1. Define your journey as a fashion designer over 10 years in few words.
My growth as a person is so closely linked to the journey of my brand – Studio149. Ten years seems like a long time, but sometimes it also feels like it’s just the beginning and there’s a lot more to do. With every passing day, my love for fashion and detailing has grown to the point of such passionate obsession that it makes me whole heartedly happy doing what I do.

2. Staying in London and working in India! How do you manage your business from a long distance?
This is one of the questions I get asked the most. What seemed as a setback when I moved became my biggest strength once I realised what could be done with the brand as I had a bird’s eye view of the operations and wasn’t consumed by micro managing in person. Being away opened up my avenues and the kind people that I could work with as I did not have geographic constraints anymore. Also with more designers becoming part of the team, we could offer a range of design aesthetics which normally wouldn’t be possible from a single designer run label – which I feel is one of our biggest USPs.

3. How has the client requirement for designer wear changed in Chennai over the last few years?
Considered very conventional in terms of fashion, I feel people in Chennai are slowly opening up to experimenting and being more fashion forward now compared to when we started. With increased awareness and exposure to what’s happening globally we see a very positive attitude and fondness towards all things fashion. Brides today want to have the best of both worlds – a fine mix of tradition with modern aesthetics which is where we plug in with our designs which are contemporary yet have a South Indian touch to them.

4. What are some of the milestones that you are proudest of and why?
I would count our milestones on the times our team has expanded in the past as it reflects on how the brand has grown over time, particularly around 2020 even with Covid playing havoc – we had to expand production and the number of designers as that’s the demand we had created amongst our audience owing to the strong social media presence and the ability to cater to clients worldwide online. Also in 2022 we revamped our store and expanded store space which is a major milestone and turning curve in the brand’s journey.

5. How do you deal with customer feedback?
Once I understood customer satisfaction is all we work for, it changes the way we deal with them and handle feedback. We take feedback very seriously and work on rectifying and evolving as we go. Our goal is to make every customer happy and if that means going all out to redo an outfit, we do it because it gives us so much back when we do make every bride feel special and make sure she is happy on her big day.

6. What is the best thing about being a designer?
The joy of creation.

7. Any current movie projects you are working on?
I am styling a Tamil movie called Kadhal Konjam Thookala directed my Balaji Mohan, featuring Kalidas Jayaram, Dushara and Amala Paul being filmed in the UK. I am super excited about its release and can’t wait to see how it has turned out.

8. Fashion Designing for movies or weddings? Which one do you love more?
Weddings for sure. It’s not something we started off initially, but over the years designing bridal trousseau has become our forte because of the significance it carries and makes all that effort we put in worthwhile. With movies, I think I would die to do a period film, manifesting this with biggest of hopes.

9. In today’s world of social media, how do you deal with clients who don’t want you to design but just replicate a design?
We don’t do it. We are happy to lose such a customer and that way we have been able to build our signature styles creating the brand that we have today. I don’t think you can be called a design brand if customising replicas is part of what you do.

10. How would you describe your fashion statement?
Bold and confident. I believe that the clothes we wear should speak of our personality.