Finding a well-made work outfit is indeed a tough task for Indian women. Fortunately, Gurugram-based label Salt Attire founded by Dipti Tolani is here to help. “Salt Attire offers wardrobe solutions for contemporary women. Our fabrics are mostly imported and are of premium quality. We offer tailored fits and customisations that adhere to Indian body shapes and sizes. I was aware that most western outfits made in India cater to western proportions as our country is a big export hub for the overseas garment industry. Items produced for consumption in India are sized and fitted by leveraging UK size charts. Hence, at Salt Attire we created our own body measurement ratios based on research done on Indians,” she says about her brand.
A model in Salt Attire.
Tolani pursued an Engineering degree from Pune University and a Master’s in Operations Research & Financial Engineering from Columbia University, New York. Before starting her label, she worked as a consultant in New York. On a trip back home to India, an unscheduled work meeting came up which forced her to search the local markets for business casual, workwear items. “I hopped from showroom to showroom, with dwindling hopes that I would find what I required. I just needed a good shirt with decent fabric and a pair of pants. I struggled and compromised over trade-offs between designs, price, fabric, and fit! A simple search for a shirt and a pant turned into an ordeal. My colleagues and other friends from India all faced the same issue. They mostly bought clothes on their trips abroad. This made me aware of the gap in the Indian market,” she explains. Hence, Tolani launched Salt Attire to address the need for high-quality business casuals and workwear for women. Her brand was conceptualised as a one-stop-shop for 9 am to 9 pm clothing needs, where any piece of clothing could be worn to work and after.
Tolani’s in-depth ground research led her to study the industry and the design process in detail. She visited manufacturing units to watch the workers craft the garment from a design sketch she provided. This experience gave her operational and business insights ranging from tailor wages to workflow, and from designing clothes to their production. “Since then, Salt Attire has come a long way. We have an in-house team now, which designs, develops and produces the clothing. We study and predict trends, preferences and user behaviour based on social media analytics and customer interactions,” shares Tolani with pride.
Their latest Fall/Winter 2021 collection is an ode to elegant Victorian dressing with motifs like polkas, vintage flowers, dark hues, constructed silhouettes, and classic cuts. Salt Attire offers seasonal collections along with mini capsules. The founder says, “Our design team anticipates the needs of our clients as per their lifestyle, and creates designs which are functional, sophisticated, and chic. We focus on clean cuts with fine detailing. We believe in making aesthetically pleasing, feel-good clothes that offer utmost comfort, with classic silhouettes that are always flattering.”
A number of bloggers and influencers have been seen sporting their garments. Tolani believes their comfort fits and strong design language makes them stand apart from others. Minute attention to detail in every step of making the garment is their USP—right from using the best quality threads to accessories and other elements.Strict quality control parameters are also enforced every step of the way. The fabrics are pre-washed, to remove any stains and odours, and pre-shrunk to avoid shrinkage. The shirts are designed to avoid any gaping issues, and the pants and skirts are made with stretch fabric for extra comfort.
Describing her most rewarding moment, Tolani says, “When I had just started the label, I was waiting to catch a flight at the Mumbai airport. I saw a woman dressed in a Salt Attire shirt and it was a defining moment where I met her and she gave me a tight hug and told me how happy and comfortable she was with her new find!”
Through its structured tailoring catering specifically to Indian women, Salt Attire aims to be a one-stop-shop that provides high-quality wardrobe solutions for all women. Describing itself as an affordable luxury brand of elevated essentials, they also provide customisations and personalised shopping based on customer preferences, lifestyle, and body type. The pandemic was a testing time, but with things opening up the team is hopeful of better business and happier times ahead. Their manufacturing unit is in Udyog Vihar, Gurugram, and they retail both offline and online, and ship worldwide through their website saltattire.com. They also have a store in Mega Mall in Gurugram and are looking to expand to other cities as well.
The writer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on [email protected]