Hope you all enjoyed the interview with Payal Singhal. It is always nice to get an insight into the personality behind the beautiful fashion we admire so much and it never hurts to know what they are doing in fashion this season. This month, I decided to interview a new Designing Duo - Bombay based Priya and Chintan. My reason for doing so is twofold; First, they are fairly new but have created respect for themselves in a short period of time and second, they are going to be in the US this summer. So, for those of you who don’t know them, now is a good time to start. So here goes another cup of coffee and some new opinions for you.
Hope you all enjoyed the interview with Payal Singhal
. It is always nice to get an insight into the personality behind the beautiful fashion we admire so much and it never hurts to know what they are doing in fashion this season. This month, I decided to interview a new Designing Duo - Bombay based Priya and Chintan. My reason for doing so is twofold; First, they are fairly new but have created respect for themselves in a short period of time and second, they are going to be in the US this summer. So, for those of you who don’t know them, now is a good time to start. So here goes another cup of coffee and some new opinions for you.
Shehnaai Couture: Hey, good to see you…
Chintan: Good to see you too, Shirin. I have to apologize for Priya not being able to make it, but something just came up and … you know how it is.
Shehnaai Couture: “Priya and Chintan” is a fairly new brand but has created great furor in the Fashion World this last year. Tell us about the two of you and your brand.
Chintan: [Smiles] Thank you Shirin. We work hard and love what we do. We launched our label in September 2003. Thanks to our diverse educational backgrounds, we are able to create a different genre of clothes compared to what is available elsewhere. Priya and I studied fashion in Bombay and New York, respectively, so our strength is blending western cuts and silhouettes with Indian fabrics and embellishments. I think we owe our success to this more than anything else.
Shehnaai Couture: So how did the two of you meet?
Chintan: We met in Bombay while in college and started dating. God, it feels like it’s been ages. We got married last December.
Shehnaai Couture: Congratulations, newlyweds! Did you ever go on a honeymoon?
Chintan: Thank God Priya’s not here … it’s a sensitive topic. [Laughs] We actually didn’t get a chance to go off and honeymoon immediately after the wedding; what with work and all the family we had visiting from all over for the wedding. But we’ve made quite a few trips since, so I think I’ve made up to Priya for it. I know that’s how it’s been for you and your husband Sanjeev, so are probably sympathizing with Priya right now.
Shehnaai Couture: Hey, can you blame me? You know how us women are! Coming back to your work, since your launch last year, where are you retailing from?
Chintan: We retail from Shehnaai in New York, Ishna and Designer Studio in Bombay, Origins in Hyderabad and Fae in Dubai.
Shehnaai Couture: So where do the creative geniuses get their inspiration?
Chintan: Eye Candy! Everything that's pleasing to the eye really. Inspiration is where you find it and everything pleasing to the eye is inspirational to us.
Shehnaai Couture: Do you feel your forte is Prêt or Couture, or do u feel that you both have different fortes?
Chintan: We truly believe that a reasonably good designer should be able to successfully create all kinds of garments; the customer is what is important. Once you understand them, Pret or Couture is of no consequence.
Shehnaai Couture: That is such a fantastic thought. So what is your latest collection about?
Chintan: In formals, we are doing a lot of old brocade looks with a variety of skirts and corsets along with less funky stuff like embroidered pants. For prêt, we are doing a lot of fun stuff with thread work, vibrant colors and lots of linens.
Shehnaai Couture: Tell us about your plans for the summer.
Chintan: All summer this year we are touring the US. We will be covering LA, Atlanta, Chicago and New York. We are really excited about our Fashion Show organized by Shehnaai in July, as it will be our first in the US. We are hoping it will open new avenues for us.
Shehnaai Couture: I think the show will be fantastic and I am looking forward to it as well. So when you design, who do you picture as your target market?
Chintan: I target all age groups and income brackets. The only condition is that you should not be victimized by what is in and what is out and what the whole world is doing. You should be confident enough to be a trendsetter yourself and willing to experiment. If that is what your personality is like, then you are my target market.
Shehnaai Couture: How long before a wedding should a bride come to you or one of the boutiques you retail through for her wedding outfit?
Chintan: 3 months is a decent time; though one can also get something done in 3 weeks. It depends on how much on the edge you want to be. The more time you have, the better.
Shehnaai Couture: Do you ever consider wearing another designer’s creation?
Chintan: I love wearing a lot of designer’s stuff. I always have, even before I became one and don't see a reason to change that. All designers have a forte and if you like that stuff there is no harm in buying and enjoying.
Shehnaai Couture: Chintan, do you think you have made it yet?
Chintan: Hey, we are only 2 years old, but I am proud of where we are going and what we are doing. I feel we get better each day and I’m happy. Someday I will feel I have made it but it’s still a while away ... all in good time!!
Shehnaai Couture: Thanks for your time Chintan; I know you have a busy day and won’t keep you too long. We look forward to seeing you in the US this summer and wish you all the best.
Chintan: Anytime. We better make that show of yours rock this summer.
Shehnaai Couture: You bet!!
For someone so young and so new, Chintan was such a delight; extremely down to earth and so comfortable in his skin. Talking to him felt like talking to an old friend, though in reality, we had only met briefly a few times. His new collection came into Shehnaai Couture last week and I felt the need to congratulate him and Priya because in the short time that we have been selling his line, it feels like he has grown so much as a designer. There is such elegance, with the perfect blend of contemporary and traditional, in his new collection. With the new collection and then his demeanor during our chat, I was impressed and I am sure you would have been too. Look out for him this summer with his brocades and his beautiful colors.
Till we meet again over another cup of coffee or tea,
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