, they’re even lower than cost price,” points out Tarun Tahiliani, Tina’s brother.

It works like this: Clothes that are a couple of seasons old, and which designers do not want displayed in their boutiques along with the current lines, come to Design Vault. In some cases, they might have been sent to the ramp once and never worn again – like a blood-red velvet draped skirt that Tina points out, which even has the model’s name on a sticker inside. “We’ve chosen the designers. The respective designers decide which clothes to send here,” says Tina.

“Most designers are left with stock at the end of a season. Sometimes they might have miscalculated the demand for a particular piece. Or an order might have got cancelled last minute. The clothes might have been on sale for a season or two. But everything is in very good condition. And everybody likes a good deal.”

Tagged to surprise

“You can get some amazing things on discount,” says Tarun, pointing towards his brown leather Armani Exchange bag resting in a corner. “I got that during a discount sale. It’s been with me two years and it served me well.”

At Design Vault, price tags come up with a lot of surprises. A cream chiffon Tarun Tahiliani bias-cut tunic, for instance, comes at a cool Rs.1,200. Same for a linen Rohit Bal shirt. A red net corset costs even less. There are coats from Lacoanet Hemant and gold jackets from Monisha Jaising. Accessories like shoes, clutches, belts and handbags, too.

“Abroad, people burn stock to protect their brand image. It’s such a crime! Here, you have all these ‘plazas’ selling copies. Why not get the original now?” says Tarun.

Tarun and Tina are also the people behind Mumbai’s Ensemble (being founder and director respectively), one of the earliest fashion boutiques of the country. Not surprisingly, The Ensemble Design Studio is one of the labels available at Design Vault.

There has been a conscious attempt to avoid a clash of interests, though.

“People who’re coming here should know that the clothes here are some seasons old,” says Tarun. Tina adds, “People can’t think that what comes to Ensemble or other boutiques now will be available in Design Vault in three months’ time. We don’t want to affect others’ businesses.”

The focus right now is on expanding the menswear section. “Maybe, we’ll even stock a vintage section,” says Tarun , a little before heading out (brown bag in tow).

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