Angadi Galleria: Rebranding in the Age of Instagram


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Angadi Galleria: Rebranding in the Age of Instagram

By:Chirag Mohanty Samal

How a Bengaluru-based sari store became an overnight sensation

Today, Angadi Galleria has 40,700 followers on Instagram, its consumer enquiries are on a steroid rise, 51 publications have written about it and everyone who has any interest in what Deepika Padukone wore for her wedding and reception knows about the sari store in Bengaluru with a history of over 600 years in the textile trade.

Till yesterday with just some 3,000 odd followers on Instagram, it was but another big sari showroom, its founder and merchandise known to textile connoisseurs and sari buyers of the city but it was certainly not a social media sensation. Before the brand put up Deepika Padukone’s sari picture, on an average, they got less than 500 likes. After the red sari picture went up, the average like per picture increased to 4500-5000. Also, there were hardly any comments earlier, but now Instagram account is inundated with comments such as “Gorgeous piece,” “The sari is gorgeous…price please,” and “would love to see the man behind these sari designs!” There are about 30-40 comments for each picture asking about the price.

The publicity Angadi Galleria got in Indian media is what PR dreams are made of. K. Radharaman, the founder and CEO of the store, was contacted by all major publications and online portals in the country including website of TV channels. Some of the publications that have written about Angadi include Elle, Hindustan Times, Indian Express, NDTV, India Today, The Economic Times, Filmfare and News18 among others. Speaking on the new-found attention, Radharaman says, “I was clear from the outset that I had no intention of saying anything negative about anyone. I also did not have any expectations about the media hype that would follow.”

The sari that actor Deepika Padukone wore for her Bengaluru reception was bought from Angadi Galleria.

Angadi Galleria burst into the limelight on November 20, when Radharaman, sent a mail to the editor of this platform stating: “Deepika Padukone’s Kanjeevaram red gold wedding sari worn by her for the Mangalorean wedding ceremony with a Sabyasachi veil and jewellery was an Advaya sari from the House of Angadi.”   Radharaman had attached the requisite proof—a photograph of the sari and Padukone’s signature on the visitor’s book. Once Sabyasachi Mukherjee credited Angadi Galleria for Deepika’s sari issuing a notification, the story become an overnight sensation.

Radharaman’s ancestors were the court weavers for the royal court of the Maharajah SerfojiBhonsle-II and were informally bestowed the title of the ‘Angadivals’. Radharaman still remains the head designer at the House of Angadi, directing and guiding seven textile designers working under him. “I remain hands on when it comes to design and the process is very thought intensive. I develop most of the concepts before we get into details such as construction, weave, colour, etc.,” he says. To translate these concepts into Advaya Kanjeevarams, Angadi employs on a direct and dedicated basis a little over 500 individual looms located in and around Kanchipuram district. “Through our retail label we directly/ indirectly work with over 2000 craftspeople across India,” he reveals.

A traditional Kanjeevaram sari from Angadi Galleria.

Radharam confirms there have been, “lots of business enquiries online but we are not booking orders now.” The walk-ins at the store have remained the same, “but wedding purchases take time to plan so the commercial returns will take time to pan out,” he says.

The success of a traditional sari store puts the much-needed focus on Kanjeevarams. More business translates into more orders for the weavers. One of the takeaways from the situation is the accidental business model–a celebrity endorser, a crackling social media campaign and design interventions. This seems to be the right formula to sustain weaving clusters. Time will tell, if this model will abet more success stories as Radharam puts it, “I am delighted that textile designers like me are getting some credit for their work. Still long way to go, we hope people will not forget this once the hoopla surrounding the wedding dies down.”

A lesson to be learnt here is how a low key brand and owner generated massive publicity by taking a non-controversial and non-retaliatory approach. Angadi Galleria generated far more interest and curiosity than some brands, who blow their trumpets in the public sphere.

Read the original article here : Voice of Fashion

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