Anisha Sethi Interview© Instagram

Fashionista Anisha Sethi On Marketing Brands The Right Way

With a love for fashion embedded in her DNA, Anisha Sethi has garnered almost a decade of experience in marketing brands the right way.

Having a strong vision to create a unique networking platform where fashion, art and music come together, Anisha founded the Delhi Plus Community, a one of its kind profile-based community with a focus on the luxury and lifestyle segment. This initiative aims to be an aspirational platform for like-minded women to come together to explore common grounds and foster entrepreneurship and meaningful interactions.

In this exclusive interview, we delved deeper into Anisha’s life and career, exploring her journey and discussing her insights on the latest fashion trends.

HELLO!: Can you tell us about your background and how you became interested in fashion and event curation? Tell us a little about your journey so far.

Anisha Sethi: “Before launching Delhi Plus, a community building platform for like-minded women from diverse professional backgrounds, I spent six years in marketing jobs for fashion, luxury, and lifestyle brands, including Jimmy Choo, Bottega Veneta, and Paul Smith. After I left my last job at Genesis Luxury (now Reliance), my former bosses approached me to see if I was interested in hosting small brand events for them because they believed I had the perfect arsenal to pull it off. Back in 2014-2015, branding events weren’t so mainstream, it was barely even a concept, but with a knack for networking and a strong social circle, I hosted my first event for Furla in Select City Walk, planting the seed for Delhi Plus. After organising a couple of events like these, my ex-bosses encouraged me to start a community-building platform, and with support from my family and husband, Delhi Plus was born.

At first, I was a little sceptical about the business model, because people didn’t understand the concept and questioned whether they should pay for marketing events like these. But I persevered and spent a year introducing the idea to people, eventually gaining traction among brands. Now, we organise 3-4 events every month, helping brands acquire new customers, network with consumers, boost sales, and build a loyal community. And we have the privilege of selecting projects that align with our interests and sensibilities. It’s been a five-year journey, and it’s a different ball game altogether now.”

H!: Can you walk us through your creative process for planning an event? How do you come up with a theme, select vendors, brands and execute your vision?

AS: “When a brand approaches us to host an event, our team begins by thoroughly understanding their product, target audience, and objectives, including potential cross-selling opportunities. We then tailor an event to suit their specific requirements, whether it’s for sales, PR, or social media exposure. Our process involves developing a concept note, suggesting potential collaborations, and curating the guest list, as well as providing assistance with venue selection, food, decor, and logistics for out-of-city events.

A recent example of our work is the event we organised for BMW, which included a drive at a location near Jaipur, backdrop arrangements, influencer invitations, and a two-day itinerary. While the end result may seem effortless, nobody really gets to see the extensive planning that goes on behind the scenes to ensure a successful event. So we have to have an efficient system in place to manage any unforeseen challenges and just roll with the punches when it comes to event management.”

H!: Can you share a particularly memorable event you have curated and why it was so special to you? 

AS: “The BMW event I referred to earlier was a truly unforgettable experience for us, as it marked our foray into uncharted territory. Our team orchestrated a magnificent two-day staycation for ten influencers, each of whom was provided with a luxurious BMW car to explore the stunning property. The ensuing convoy of sleek vehicles was an absolute sight to behold! We drove all the way to the luxurious Tijara Fort Palace near Jaipur from BMW Bird Automotive, accompanied by the stunning monsoon skies and lush greenery of the countryside. We made sure that each guest had a marvellous time, which was later evident in the phenomenal social media coverage we received.

We wanted to provide the guests with a truly immersive experience, so we curated picturesque setups for them to shoot content, and arranged a range of local activities such as folk dances and tasting regional delicacies, which added a traditional flavour to the event. The cars and the regal hotel were a match made in heaven for Instagram posts, and luckily the influencers couldn’t get enough. Our team worked tirelessly to plan every detail, and we were constantly on our toes, but it was so special to us because we had an absolute blast!”

H!: How do you engage and connect with your followers, and what do you think are the key elements of building a strong community around a brand or personal brand?

AS: “My Instagram account is quite old, and I’ve been active on the platform for a while now. Initially, my posts were primarily focused on my fitness journey, and I also served as an Adidas brand ambassador for two years, which totally aligned with my personal interests. While I obviously gained a following through events and collaborations, when the pandemic hit and in-person events were put on hold, I had to find a way to stay relevant and engage with my audience on Instagram. This led to a continued partnership with Adidas and we created a lot of fitness content that people began to associate me with.

I also found that my most authentic and relatable content came from sharing organic moments with my family, capturing snippets of my daily routine, showcasing my fitness regimen or perhaps moments from a wedding I attended over the weekend. By sharing organic content that’s true to me, I’ve been able to build a personal brand and connect with my audience on a deeper level.”

