|Peplum-Howrah Bridge,green denims and kolhapuri-Shreeram Arcade,neckpiece-B.K.Market,feather earring-Emami,sling-Simpark Mall,headband-Gariahat|
If you are there in my Facebook friend list or you follow me on Twitter(yes,I've quite a few,you could stop rolling your eyes),you must have come across the peplum story. I got a peplum blouse made by Howrah Bridge one fine morning and the rest is history. Not only did it fetch me the most number of compliments in my entire life,I felt different. I felt empowered and pretty,for probably the first time since my fifth birthday. So,I thought letting you all know a little more about the lady behind the brand would be great. Let's hear it from Anupriya,a dear friend and one of the most talented young designers of Kolkata as she talks about her hopes,dreams and the brand's journey so far.
|Anupriya posing in one of her collections at the recently concluded exhibition at Underground,HHI|
A - Ummmm....tricky one at the very beginning! :P
I guess it was somehow in the genes - my Mom used to stitch pretty frocks for me, fishing out patterns & styles from a Kids Fashion book sourced from out of the country!
How would you describe yourself-a fashion-lover first or a fashion
A - Of course, a fashion lover!!
As for my profession.....I do what I love and I love what I do! :)
You've worked with renowned brands like Shoppers Stop,Vogue
India,Future Group and Malhar Fashions Pvt. Ltd. What was that little
thing that kept you pinching at the end of the day that "no,this isn't
what I want to do. I'm meant for more than that."
A - Well....guess it was that complete satisfaction about what I was doing that was missing. I was working for others...was putting effort into something which I couldn't even call 'mine' at the end of the day.
Also, that sense of freedom was not there, as, at the end of it all, I was restricted by rules, processes & brand images. And being a creative individual, limits & restrictions felt like huge stones bound to my feet, weighing me down, when all I wanted was to soar high! So, eventually, I broke free....
How did the idea of 'Howrah Bridge' come up? Was it a calculated
move or a spontaneous one?
A - Absolutely spontaneous! It started off with making li'l hand-crafted brooches for myself as I found a dearth of good ones in the Indian market. Soon one thing led to the other and I was selling them online and locally, under the brand name of Howrah Bridge, eventually venturing into other accessories & clothes.
In stead of concentrating on just one thing,you're trying to make
'Howrah Bridge' a one-stop-solution-for-all. Isn't that a little too
A - To each her own, I'll say! I have fun designing all kinds of lifestyle products and apart from that, I even provide styling consultancy to people who are confused about their looks & dressing styles.
I'm designing products that I would love using myself and, fortunately or unfortunately, they range from clothes to jewellery to accessories to home decor! Not to mention, I have a whole lot more on my mind.....so ultimately, Howrah Bridge may turn out products that can fill the better part of a departmental store! :P
On a serious note, I actually love it when people come up to me and exclaim, "Oh! Now you have got laptop skins too! What else do you have up your creative sleeves?" Well....you all need to wait & watch, I would say!
What is it about 'Howrah Bridge' designs that sets them apart? To
put it bluntly,there are a thousand and one designer labels. Why
should a shopper pick 'Howrah Bridge' over the others?
A - Simple! Coz we'll make you stand out in a designer crowd as well. Always.
Our sensibilities are an eclectic mix of retro, quirky, smart, chic & simple - the right dose of both the traditional & the modern. Even when the whole world runs after what's "in", we do our own thing in a signature Howrah Bridge way....as a result, people endorsing our products turn heads, even in a room full of "in-trend" designer clothes & accessories.
What kind of clientèle do you have in mind while designing your pieces?
A - I design for everybody.
People who have a strong sense of style love the freshness & simple chic of Howrah Bridge products, while those with an aesthetic sense, but not enough confidence in their own sensibilities, like our vibrant appeal & accessible style.
Being a fashion blogger,you possess an immaculate dressing sense.
Does that help while designing your pieces? Because you know what
you'd wear and can therefore read the pulse of your buyer?
A - Well....I never though of it that way, but it may be true! I have confidence in what I wear and I know, even if people stare at some of my not-so-regular outfits (trust me, in Calcutta, they almost always do!), I hardy ever care. Whatever I wear, I know I can carry that off.
And that's what I want women who wear Howrah Bridge clothes, to do too! I want Howrah Bridge women to be confident of their style and of what they are wearing. Hence, I design clothes that I know a girl will be comfortable in, at the same time, feeling extremely unique & special in it! And *touch wood*, that's what most of them feel when they put on a Howrah Bridge piece! :D
A buyer comes to you and wants you to make something that you know
would definitely not suit her. What'd you do?
A - I would deftly dissuade her from her choice, explaining why it would not be flattering for her looks and advise her to go for cuts, colours & silhouettes that would suit her, of course!
Thankfully, most of my buyers have blind faith in my sensibilities & skills and they just come and say, "we'll opt for whatever you suggest!" So, I hardly ever have to face a crisis like this.
So,shopping at 'Howrah Bridge' isn't only about 'choosing and
buying stuff' but also a whole integrated experience as far as fashion
is concerned? Does every buyer go home being at least one percent
better dressed than they were?
A - I hope they do! Though they, or people around them, would be the better judge of that!! :)
I'm there to guide them & assist them in making them look their best, in hiding their weaknesses & flaws and highlighting their strengths & features. As far as I know, they almost always like what they see in the mirror, once I'm done and I've always seen them going away with huge smiles on their faces, so I guess, I've not done a very bad job of it!
Given the fact that within this short time span,you're one of the
names to reckon with,any further expansion plans?
A - Oh! LOTS, actually!!
I have just about started off........still have many more miles to go.......many more milestones to achieve! And with the love & support of all my friends, family & Howrah Bridge loyalists, I know this is going to be one amazing journey!!!
Working for the best boss in the world-your own self, blessing or curse?
A - The sense of freedom is unparalleled, I must say! But of course, being self-employed also has its pros & cons.
The worst part is that even when I feel like taking a break (something as little as reading a book or catching up on a favorite movie), my professional mind reminds me of a hundred tasks at hand that can be done in that time and my leisure cravings go for a toss. But then, that's because work always comes first for me.
Apart from these trivial miseries, life's good when you are your own boss. In fact, I'll say I'm the best boss I'd ever had! ;)
Do drop by her workshop at Tollygunge,near Malancha cinema hall for a lifestyle experience you'd never forget.