Hemant & Nandita
Hemant & Nandita
Old culture, new outlook
The designer duo of Hemant & Nandita are known for being inspired by Indian art forms and presenting their collections with a contemporary outlook. Here they speak about their inspirations and plans.
Fibre2Fashion: Tell us about your early years in the fashion industry. How has your label evolved over the years?
Hemant & Nandita:
We started in late 2003 with the ideology to be inspired by art forms and to offer it with a contemporary outlook. We worked over basic motifs inspired from architecture, carvings, dying art forms and tribal culture to create prints, embroideries and surface developments. We started with the dream to take our brand to the international level and are still working to expand our brand globally. We now want to delve into accessories, and later a diverse range of products like shoes and menswear as well to showcase the complete Hemant & Nandita sensibility.
F2F: What is your inspiration for creating clothes?
The diverse culture and the vibrant colours that are abundant in India is what inspire us the most. The people, languages, food, monuments, paintings, festivals, etc, every corner has something special to offer and we are always in awe when we discover hidden gems.
F2F: How successful have you been in incorporating sustainability into fashion?
Sustainability does play an important role for us and it should for everyone as well. We hope to create a line that focuses on sustainability in the future and are working on ideas, so we can bring something beautiful and exciting to the world.
F2F: How is Indian fashion perceived at the international level?
Indian embroidery, art, colour and textile techniques, and styles are loved and appreciated internationally. We have seen a lot of foreign brands visit India and work with these techniques to create designs for their collections. India is a culturally rich country and has a lot to offer to the world, and we can see that people do love it. Even when we approach international photographers for a shoot in India they readily agree because of India's charm.
F2F: If given an opportunity, which international brand would you like to collaborate with and why?
H&M because they are already working with so many international designers and are open to this opportunity, plus they are more commercial. So, our designs would reach out to more people. We would also like to work with a brand for home décor or interior design as we would love to create something that is India-inspired.
F2F: What is the next big thing in your list?
Expanding the brand and taking it to more international stores, and also growing the Hemant & Nandita line, with accessories to begin with.
F2F: Where do you source the raw materials from?
We source our raw materials from China and local markets in India like Nehru Place, Chandni Chowk and Janpath in New Delhi.
F2F: What is the strength of karigars/staff at your workshop?
We have around 250 karigars and staff working with us at the moment.
F2F: What is the average time taken to make a garment?
It usually takes half a day to complete a garment, but if it is a difficult style then we take one day to complete it.
F2F: Tell us about the latest trends for the festive/wedding season 2018.
Coordinated sets are always effortless and look stunning on all silhouettes. They can be played up or down depending on the occasion and are very comfortable.
F2F: What is the design strategy? What is the strength of your designing team?
We like to create styles that appeal to people who keep an eye on the international fashion scene. We focus on comfort and design styles that flatter every figure. The strength of our designing team is 15.
F2F: How many collections do you come up with in a year? How many styles in each collection?
We come up with 4 to 6 collections in a year and each collection has around 70 to 80 styles.
F2F: Where do you retail from?
Our biggest clients are from the US, Middle East and Europe. Revolve, Shopbop, Harrods, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom, Ounass are some of the retailers we work with.
F2F: What are the advertising, marketing and promotion plans? What is the budget allocated towards it?
We do not spend on advertisement, but focus on exhibitions and events globally; we also work on collaborations with celebrities and bloggers internationally and in India.
F2F: What has the sale been like on your website vis-a- vis the other e-commerce sites?
We are yet to launch our own e-commerce store as our sales are more B2B. However, the online and offline sales give us almost equal turnover.
F2F: What steps can be taken to promote young designers at the retail level?
Social media is a powerful tool that can help brands reach the correct audience when used correctly. Understanding the market and creating what the customer wants is also always helpful.
F2F: Fashion designers, fashion weeks do not really set the Indian fashion scene on fire. Why?
We feel that the Indian fashion scene is getting the spotlight that it deserves. People like to know what is in, and what will be the trends for the upcoming season as well; fashion weeks are great for that as we see a lot of diversity and styles. Influencers are key to reaching the audience as people look up to them for style inspirations.(HO)