It started with an idea - more accurately, an aversion. Every where we looked, we saw bling - sequins and glitter, tulle and synthetic fabrics. And while many women carried them off beautifully, we couldn't help but wonder why people weren't choosing comfort as well. Thus was born Suave.
We decided to conduct an experiment. We went to Calcutta's hub for all things artsy - New Market and bought a tonne of cotton block printed fabrics - indigos, maroons and purples. To create a collection of ready-to-wear pieces that didn't look like home-wear, we had to also bring life to these fabrics. We started with the embroidery - pure and hand made. We used lots of thread and ari, a smatter or dull sequins and pearls here and there. To this, we added impeccable tailoring - silhouettes blending the Indian and the western. Think slitted kurtas with cigarette pants, well-fitted palazzos with crop tops and the occasional skirt and shirt combo. We put up a stall at a well-known city exhibition. We did not anticipate what followed. A demand that we were just not prepared for. Women lined up to pick 5-6 outfits to try on. Accompanying men stood exasperated in the corner. We were sold out with orders within a few hours. And then we knew what our niche was - occasion wear without bling. Hand made, Pure and Hand Embroidered.
Slowly, we began participating in more exhibitions and each time, sales shot through the roof. With it came a problem - sourcing the same patterned fabrics for orders. We were making mad calls to our vendors in the middle of sales, trying to ascertain availability. We soon realized what would have to change. We needed fabrics designed in-house. We needed our own patterns.
Since then, we've been building collection after collection - trying out something new while sticking to our signature non-flashy style. Delicate prints in limited colours, mixed and matched with earthy embroidery and contemporary silhouettes.
Bahaar came in as a breath of fresh air. Colourful florals splattered over bright colours. It was an ode to vibrant minimalism - flouncy, flirty yet subdued in many ways.
Then came Mausam - a single delicate floral print in jewel toned backgrounds. This was an out and out festive collection. Grecian drapes met Indian aesthetics. The embroidery was gold but dull. We ensured that the wearer stood out because of and not despite the outfit. Till date, Mausam has been our best selling collection.
The pandemic hit us, just like any other business. We launched Roshan, albeit half-heartedly. It was the first time we used hand-drawn prints and motifs. But the year was dull and we quickly phased it out.
Our latest collection, Indienne, is a lot like Bahaar, but unique. The same fresh, summer feeling persists, but with a more relaxed and laid-back vibe. Indienne - "that which comes from Eastern India", was a type of printed or painted textile manufactured in Europe between the 17th and the 19th centuries, inspired by similar textile originally made in India. The collection continues to receive great response.
We're excited for what's coming up next - Mehr. Think resort wear meets Indian colours and sensibilities. Subscribe to our mailing list to stay updated!