1 – About WESTxEAST
What does WESTxEAST do?
WESTxEAST creates completely custom south asian inspired outfits designed by our clients. We started the company to deliver each of our clients a beautiful outfit(s) that is unique to them, a delightful experience, and more transparent pricing than boutiques currently offer or an expensive trip to South Asia. We work hard to deliver the outfit of your dreams, and bring your vision to life.
We utilize our operational expertise to make your dream outfit(s) and leverage technology to deliver an unparalleled experience where customers can watch and consult as their outfit is being created. Our Co-Founders, Tania Kottoor and Liya Thachil both have worked for emerging and established designers. We have a production unit in New Delhi, India and work with artisans who have worked with well-known Indian designers to deliver top quality craftsmanship at affordable prices.
Where are you located?
We are based in Long Island, New York but serve customers across the United States and Canada. All of our interactions are conducted by phone, email and video call.
Do you have a store I can visit?
We do not have a store. We’re a completely virtual service. We do however have a home office and have in-person meetings with clients on request.
2 – Dress Making Process
How does the process work?
WESTxEAST Initial Consultation Call: This is a quick 20 minutes call that allows WESTxEAST to get an understanding of what you’re looking for. We’ll go into further detail on how we will create your dream outfit and answer any additional questions you might have about the process. During this call, you will discuss every detail to make sure we understand exactly how you want your outfit to look for your event. We ask that you send us any inspiration photos you want to discuss during the call so that we can create a mood board for you.
Price Quote, Payment & Pre-Production: Following the consultation, we ask for a $50 Service Fee to start the process of sourcing fabric. We will meet with our design and production team to review the details of your outfit(s) and send you an initial email with a price quote. The price is determined by two factors: (1) material and (2) amount of hand-sewing required to accomplish your look, i.e. trim, appliques, beading, sequins, custom embroidery, etc. If the price quoted is acceptable, we’ll send you an invoice and you can pay directly through Venmo or Google Pay.
Measurement Forms: WESTxEAST will send you a measurement form(s) with a comprehensive list of all the measurements needed, specific to your outfit design. We ask that you have someone take the measurement for you or go to a seamstress.
Design Meeting: We will mail you a Design Book that includes sketches and fabric samples. We will set-up a video call with us to finalize the design.
Fabric Swatches: We will source fabric swatches and trims options that we recommend for your outfit(s) so you can confirm in person the correct weight, color, feel, etc.
Digital Sketches: WESTxEAST will create 2-D Digital Sketch(s) that brings together all of the design elements discussed during the consultation to make sure our visions are aligned. We’ll use the selected sketch as a final checkpoint before going into production.Production: After completing pre-production and receiving the first deposit, the outfit will enter the production stage. Production takes 3-4 months, and you will receive pictures and videos of behind the scenes construction of the garments. This assembly line involves: dyers, pattern makers, seamstresses and artisans.
Delivery: You will be notified when the outfit is enroute to your home address. Once the package is delivered to your doorsteps, you are required to immediately pay the second half of the deposit plus the international shipment fees.
Is the whole process conducted online, or does any part require us to meet in person?
We have created a system that allows you to design your dream outfit(s) completely remotely, communicating through phone calls/texts, emails, and video calls. We’ve worked on several outfits and are continuing to improve our communication systems as we grow. We’re proud of how well this process works for us and our clients.
How can I address questions or concerns before moving forward?
The best way to do this is to schedule an initial call. On this call we’ll walk through the details of our process and answer any questions you might have. We love getting to know our customers better, and are really excited to chat with you! If you have questions or concerns at any time after your design consultation, email us or set up a call.
Who designs my outfit(s)?
Our #1 priority is to bring your vision to life. We collaborate with you to align on a design, and then our fashion illustrator translates it into digital sketches to send to our workshop. We’re happy to provide photos of past outfit(s) we’ve made for inspiration and feedback on your ideas, but we think of our clients as the head designer, and we are here to execute on your vision.
How intricate can my design be?
We can do heavy hand-embroidery and machine embroidery. These design details are heavily reflected in the price of your outfit, but those expectations can be set on your design consultation. We’ll let you know up front the pricing and timeline implications to a very complicated outfit. Schedule an initial call with us to discuss further, and if possible, send us inspiration photos before that call so we can reference those as we chat.
How can I make this process quicker, smoother, and easier?
Do research and have an idea of what you want. The more information you provide, the clearer we can be in translating our notes to our fashion illustrator and production unit. You can always go into Indian boutiques and try on clothes to see what style best fits your body and taste.
I have a specific dress I want, but it’s out of my price range. Can you make a replica?
