In conversation with Yashodhara Shroff of Ffolio

Ffolio is Bangalore’s first luxury retail destination for designer labels. Opened in the early 1990s, Ffolio would continue bring to its clients, the very best in Indian designer wear. This luxury retail destination was founded by  entrepreneur, Yashodhara Shroff. She curates the exclusive range of designer clothes, jewellery and accessories available at Ffolio. Here she answers some questions on her journey with Ffolio

Yashodhara Shroff with husband Sanjay Shroff of Ffolio : Image Source

When & how did you get the idea of a multi-designer store?

I got the idea of a multi designer store back in 1990. It was completely a need based scenario as we didn’t have any outlet in Bangalore to purchase designer clothes back then. We would all travel to Delhi for every little need. So, Ffolio happened!

Folio is a trendsetter in the world of Indian designer retail, how have you been able to retain your brand’s identity through the years?

Since its inception, we at Ffolio have always maintained a certain standard with the designers we host and the apparel we stock. We have a keen eye of trend and have ensure we stuck to our beliefs when it comes to what we think is a good product. I think this has helped us maintain our brand identity through the years.

According to you, what had developed your sensibilities?

I have always had a keen interest in fine arts and that led me to study at the Art Institute of Chicago. I think this clearly fueled my sensibilities towards Indian crafts, textiles and fashion

From Right to Left : Yashodhara Shroff, Manish Malhotra & Guest:Image Source

Who are your favorite designers?

That’s a tough one! I would say I really like the evergreen designers like JJ Valaya, Rohit Bal and Anamika Khanna (to name a few). But the newer designers like Doodlage have also spiked my interest as they make some very trendy clothes and are really good with their designs.

Any interesting memory you have from your years with Folio?

There have been a lot of interesting memories with Ffolio. Most of these came from the very interesting promotions we have run in the store. We have had events at the store where we had theatre with designer clothes. At one time we did a very interesting showcase with Anu Mafatlal, where we did up the whole store with the theme “Sun, moon & stars”. Another one was when we did a Qawali evening with Muzaffar Ali. When Conde Nast covered us as the best store to shop designer wear at, that would be another lovely memory.

There are so many new Indian designers, but some of the old names like Rohit Bal, Suneet Varma, JJ Vallaya, etc are still going strong…Why do you feel they have lasted?

These names have lasted because their designs are evergreen. Even though they play with the current trends, the same clothes can be worn years apart and they would still be eye catching. They are classics and beautifully designed. I think that’s one reason they are still going strong.

Sanjay & Yashodhara Shroff at their store Ffolio : Image Source

Any advice for upcoming designers?

Other than good design, which is of course the most important, the one advice I would give would be to take into account their target market. It is also very important to be able to have a good business understanding.

Over the years what changes have you seen in the clients for Indian designer wear?

There is a clear inclination to western influenced apparel in today’s times. People want more contemporary and international styles now.

What do you think, are the closet staples that a woman should have?

A white shirt, blus jeans, an LBD and a classic black jacket is a must I think.

Any celebrity whose personal style you admire?

Anne Hathaway. She has carried out some exceptionally trendy looks in the duration of her acting career.

 

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