THE SHE FACTOR: Making Change Fashionable

By Sandhya D’Mello
Khaleej Times, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) “DIVAlicious” was founded in April 2011 by entrepreneur Vanita Bhatia. Originally it was a small pop-up shop with 10 emerging brands. After a massive turnout, the idea has grown into a series of major exhibitions and fashion shows around the world.


Dubai is emerging as the next global fashion hub as high-end brands are extending their footprints and tapping customers through various e-commerce channels.

In 2018, a number of malls are set to open in the UAE, giving the fashion industry a boost.

The nation brings fashion from the East and West and offers a platform to customers and designers to explore the best.

There are people who travel within the region to Dubai just to shop as the emirate is known to have shopping festivals through out the year, be it Dubai Shopping Festival or Dubai Summer Suprises, stocks clearances, surprise sales and much more. Fashion takes the top spot when it comes to shopping as people in Dubai are spoiled and pampered by having multiples choices at competitive rates.

“Fashion thrives on an eclectic mix of cultures and concepts. Dubai being a global hub fashion gets the boost due to its versatile audience and encourages designers to establish a diffusion of trends, says Vanita Bhatia, founder and CEO of DIVAlicious.

“Dubai also embraces international brands by making it easily accessible for the mixed nationalities residing here. A willingness to buy and an easy access makes Dubai fashionably conscious with a dynamic pace especially with bloggers and influencers being an active force as well. With a mix of various cultures, Dubai has become a socially fashionable hub for everyone. With such a dynamic global hub, fashion is pivotal and a major evolving essence in Dubai. To keep updated, fashion exhibitions like DIVAlicious are easily welcomed keeping in mind the right timing and brands.”

For those who know Vanita, the best words to describe her are highly-motivated, has the will power to succeed and hard-working. Also, for those who knew her since she was a kid, Vanita used to be sporting high-heels, loved make up and her ‘bible’ being fashion magazines.

Known to have a flair for fashion but to do something unique, she decided to create the mobile boutique DIVAlicious. Combining this with her banking experience, this was not just another exhibition.

The idea, which started small, has now grown to be an international award-winning brand associated with high-end celebrity designers. The concept is to take fashion brands to different cities and be a platform to showcase them via exposure in media, audience, exhibitions and fashion shows.

Further to add on the agenda for 2018 is an online store launching in April with a global presence, says Vanita.

Fashion Week designers such as Anita Dongre, Neeta Lulla, Satya Paul, Pankaj & Nidhi, Payal Singhal, Falguni Shane Peacock, Masaba, Gaurang Shah, Valliyan, Babita Malkani, Rajat Tangri, Sonaakshi Raaj and many more are associated with DIVAlicious and do travel with the brand.

Vanita is certain to take this brand notches higher by 2018 with presence in 18 cities globally and an established online portal for global shoppers who can’t access DIVAlicious and their fashion week designers.

DIVAlicious was founded in April 2011 in Dubai as a small pop-up shop with 10 emerging brands.

With a massive turnout, the concept saw no turning back. The idea that started small grew and ventured globally; in seven years of its existence, DIVAlicious has not only associated with A-list celebrity designers but also worked with them by hosting a series of exhibitions and fashion shows in Dubai, London, Nairobi, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Singapore, Durban, Johannesburg, Sri Lanka, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad and Bangalore.

It is the only exhibition in the world to have a presence in so many cities with the best of established designers.

To further add, DIVAlicious has won Masala awards two years in a row as ‘Best Lifestyle Show’ in 2016 and 2017.

“In 2018, I plan to add more cities to the portal and definitely add innovative concepts to the 10 shows planned this year. In the last seven years of DIVAlicious coming into existence, I have noticed and have been proud to see the innovative concepts and success stories of women entrepreneurs,” says Vanita.

“The belief that women depend on men or certain job profiles belong to men no longer exists; as a matter of fact it’s vice-versa. For example, female bloggers and influencers are such a rage and are taken so seriously that luxury brands also work with them.

Also, the concept for emerging designers with d3 [Dubai Design District] creates a platform for so many women to enhance their skills. With so much of support in encouraging women entrepreneurs only makes possibilities of a booming economy.”

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