The concept of beach wears in India was not there years ago when designers Shivan and Naresh introduced in the country. In an interview to News Today, the duo shared their experience, insights and difficulties they faced during their initial years.
Excerpts from the interview
Q: Tell us about The Blend and how do you come up with the idea?
A: As a luxury holiday brand, travel and art are placed in the heart of all our collections. Our Edomer Series for instance, was inspired by the 17th century Japanese Edo Art movement combined with the elements from our trip to Seychelles. The latest Koi Series draws inspiration from the Gond Art of Madhya Pradesh and colours taken from our trip to the Turkish spice markets. The Blend is an amalgamation of this travel universe of Shivan & Narresh with the four characteristic notes of Chivas Regal 12YO – fruity, creamy, floral and citrus.
Q: Tell us about your association with Chivas Studio and Koovs?
A: As a brand we believe it is essential for one to keep exploring new opportunities with brand collaborations as it brings two worlds together. With Koovs the idea behind the collaboration was to curate a collection which is an extension to the world of Shivan & Narresh reaching out to a complete new set of audience which is younger and aspirational. The Blend with Chivas on the other hand, with the brands inclination towards luxury travel and lifestyle is a very special collaboration which reimagines the four notes of Chivas and giving them a tangible form through 4 signature prints of the brand which help you see, touch and feel these notes through distinct zones.
Q: What can we expect from Shivan and Narresh in near future?
A: Swimwear and resort wear is the DNA of the brand, our intention however is to constantly work towards becoming a holistic luxury lifestyle brand. With destination weddings as a crucial market for the brand and millennial brides who prefer a contemporary take on Indian weddings, we see ourselves making inroads into the universe of bridal couture where we give couture services exclusively on appointment basis at our design headquarters in New Delhi making these pieces exclusive and private without any other copies of it.
Q: When you launched your brand years ago, the concept of beach wear in India was not there and what were the difficulties you guys faced?
A: Starting out with swimwear was a very challenging path for us as it was a completely unchartered category in the Indian market and the acceptance and acknowledgement for swimwear wasn’t something that we knew wouldn’t come to us easily. The idea, however, has always been to make the Indian audience familiar with the Idea of luxury travel and at the same time induce body confidence in the Indian women with our swim and resort wear collections.
Q: Tell us about the future of swimwear and beach wears in India?
A: With changing mindsets and explosion of travel, people are now becoming more progressive when it comes towards fashion and clothing. Being able to establish as a swimwear brand is something that explains the same which explains the journey of this category in a huge way in the last 8-9 years.It is commendable how now swim and resort wear have established markets where people like to invest in holiday wear pieces for their luxury getaways and destination weddings and honeymoons. A remarkable demographic shift in millennials world over has been observed that they value experiences more than products. In this light, they find a luxury holiday brand like us speaking the same experiential values through products that allow them to travel and explore the world.
Q: Tell us about your bonding with each other? Did you have any creative differences with each other?
A:The brand has two different aspects where Shivan plans and handles the design aspect of it where patterns, silhouettes, fabrics and skeinwork techniques are brought together creating ornate luxury holiday wear pieces. On the other hand handle, the creative direction, dimension of it where the development of prints, colours and aesthetic, marketing activities and other external processes of the brand are handled. We then put our individual strengths together to bring the holistic Shivan & Narresh aesthetic that everyone relates to. Creative differences are very common at our headquarters and are fought out so that whatever we dish out in each collection is the most perfect form of the product that we envision for that season.