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Fashion Talk

Shivani Poddar

Founder
Brand - Indya

Indya serves as a catalyst for redefining Indian fashion

Indya is a cutting-edge Indian wear brand that seamlessly blends traditional aesthetics with modern sensibilities to meet the needs of the new-age woman. Founded in 2012 under the umbrella of High Street Essentials Pvt Ltd, the brand has flourished as a go-to destination for omnichannel fashion. With a focus on democratising fashion, Indya’s offerings range from functional, affordable daily wear to luxurious occasion wear. In conversation with Fibre2Fashion, Indya’s Co-founder Shivani Poddar talks about prioritising affordability without compromising on quality or style, expanding into premium occasion wear, future goals of the brand and much more.

Fibre2Fashion: What inspired you to create Indya, a blend of traditional and contemporary Indian wear?

Shivani Poddar:

Indya was born from my passion for fusing timeless traditional Indian attire with dynamic modern fashion. I noticed global accessibility issues with high quality traditional wear and a disconnect with the younger generation due to its complexity. I aimed to create a brand that effortlessly bridges these aspects, letting women embrace their heritage while resonating with today’s spirit—reviving the love for ethnic wear through a subtle yet impactful approach.

 

F2F: What led to the establishment of High Street Essentials Pvt Ltd, and how has it evolved over the years?

SP:

It started as a company of young and dynamic professionals who wished to build something disruptive in the world of fashion. It all started with Faballey, a chic brand that resonated with the aspirations of young women in India. Over time, our evolution saw us diversify into a multi-brand platform, introducing Indya for the fusion of traditional and contemporary Indian wear, Curve for inclusive western fashion, and Indya Luxe for premium wedding-ready ensembles. This evolution mirrors our dedication to empowering our customers through style.

F2F: Could you tell us more about the other brands under HSE, Faballey and Curve, and how they complement Indya’s mission?

SP:

Faballey embodies bold and playful fashion that empowers the modern woman. Curve champions inclusivity by offering stylish choices for all body types. These brands, together with Indya, epitomise self-expression and individuality, providing a range of styles that resonate with the various dimensions of our customers’ lives.

F2F: Fashion evolves rapidly. How does Indya stay ahead of the curve and consistently offer fresh and relevant designs?

SP:

Remaining at the forefront of fashion requires a careful balance of constant innovation and an innate understanding of trends. At Indya, we merge traditional craftsmanship with contemporary trends, creating designs that are both timeless and relevant. Our design team tirelessly researches global fashion phenomena while staying attuned to evolving Indian aesthetics, enabling us to offer collections that maintain their freshness.

F2F: Collaborating with renowned designers is a unique approach. Can you share examples of how these collaborations have expanded Indya’s reach or customer base?

SP:

Collaborations have been pivotal in broadening Indya’s horizons. Our partnerships with esteemed designers like Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna and Varun Bahl have allowed us to tap into their unique design perspectives, attracting a wider audience. These collaborations elevate brand visibility, drawing fashion enthusiasts who appreciate high-end design fused with everyday elegance. They make designer fashion accessible to all, particularly resonating with global audiences, since capsule collections appeal to those less familiar with Indian wear, offering premium design sensibilities and excitement. More so, we have garnered a lot of attention from fashion media houses such as Elle India and Grazia India which have from time to time featured our new designer launches.

F2F: What inspired the collaboration with designers Rahul and Rohit? Can you tell us about the vision behind this partnership?

SP:

Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna is not just a brand; their name holds a legacy of over two decades in the Indian fashion space, and I’ve always admired them as two of the top designers in the country, just like most of us. So, when it came to collaborating with them, it was a no-brainer, which was sparked by a shared desire to create an opulent festive capsule that truly captured the grandeur of Indian celebrations while remaining practical. Their distinctive take on Indian couture aligns seamlessly with our ethos, and hence you see a beautiful expression of love, light, and an explosion of colours that accompany festive galore.

F2F: How do you ensure that the designer’s unique style aligns with Indya’s brand identity during collaborations?

SP:

Creating successful collaborations hinges on a delicate balance. While allowing designers creative freedom, we ensure alignment with Indya’s core values—honouring Indian heritage with a modern twist. Regular dialogues and creative exchanges enable us to blend the designer’s signature style with Indya’s essence, resulting in harmonious creations that cause disruptive shifts in the landscape of Indian fashion.

F2F: How do you see Indya contributing to the changing landscape of Indian fashion?

SP:

Indya serves as a catalyst for redefining Indian fashion, bridging the gap between classic and contemporary. Experimental silhouettes and designer finesse stand at the forefront of our strategy. It encourages women to embrace their cultural roots while embracing global fashion sensibilities, from pre-stitched sarees to sharara pants with attached drapes. By celebrating diversity, authenticity, and self-expression, Indya shapes a new narrative in Indian fashion—one that is bold, diverse, and unapologetically authentic.

F2F: What strategies have you implemented to keep your products affordable while maintaining quality and style?

SP:

Our commitment to affordability without compromising quality or style drives our strategies. We streamline our supply chain, optimise operations, and adopt direct-to-consumer models. By removing intermediaries, we ensure our customers receive value-driven fashion that does not compromise on craftsmanship or aesthetics—an absolute hallmark of our brand.

F2F: What prompted the expansion into premium occasion wear with Indya Luxe, and what sets it apart?

SP:

The demand for exquisite occasion wear was evident, and the inception of Indya Luxe was a natural progression. What distinguishes Indya Luxe is its unwavering dedication to crafting premium ensembles that exude luxury while staying true to our ethos of blending tradition and modernity and making it accessible. It offers meticulously curated Indian wear for life’s significant milestones and makes them memorable.

F2F: As a CEO, do you have personal favourite pieces or collections from Indya, and if so, which are they?

SP:

As a creator, it’s hard not to form an attachment to every piece, but if I were to pick, our festive collections hold a special place in my heart. They beautifully capture the essence of India and bring celebrations to life. Our latest collaborative collection, Roshni by Rohit Gandhi + Rahul Khanna for Indya, has already crept its way into my wardrobe. Apart from that, our Autumn/Winter ’23 collection, Jalsa, has some spectacular ready-to-wear ensembles that are luxurious yet lightweight, making them perfect for hearty celebrations. Indya Luxe is my go-to brand for any wedding affair; be it haldi, mehendi, or cocktail, there’s something for every occasion. And lastly, Indya Raas is our sub-brand of elevated basics. The pieces are so comfortable yet so stylish that it feels like I have dressed up when I have ‘dressed down’.

F2F: What are your future goals for Indya and HSE in terms of growth and impact in the fashion industry?

SP:

Our journey has been incredibly inspiring, yet we’ve only scratched the surface. Looking ahead, our focus is on expanding our brand’s global footprint and showcasing the richness of Indian fashion to a worldwide audience. We have grown in the US by 37 per cent in the last quarter alone, and we’re dedicated to continuing to foster innovation and inclusivity to keep these numbers growing.

Also, we have worked extensively to make our supply chain more efficient, ensuring smoother and faster delivery of a fresh new piece from the initial sketches on the designers’ desk to our stores, and eventually to our customers, and we’ll continue exploring more such strategies. But at the end of the day, the driving force behind Indya remains the same as it was when we were just starting off—embracing fashion as a tool for empowerment and self-expression for new-age global women.

What are your future goals for Indya and HSE in terms of growth and impact in the fashion industry?

Interviewer: Kiran Sahija
Published on: 12/09/2023
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