Itika Mirchandani believes in serving her best. As the times change she is evolving, Anlita Seth can learn more about her journey so far.
Fashion is intricately a dream weave that gives you not only the luxury of style but also the comfort that comes with it. Contemporary thematic clothing with its contemporary adoption, designer Itika Mirchandani has given a touch of modern minimalism to ethnic clothing by keeping the beauty and complexity of Indian wear alive in embroidery and silhouette. As the fashion world changes and evolves, we discover what it takes for a luxury brand to survive and keep up with the ever-changing times.
When did you know you wanted to be a designer?
As a little girl, I have seen my mother work tirelessly to manage a successful brand called Hasha Mirchandani. His talent and ambition inspired me to harness my own creative potential.
How was it when you started? What were the pitfalls and how did you overcome them?
When I started 10 years ago, marketing relied on advertising through print media and word of mouth. In the absence of smart digital media, it was difficult to reach my target market effectively. I had to take part in exhibitions to showcase new collections and we tried to feature ourselves in fashion magazines and spreads to create visibility in India and worldwide. Conversely, today it is easier for digital marketing to showcase their products worldwide with the most advanced brands. Social media has served as a plus point today in providing a wide audience for retailers and brands like ours.
As a luxury brand, it’s hard to be completely sustainable, but what are some ways to try to be aware of your collection?
We have rebuilt most of our packaging from plastic to paper and fabric, even our ribbons. Since embroidery and hand bidding are a big part of Indian clothing, they have the presence of plastic in them, which should be easy with product innovation in the next few years. My design is elegant and luxurious but practical and timeless. RM clothes can be mixed and worn in different ways depending on the occasion.
Which celebrity wore the clothes you designed for the first time?
Karisma Kapoor wore an ivory lehenga and a belted jacket, which was the style of Isha Shah Amin, our signature silhouette for many years. The embroidery on it consists of our signature geometric artwork. Charisma has always had a flawless style and it was a big deal for us at RM.
Which celebrity has your favorite style look on?
During the Diwali of 2020, Deepika Padukone was styled by Shalina Nathani in our signature ivory sharara and belted peplam kurta. This look revived our festive demand consciousness during the epidemic. Other looks that I liked – Madhuri Dixit wearing our red belt beaded lehenga sari and our red pink sharara set Kiara Advani style that she wore recently. I like our label on Karisma Kapoor again.
How do you see the fashion industry evolving after the epidemic?
I think the focus will be less on durability and faster fashion. Just as the impact of digital marketing will have an impact, so has the era of influencers here and there. I believe there could be less physical fashion shows and the focus will largely be on online outreach.
Luxurious collections can be less frequent and styles can be more timeless. The customer has become more discreet and the looks have become more versatile. Today’s bride is looking for less shaking and more style.
What changes have you noticed in your own brand in the last 2 years?
I have seen Sharara become an unsigned timeless Itika Mirchandani trademark style. Customers are embracing my belted silhouette and clean lines. The digital push in the last two years has welcomed my brand in overseas markets such as the United States, the United Kingdom and other European and Southeast Asian countries. I feel blessed to be in the midst of all this. Weddings are closer and customers are choosing our hassle-free and versatile silhouette.
What is your process and motivation when designing?
My inspiration lies in the evolution of art history. Our collections from Cubism to Art Nouveau and Art Deco have been inspired by different times in the history of art. Our signature geometric artwork has always been from one of these eras. Our Autumn-Winter 2021 collection, which has not yet been published, was inspired by Art Deco – Imagine, Thunder 20 and Great Gatsby. The Art Deco pattern is known for its precise and clear lines, geometric shapes and patterns that are applied to the surface or attached to the structure, it is characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes and great ornaments.
How has the rise of social media helped you as a brand?
The rise of social media has given me a strong sense of my visual identity while connecting my brand with a wider audience around the world. It has opened the gates not to be confined to a particular city or country, but to the whole world.
What would be your advice for young designers to try to create it in the industry?
I would advise young designers to focus on the business side of fashion as much as they focus on design. I initially struggled with this and over time I realized that the importance of a strong business structure goes a long way. In addition, it is very important to create your own signature that is currently standing in a market that is so saturated. It’s great to follow trends in collection creation but a strong signature style defines a brand’s identity more deeply.
What do you stand for as a brand?
As a brand, Tika Mirchandani has always provided luxury without any compromise and I think all these celebrities have done justice to that. Be it Deepika wearing a white saree or Madhuri wearing a red lehenga. Whether it’s a new makeup look from Kiara or Ananya’s fun and youthful look or even a sophisticated cool look of charisma. They all summed up itika Mirchandani.