Shivan Bhatia and Narresh Kukreja are best described as bold, confident and sophisticated surviving and prospering the Indian market as the beachwear designers talk to Krishti Khound about the heart of the brand.
Exhibit: What is the narrative behind Shivan & Narresh? What has been the journey like from the West to India?
Shivan & Narresh: We envisioned Shivan & Narresh to be India’s first luxury holiday brand. In order to do this, we wanted to build the brand around one focused category of clothing that we had our expertise in. Swimwear hence came up to be the DNA of the brand and we kept building complimenting categories around it from resort, cruise to safari as different holiday lifestyles.
Ex: Is there a particular reason behind finding your inspiration from new places?
S&N: With luxury travel lifestyle being at the heart of the brand, all our collections are inspired by the essence of luxury holiday and travel destinations. For instance, our Koi Series SS19’ was inspired by the Gond Art of Madhya Pradesh and the colours of the Turkish Spice Market. The EdoMer series, on the other hand, draws inspiration from the 17th Century Edo Art aesthetic from Japan, combining it with the elements from Eden of the world, Seychelles.
Ex: Understanding the nuances of the Indian body type do you think your brand has certain limitations?
S&N: As a swimwear brand, we believe that swimwear is a great way to accentuate the curves of the Indian body type. The idea behind starting with swimwear was to induce confidence in women concerning their bodies. In India, women are forced to shop standardized European/ US sizing for the intimate category of clothing which takes a toll on their confidence due to lack of fit. With Shivan & Narresh they finally have an Indian brand designed and produced around an Indian body type that they can take pride in and wear with confidence. This opportunity to understand the unique Indian body type only opens a sky of possibilities for a brand like ours.
Ex: What should be the expectations of the consumers from the Shivan & Narresh collaboration with Koovs?
S&N: Shivan & Narresh X Koovs is a conscious effort to reach out to a new set of audience, the younger generation who values design for its price. The collection has been curated keeping in mind the needs of the millennial audience-focused around categories like athleisure, street-wear, cocktail-wear and sports-wear featuring pieces one could easily incorporate into their daily wardrobe.
Ex: Whom do you feel is your contemporary in the industry though you have built your own niche with swimwear and beachwear?
S&N: Starting out as a swimwear brand in India was a challenge because the swimwear market in India was fairly new and acceptance to swimwear as a category wasn’t something that came to us easily. However, establishing a swimwear brand in that setting is our biggest achievement as it has made the audiences open to swimwear and resort-wear as a category rather than being confined to the category of bridal couture.
Ex: Lastly, what is your ideal ‘Shivan & Narresh’ woman?
S&N: The ideal Shivan & Narresh woman can be defined as bold, confident and sophisticated who is a global traveler and reflects her true personality through her sense of style.
Your go-to fashion trend: Classic with a quirk
One piece of tech that you use for designing: Apple iPad Pro
Your Muse: The contemporary bold & confident woman
Best piece of advice given to you: Be Unique
Favourite app: Instagram
Most overused fashion trend/trick: Anti-fit
Must have tech gadget that’s not your phone or laptop: iPad
Most exotic location: Seychelles
Tech bucket list: Graphic Pencil