Aisha Saraf Kothari grew up in New Delhi, India, then moved to America to study business at Wharton and continued to work in New York. She says, “ I now live in Antwerp, Belgium, one of the fashion capitals of the world. I have been a strategy consultant throughout my career and saw the good and the bad of working with big corporate companies. The one thing that I did learn was what drives me, what wakes me up each morning. It was the fact that my actions can have an impact – whether small or big, the ripple effect of your action can be insane!
So what exactly is AISPI – a place where a crazy perfectionist like me researches and reaches out to fashion pioneers to give you the best value for money, high quality and hard to find local boutiques in Europe
AISPI started off as a project. A simple fashion project to create an impact in an industry that Aisha always loved, but couldn’t be a part of. She explains, “I had never studied design or fashion management. A few months in, we have impacted the lives of 150 shops and designers, 40 emerging artists and over 2500 consumers. By providing a platform where consumers can express themselves through fashion and travel. With a dictionary and thesaurus at hand, I narrowed down on ESPY – which means To Discover, to find, to unearth. After all, that is what we are doing here right? Discovering local fashion and emerging designers Finding your unique personality and style To add a twist to the name, my friend, had a cute idea. Let’s make ESPY – AISPI, after my name, Aisha
and to combine with the famous jingle I-Spy with my little Eye!
AISPI helps you walk away with a wearable memory of the city that you visit. It helps you locate boutique stores that are local, emerging designers that are not yet unreachable and an experience that is truly unique. according to the young entrepreneur, “The best part is we curate selections that are value for money. If you are paying a high price tag, it is because the material, design or making demands it, not because marketing spends leads to high overheads. Our curation is completely independent, based on expertise and research. Boutiques and designers do NOT pay us to have a page on the website.
AISPI’s curation guidelines are
- Fashion forward (basically it needs to look awesome!)
- Value for money (are you charging a fair price keeping in mind your brand value, materials used and design aesthetic) ● Independent (not a chain)
AISPI is for the curious traveller, the woman who wants to stand out from the rest. Who sometimes wants to make a statement and sometimes subtly wear a memory on her sleeve. It is for those who dare to explore!
A proud Aisha adds, “We only launched our platform 2 months ago and in that much time, our clientele has included Mira Shahid Kapoor, Shankar and Siddharth Mahadevan, Devita Saraf, House of Misu, Masoom Minawala and many more in the pipeline!
AISPI is a value – the value of expressing yourself through fashion. She concludes, “ We have just scraped the tip of the iceberg with Europe – the idea is to take this value and head on for global domination! India is very much high up on our list to curate – it is my home, my heritage and I am so proud of the talent that we have there. The exquisite embroidery, the designs, the talent – it is absolutely enchanting. So yes, of course we will be coming to curate India soon! Stay tuned!”