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Fashion Talk

Pallavi Singhee

Founder
Label - Verb

The blend of old and new is key to our distinct style

Verb is a versatile brand, made to dress a woman who is free; free to decide how she wants to dress, who she wants to be and how she wants to live. The line captures the conflict between tradition and modernity by using prints and techniques inspired by history wrapped in silhouettes and fabrics of urban international trends. Speaking to Fibre2Fashion, Founder Pallavi Singhee discusses the brand’s journey, philosophy, design approach, customer feedback influence, and future aspirations.

Fibre2Fashion: What inspired you to establish Verb and what challenges have you faced in merging diverse cultural inspirations into your brand?

Pallavi Singhee:

Establishing Verb at the age of 26 was driven by my prior experience working for Sabyasachi for four years, where I nurtured a desire for self-expression and exploration through my style. Our aspiration for Verb is to create a global brand that incorporates local influences. Achieving this involves ensuring that the cultural elements we incorporate resonate positively across diverse audiences.

One of the significant challenges we’ve encountered is finding a common language that connects with a multi-ethnic audience spanning various age groups. In addition to the physical distance and financial constraints, building trust and a community has been crucial. This involves weaving our story into customer interactions and experiences to create a brand that’s not just about products but about shared values and cultural appreciation.

 

F2F: What inspired the choice of the name ‘Verb’ for your brand?

PS:

The inspiration behind naming the brand 'Verb' stems from the philosophical idea that we are active participants in the universe – we are verbs, not nouns. This concept highlights that we are the consciousness of the universe, manifesting briefly with a name and gender. Additionally, the word 'verb' aligns with the notion of action and creation. The term 'to fashion' itself is a verb, symbolising an act of doing. Hence, the name 'Verb' encapsulates both our philosophical perspective and our core activity in the realm of fashion.

F2F: Can you share specific instances or experiences that shaped your journey from a conservative family to founding a brand that embodies freedom?

PS:

My upbringing was protective and comfortable, rooted in my parents' love and possessiveness rather than any regressive or dogmatic beliefs. They were, in fact, quite liberal and always encouraged open conversation, emphasising the importance of exploration in finding one’s own identity, strengths, and personality. This nurturing environment shaped my belief system, which is now reflected in my brand.

I strongly believe in exploration and learning, embracing the idea that there are no boundaries or rules in creation. This philosophy extends to my approach to fashion, where I love experimenting and pushing the conventional limits. The essence of my brand is about embodying this freedom and experimentation, a direct extension of the values instilled in me by my family.

F2F: How would you describe the idiosyncratic style of Verb in your own words?

PS:

Dress for leisure, dress for pleasure.

F2F: Could you walk us through your creative process when conceptualising a new collection?

PS:

Our inspiration is life itself. Our clothing embodies the motto of celebration – a celebration of life. We find our muse in various elements like nature, music, art, and culture. Once we identify a specific aspect or mood that inspires us, we begin experimenting with forms, colours, and techniques. These ideas gradually take shape in our clothing designs.

Following this, we focus on the creation of the collection in terms of silhouettes, drops, and the number of styles. Each element is carefully considered to ensure it aligns with our overarching theme and inspiration, ensuring that every piece reflects our commitment to celebrating life through fashion.

F2F: What prints and techniques are utilised to maintain the modern yet traditional aesthetics in your designs?

PS:

Our designs merge modern and traditional aesthetics by drawing inspiration from history, art, and culture, while making them contemporary and commercial through various approaches. For instance, we select new surfaces and fabrics, developing and exploring unique weaves and embroideries. Additionally, we incorporate trending colours and silhouettes, ensuring our designs stay current yet retain a traditional essence. This blend of old and new is key to our distinct style.

F2F: What strategies have you employed to maintain the brand’s relevance and adapt to changing fashion landscapes?

PS:

We just go with the flow. We believe in exploring, learning, and accepting both failures and successes as part of our journey. As a creative mind, my focus is less on building a rapidly scaling business and more on embracing our learning curve, which means we don't adhere to rigid strategies.

Regarding relevance, this isn't a significant concern for us because our ethos of continuous exploration, learning, and trying new things inherently keeps us in tune with trends, technological advancements, and shifts in consumer behaviour.

F2F: Are there specific milestones or achievements that stand out in the brand’s journey so far?

PS:

In our brand's journey, every achievement, no matter how small, has been special and memorable. It's challenging to single out specific milestones because each one, from our first fashion week appearance to the first time a celebrity was spotted in our designs, and our first export order, has been incredibly heart-warming and fulfilling.

F2F: Are there any specific feedback or stories from customers that have had a significant impact on your approach to design?

PS:

Feedback from our customers is integral to our design process, as it significantly influences our approach. While our designs are individualistic and aligned with our brand identity, addressing consumer needs is paramount, especially since we are not selling art, but fashion, where the consumer is of prime importance.

Our shift to size inclusivity is a direct result of customer feedback. We've tailored different collections for our American, Middle Eastern, and Indian markets, ensuring that we cater to the specific needs and preferences of each. This approach stems from understanding the nuances of what works in each market, again guided by feedback.

Furthermore, feedback has enabled us to improve the functionality of our clothing. We've fine-tuned our fits and focused on small details that enhance the practicality and wearability of our garments.

F2F: Are there specific goals or aspirations for the brand’s future that you would like to share?

PS:

In the crowded fashion market, where consumers often encounter uninspiring, mass-produced clothing lacking in both style and sustainability, our goal for Verb is to stand out. We aim to offer unique products that enable consumers to develop and own their sense of style comfortably. We recognise that many consumers hesitate to try new fashion products and styles, fearing they might not be able to carry them off or unsure about how and where to wear them.

Our aspiration is to adopt a holistic brand approach, which involves understanding the gaps and needs of the customer and addressing them through what Verb offers. This means creating not just products, but experiences that help solve these problems and empower consumers to embrace new styles confidently.

Are there specific goals or aspirations for the brand’s future that you would like to share?

Interviewer: Kiran Sahija
Published on: 04/01/2024
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