H!: Can you speak to the challenges and opportunities of marketing luxury fashion brands in today’s social media-driven world? How do you approach promoting luxury fashion in a way that feels authentic and engaging to your audience?

AS: “My followers are predominantly interested in luxury content honestly, but catering to this segment comes with its own set of challenges. While some may perceive me as constantly donning high-end brands and attending exclusive events, the truth is that I often opt for casual, non-branded attire even on such occasions. To strike a balance, I consciously endorse more accessible, street-style brands, like Adidas for instance, alongside luxury labels, and share a mix of relatable, down-to-earth content that reflects my true self beyond the external glitz and glam. By doing so, I’m able to establish a genuine and relatable personal brand that resonates with my audience. It’s important to me that my audience sees the genuine side of me, beyond the facade of luxury.”

H!: You’ve built a large following on social media. How do you balance your personal life with your online presence and your business?

AS: “Despite how effortless it may appear, the reality of maintaining a work-life balance is quite challenging. For example, each day, I am greeted with a plethora of PR packages that require my attention and promotion on social media, but more often than not, my busy schedule prevents me from getting around to everything.

Being a wife, mother, daughter, and sister on top of my role as an influencer and event curator is no easy feat, as my family takes precedence over everything else in my life. While some may find it unconventional to prioritise family over work, I have found that this balance works best for me. I make a conscious effort to prioritise my responsibilities accordingly, and sometimes this means having to decline attending an event in favour of being there for my son’s exams. Ultimately, I believe that giving my all to my work and family will naturally shine through in everything that I do.”

H!: How do you stay motivated and inspired in your work, especially during times of creative block or burnout?

AS: “My first step to overcoming creative blocks and avoiding the trap of comparison is to stop scrolling aimlessly on social media. As each individual has varying commitments and priorities, some of which do not include a family or marriage, it can be a challenge for me to create quality content while balancing these personal responsibilities as compared to other, perhaps younger creators who’re on top of their content game. Instead of obsessing over unattainable goals, I prioritise more meaningful collaborations that align with my values and strive to create content that is true to myself without sacrificing my family life.”

H!: As a fashion influencer, you are often at the forefront of the latest trends. Can you tell us about a trend you’re currently loving and why? 

AS: “I’m really digging the current trend of pairing sneakers with casual chic attire, like sweatpants, t-shirts, or jackets. As someone who has to venture out for work on the daily, I’m all for a more effortless and laid-back approach to getting ready. Also, co-ord sets are lifesavers!”

H!: What’s your favourite outfit in your closet right now, and where did you wear it last?

AS: “A teal-coloured velvet co-ordinated suit set which I wore for my last event. I can’t get over how comfy yet fashionable the outfit is.”

H!: If you had to shop from only one brand/designer all your life, which would it be?

AS: “I absolutely love outfits from Shivan & Narresh. Perfect for summertime and getaways, their clothing provides a blend of relaxed comfort and style that is also ideal for navigating Delhi’s unpredictable climate. Personally, I wouldn’t mind having my entire wardrobe filled with their timeless and chic designs.”

H!: Who is your style icon, and why?

AS: “I’ve been hooked on Sonam Kapoor’s fashion sense ever since I saw her in the movie Aisha. Her effortless grace and poise imbue each outfit with a certain je ne sais quoi, you know?”

H!: What’s the most expensive item of clothing you’ve ever purchased, and was it worth it?

AS: “I splurged on a Gucci tracksuit, but honestly, it wasn’t worth it. I could’ve spent that money on so many other amazing outfits.”

H!: If you could raid any celebrity’s closet, whose would it be?

AS: Like I said earlier, I’d have to go with either Sonam Kapoor or her sister Rhea Kapoor, since Rhea is the mastermind behind Sonam’s stunning looks. If I were a man, I’d totally raid Karan Johar’s wardrobe—it’s flamboyant, bold and full of comfy sweats, and I’m all for it!”

H!: You recently created a video for us on how to plan a perfect date for your partner for Valentine’s Day. Can you tell us some pointers on how to set up the perfect date for your partner? 

AS: “If you want to make your partner feel special, skip the fancy arrangements and go for a simple, romantic dinner at home. Creating a lovely dinner table doesn’t require much effort or investment. You can use simple things lying around in your home, like flowers, candles, and some chic dinnerware and textiles. For a sweet touch, you can even add a display of cupcakes on a cute cake stand. Remember, it’s all about the love and making it fun and relatable. Keep it simple and you’ll nail date night every time!”