We can replicate with the best of our abilities with your desired adjustments. Our process works best when you can show us some inspiration photos and we can combine elements of inspiration outfits to create your own unique custom outfit. Additionally, trims and fabrics aren’t universally accessible - if your favorite part of an inspiration dress is a unique print, we will work to find something similar and perfect for the outfit, but there is no guaranteeing we can source it for your outfit.
Even if I’m not ready to start designing my outfit(s), can I schedule a call?
Of course! Schedule an initial call with us so we can give you the run-down of the process and we can chat about when it makes sense to schedule your design consultation. We want to make sure our process is a good fit, and give you tips on how to make it work for you!
Can I track the progress of my outfit(s) as it’s being made?
Yes - we will keep you updated when each step is finished and ready to move on.
How can WESTxEAST guarantee I will love my outfit(s) if I never get to try it on before it’s delivered?
We established a very thorough and detailed design and production process with the goal of exceeding your expectations. We will send you pictures as the outfit is being created.
What if I change my mind about some element of my dress while it’s being made?
Our goal is to get all the design elements confirmed prior to your outfit(s) entering production. However, once you sign off on the Production Sheet and it goes into production, we can not make anymore changes.
3 – Fit and Measurements
Since I can’t try it on, how does WESTxEAST make sure my dress will fit properly?
WESTxEAST strives to provide a fully customized outfit(s) designed by you. Our intent here is to provide an outfit(s) that fits better than a standard sample size! So we provide you with a very detailed measurement form for you to fill out. We will also have our head tailor review it for any major errors.
What about alterations?
We do not provide any alterations.
Who pays for alterations?
You are financially responsible for standard alterations after you receive the outfit(s).
4 – Pricing, Payment, & Returns
What is the typical price of a WESTxEAST outfit?
We can only give you an estimate once you send us pictures. The pricing varies due to (1) material, i.e. amount of silk, chiffon, georgette etc and (2) amount of handwork/hand-sewing required, i.e. appliques, beading, sequins, custom embroidery etc. If you’re trying to stay within a budget, let us know and you can make sure you’re not pacing for a more expensive dress on your design consultation.
At what point in the process do I pay for my outfit(s)?
After we’ve completed a design consultation together, we will generate a price quote for you. We ask for the first half deposit pre-production and second half of the deposit after delivery.
What else will you charge me for?
You pay the price of the Design Book, outfit(s) and shipping fee. Final alterations are not our financial responsibility.
What happens if I don’t like my outfit?
Unfortunately, we can not offer refunds because each outfit is custom made for each client.
What is your return and refund policy?
We do not accept any returns and we can not provide refunds.
5 – Lead Times
How long will it take to make my outfit(s)?
There are three important phases that comprise the creation of your custom outfit(s) and should be considered when calculating your lead-time:
Design Process: (digital sketch(s), fabric/trim selection, measurements) - this typically takes 2 months, but can take a shorter or longer amount of time depending on your timeline and how quickly you want to receive your outfit(s).
Production: (outfit(s) creation and shipping) - Once everything in the design process is complete it takes 3-4 months to complete the production of your outfit(s).
Alteration Period: We suggest a timeline that allows you to receive your outfit(s) at least one month before your event in the case there are minor alterations needed.
Can you guarantee my outfit(s) will arrive on time?
After your initial consultation, our production team will review the details of your outfit(s) to generate a timeline.
6 – Delivery
Do you ship internationally?
At this time, we only ship within the United States and Canada.
Who pays for shipping?
RTW and pre-order items are FREE SHIPPING within the US ONLY.
Custom pieces will require an additional shipping fee that’s dependent on the weight.
How long does shipping take?
Our RTW products are shipped within 4-7 Days.
Pre-orders will take 3-5 weeks.
For custom pieces we will ship to you within 1-3 weeks once it’s shipped from India.
How do I track my dress while it’s being shipped?
We will send you the tracking number once your outfit(s) is packed and enroute.
7 – Previously Made Outfits
Where can I see pictures of past outfit(s) you’ve done before and reviews from other brides?
On our Reviews tab, you can see pictures of some of our past outfits and read testimonials from our clients. We also post pictures and videos of recent clients on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.
I have a specific style in mind but I don’t see pictures of your past dresses that are the same. Are you sure you can you make it for me?
We’ve made outfits of all sizes and shapes, and based off of a wide array of inspiration outfits. We will never take on a outfit that is outside of our abilities, and we will tell you on your initial call if your dream outfit(s) falls into that category. The best thing for us to do is talk about the specifics of your design together. Schedule an initial call with us and we can let you know what we’re able to accommodate.