Millennials love multi-tasking. Fitting them in one box doesn’t work for them. More so when it comes to following creative pursuits. No wonder then that there is overlapping of roles, be it fashion, interiors or jewellery, be it styling or photography, be it being a social media influencer or an aesthete. Designers are becoming social media phenomenon on one hand and on the other, internet sensations are trying their hands at designing and styling. Amongst the numerous designers that throng the fashion space in Gujarat, there are few who have carved a niche for themselves, not only with the sheer quality of their products, but also as strong influencers and bloggers in the online and offline space.

We spoke to 4 such creative professionals who were social media influencer first and then turned into a designer and vice-versa.

1. Shivangi Lahoty:

Youtuber extraordinaire, Shivangi has a wonderful and incredibly informative Youtube channel, but she was a designer way before that. She holds degrees in fashion from NIFT Mumbai and FIT New York. She is also the founder of Inaaya & Co. The 3 year old label crafts exotic outfits while keeping in mind the theme of ‘travel’.

Each collection by the label brings wanderlust to life and each piece exudes elements of exoticism. The label’s latest fall collection ‘L’affaire De Brunch’, presents beautiful outfits that can be styled in various ways to give you a morning to evening look. Comfortable, feminine and elegant, the collection consists of 70’s style dresses and bow detailed tops in mul silk.

Shivangi aims to create comfortable, chic travelwear through her brand. She also takes inspiration from her personal travels and her adventures while crafting apparel. She says, “We want to women to feel comfortable and loved when they wear an outfit from Inaaya & Co. We want them to feel like they’re enjoying a vacation and we want them to feel that vibe even when they’re not on a vacation. We aim to make style effortless and breathable.”

Shivangi tries to bring a fairytale element into Inaaya’s collection while ensuring that there is no compromise on comfort. The outfits feature fun detailing yet, are extremely breathable. Each collection experiments with different fabrics, ranging from cottons and linen to chanderi and mul silk. The label lays strong emphasis on dreamy pastels and experiments with pastel colours and what you see is ensembles with elements of carefree adventure and whimsical travel.

With a solid background in fashion and impeccable knowledge of the industry, the market and trends, Shivangi Lahoty and Inaaya & Co. are surely worth checking out.

2. Vishwa Bhavsar

In 2015, Vishwa Bhavsar got her first professional shoot done merely as a means to document her designs from the Annual fashion show at MSU Faculty of Family and Community Sciences, where she studied Fashion Designing with a specialization in clothing and textile. What started as a passion project for Vishwa led to an exciting career path as a fashion and lifestyle blogger. Over the course of time, she collaborated with locals brands as well as with labels from other cities and carved a niche in the lifestyle space.

While Vishwa initially forayed into the handbags and shoe segment, attending a jewellery making workshop led her to realize that her passion for jewellery could be turned into a full-fledged designing career. Thus was born Acov, Vishwa Bhavsar’s label of handmade, gold-plated jewellery.

Vishwa designed ‘Elara’, the first collection under ACOV in 2018. Both  ELARA and ACOV’s logo are inspired by the moon and its phases. Acov’s collection features minimalistic jewellery with sharp cuts and uncomplicated designs. The statement rings are ideal for fashion forward females who want edgy elegance whereas the earrings give you a morning to evening look and are ideal for those looking for a contemporary solution to their jewellery woes.

Vishwa says, “Being a full time blogger for 2.5 years before starting my Jewelry Label, I did get an idea about how the market trends work & how I can use social media as a marketing tool. I also used to get major feedback through my blogger profile by posting images of my first collection as my normal feed posts before announcing my label.”

Another dilemma Vishwa faced was storing outfits that she shot for barter collaborations but never wore again. “Gradually there was a point that I had no space to store all of these clothes plus I wasn’t even using them much.” Vishwa realized that these outfits which were stylish and almost as good as new, could be used by others. So she started selling off the pieces at nearly half the MRP. Thus was born ‘Vishing Wardrobe’, a label that sells pre-owned outfits from renowned brands at great discounts.

With an impressive social media backing, extensive knowledge of the market and 2 interesting labels under her name, Vishwa Bhavsar is truly a designer you should check out.

3. Suman Khera Sethi

With an MSc. in marketing and a massively popular fashion blog under the name of  ‘Sincerely Su’, Suman Khera Sethi added another feather to her cap by launching Label S last month. Label S is a Baroda-based luxury label that specializes in bespoke womenswear. With Label S, Suman provides customized fashion solutions that merge breathable comfort with elegance and style.

Label S presents a mesmerizing range of festivewear with fine detailing and neat finishing. Suman is a stickler for quality and works with pure fabrics like georgettes, crepe and silk. Millennials looking for pastel shades and ensembles that can make it to  pre-festive gathering as well as a weekend getaway must totally check out Label S!

“People come to me and trust me to craft something beautiful for them; with my background as a blogger, they put their faith in me and for me, maintaining that faith is of utmost importance. I encourage a system where each kaarigar is constantly learning, from incorporating neatness in a piece to taking courses online, everyone aspires to be better each day. Besides that, how you portray your brand on social media is very significant. Right from conceptualizing your shoot to handling production and operations to editing your photos to posting them at the right time, it is very important to communicate effectively on social media. I actively involve myself in each of these processes because it is important to carve a strong base for your label, both in your actual collection and on social media.”

If you’re looking for a one-stop solution for all your fashion woes, Suman Khera Sethi is the designer who will craft the outfit of your dreams with her expertise and a strong personal touch to give you a piece that is designed exclusively for you.  

4. Priyanshi Jariwala

Priyanshi Jariwala is the founder of ‘The Khadi Cult’, a Surat-based label that has completed changed the way khadi clothing is perceived. After completing a degree in management studies from Narsee Monjee, Mumbai, Priyanshi pursued a PGDM from EDII Gandhinagar. She was always clear that she wanted to build something keeping sustainability and the environment in mind. She wanted to create a fashion line that reflected the heritage of the region and had a strong cultural identity. She did not want to merely create a company that churns mass-produced goods without taking into account the environmental costs.

Khadi was a fabric that Priyanshi stumbled upon during her research; she quickly realized that while the fabric commands respect and is revered all over the country, it is often underused and perceived in a traditional sense. “3-4 years back, people in the age group of 18-30 weren’t really excited about Khadi. While the fabric is so versatile, it used to be perceived in such a narrow manner that people didn’t aspire to wear it.” With this apt insight in mind, Priyanshi started The Khadi Cult, a label that crafts quirky apparel, quilts and pillow covers with funky, vibrant prints and refreshing colours. The brand follows a zero-waste concept and ensures optimum utilization of fabrics in order to craft quality products in an eco-friendly manner.

Priyanshi herself has an aesthetic and visually appealing Instagram personal blog that is quite popular. When asked if her knowledge of social media helps communicate the brand identity, the cultural heritage and the vision, she says, “Having my own Instagram account that I actively maintain helps understand what people like to see. The aesthetics, the colours play a very important role. The Khadi Cult is an initiative centred around the community and having an Instagram base of my own helps build content that is engaging, transparent and makes people happy. With The Khadi Cult, it is about communicating the brand’s message but on my own feed, it is about putting content that makes people smile, laugh and feel better. Both the handles have helped me put better content out there, over time.” With a fresh perspective on one of the nation’s most loved fabrics, witty ideas and heart-warming content, Priyanshi Jariwala is a designer you must follow.

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