Porte Mode

What about our buying culture has changed over the past few years? Why has it become commonplace for us to shop at places like Etsy, Everlane, Reformation, etc which until recently were no name brands? What happened that caused a shift in our mass buying patterns?

The answer for me has come in the form of looking for something unique. Social media has caused such mass fatigue, that from the time an image hits us from the runway to it coming in-stores, we have seen it featured so many times that we start craving for newness again. That’s when the wheel breaks and we have to stop and think what can we do differently?

That’s what the team behind Porte Mode is trying to change – to attract a customer who craves beautiful things – but doesn’t chase trends. She is effortless and her style is her own. I sat with the founders of Porte Mode – Shuchi Kothari and Neha Chinai, to get a better understanding of what makes Porte Mode different.
TBS : How did Porte Mode come about? 
SK: Neha and I have been friends since our middle school days and often talked about the lack of access to emerging designers from India. While I was at Harvard, I worked on this business plan with our third co-founder Jaewha Choi (who is from South Korea) and put the plan into action here in New York. We are a global company – with the three of us working in three separate locations but I think it also gives us a unique edge. We never feel disconnected from the designers we buy.
TBS : Speaking of being global, does it make work challenging between the three of you?
NC: Not really. We each focus on a different aspect of the business. Yes – we definitely interact frequently and constantly bounce ideas of each other, but our areas of expertise are different. Technology makes things easy to keep in constant communication about any challenges we run into.
TBS : While your product selection is beautiful, due to the higher price point, do you find barriers of entry to get people to want to buy?
SK : We certainly don’t believe that the Porte Mode customer is every woman out there. We believe our woman is someone who lets her clothes be another facet of her taste profile. She loves travel and the art of discovery. Her clothes represent these choices. She thinks of it as art and is willing to pay the price for the craftsmanship that is involved in each of our garments.
TBS : Your shipping threshold is higher than a lot of retailers online.
NC : The average price of our garments is $300 or higher. It is easy to hit the threshold. Plus we ensure delivery within 7 business days to ensure a seamless shopping experience.
TBS : What has been a big win for you to date? 
SK : It was a little surreal to see Beyonce is one of our jackets – it made us feel like we had extended the reach of our designers and brought them a new audience and appreciation. That’s been very rewarding.
TBS : And what has been something you’ve struggled with? 
NC : Initially when we launched the company, we did not understand the true scope of marketing and just how much work it would entail – it seems at every turn, a new social media app launches and changes the way we interact and process information. We’ve had many a learnings since. Most recently, we’ve been able to get a lot of international bloggers on board and see their interpretation of our clothes which has been fun!
TBS : What lays ahead for Porte Mode? 
SK : More designers, more countries and other categories in our assortment. We want to do this slowly but do it right. We want to continue the intimacy of the sense of discovering something new through Porte Mode.

Follow their journey on their site, Instagram and Facebook.

Images courtesy of Porte Mode

By |2016-11-07T13:36:02+00:00January 1st, 2016|Categories: Blog, Interviews|Tags: , , |0 Comments

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