Amrita Kriplani left the world of mainstream fashion behind to launch the online ethical indie marketplace Anek.
With a background in fashion technology, entrepreneur Amrita Kriplani left the world of mainstream fashion behind. Inspired by her passion for ethical designers and unique clothing, she launched her own curated online marketplace for independent retailers, Anek, earlier this year.
How do you describe Anek?
Anek is an online marketplace for independent fashion brands. We have more thanr 85 brands from 16 countries, each with amazing stories to tell and products at high street prices.
Why did you decide to set up Anek?
It was a combination of a number of experiences: seeing the Zara leather jacket I loved on so many other people in seven different countries; the trends and sameness coming out of current mass fashion brands; coming across indie brands struggling to survive; wanting something unique for myself that didn’t break the bank; and ultimately the desire to support a more transparent sustainable fashion ecosystem.
What does the name mean?
“Variety” in Hindi.
Mary and marie
At Asos, I was in product management. I learnt a lot about marketing and being customer-focused. I really hope I can make Anek resonate as much as Asos some day. It’s got there by truly understanding its customer and how to meet their needs. I set up the Finery website, which was an amazing experience. It hasn’t changed much in the past two years, so I like to think I must have done a decent job. It gave me exposure to a new brand and independent label launching, and of building everything – brand, site, and merchandising – from scratch.
Why are you a fan of independent designers?
I love brands that lead to the “Hey, where did you get that from?” question. I love supporting small companies with limited marketing budgets, lots of courage, great visions and gorgeous merchandise. I’m incredibly passionate about knowing where what I’m wearing comes from, and knowing that it has helped people along the supply chain. We have designers who are working with charities, sustaining traditional crafts, paying fair wages and using organic materials.
What’s your favourite item on the site at the moment?
There are way too many to choose from. But with the cold weather approaching I’m loving the slogan sweatshirts – combining a smile with comfort.
How do you discover new brands?
Lots of online scouring, including Instagram and some “hacks”. I have gone to a few trade shows, such as Premium and Seek in Berlin and Pure in London. Being an online shop, it’s great to connect with the brands in person, to touch and feel the products. We’ve seen products look great on websites but not so great in person, and vice versa. We now balance it out with a mix of online work and some trade shows, but I really prefer scouting online now.
What’s the latest new brand you’ve discovered?
Way too many to list, again! But I really like Naomi Murrell who just came on board and has a lot of products for autumn with a vintage glam look.
Who do you admire in the fashion industry?
What’s the best business advice you were ever given?
The best advice I’ve been given is to “validate the advice”. There are a lot of people out there who will comment and sway your opinions. Commenting is easy and although these people may not have the relevant experience or have worked in the relevant space, everyone still has a conflicting viewpoint. It can easily confuse you.
Favourite clothing brand?
Several brands we’ve got stocked on Anek – DD Collective, Olio, and Arc & Bow.
Favourite places to shop?
Anek, Sézane, & Other Stories, Colette, random places on my travels and boutiques in Shoreditch.
Last fashion purchase?
A bodysuit by Basal on Anek, jumping in on the bodies trend.
Munich for Oktoberfest.
Last book you read?
Traction by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares.
Last film you watched?
Bridget Jones’ Diary.
A geeky computer science research intern in an Italian university.
Scuba diving instructor.