In conversation with Designers Shyamal & Bhumika
Shyamal & Bhumika, the highly successful and much sought-after couturiers from Ahmedabad recently unveiled ‘Eternal’ their new bridal collection. The regal bridal collection in rich shades of red and champagne gold, with timeless silhouettes and rare hand embroideries looks every bit grand and is a treat to the senses. Adding another feather to their cap, Shyamal & Bhumika have just launched their first flagship store in Kemps Corner, Mumbai. WeddingSutra.com spoke to them on the occasion of the launch.
How would you define a signature ‘Shyamal & Bhumika’ creation?
Ensembles by Shyamal & Bhumika (S & B) are built using our traditional techniques of craft by hand and are designed to appeal to modern men and women. Our collections are opulent yet minimal and feature an unusual mix of colours. When we work on a garment we endeavour to create a timeless yet luxurious outfit that you are tempted to acquire and pass on for generations.
With a flagship store in Ahmedabad and a strong presence online, what made you decide to open a store in Mumbai? And why did you choose Kemps Corner?
We have a solid online presence and we were receiving many emails enquiring if we have a store in Mumbai or Delhi, as they are the most frequently visited cities by our regular clients and those who follow us on social media. Mumbai is a place we associate with easily; we have a large client base here and a second home too. Kemps Corner is the fashion boulevard of South Mumbai and our clients staying from anywhere in the city,find it easy to travel here. We found a lovely heritage building with sixteen foot ceilings having a history of its own and situated between high-end cafes and bookstores. The moment we were informed about the space available we saw it, and were sure this is where we want to be.
Shyamal and Bhumika store
When did you start building your online presence and what has been the key learning from your online experience?
An online presence is very liberating, creatively speaking. It enables you to talk to and design for clients you have never met in person at your shows, in your store or elsewhere. When we started interacting with second generation South Asians, we enjoyed the experience. They have had a very cross-cultural upbringing, they have attended a lot of Western weddings, and they are looking to buy something that is very ‘Indian’. While as a couturier Bhumika focuses on building a unique collection, Shyamal spends time on the creative direction of the brand and further strengthening the online presence. So in essence, our online presence enables us to create whatever we dream of, irrespective of seasonal, locations and cultural boundaries.
What kind of styles can brides expect to see at your Mumbai store?
You will see collections with a younger feel and more in tune with what Mumbai is all about. Our wedding collections and the global line will be on display. And the store will have all signature S&B collections including menswear with frequent launches of new lines each season. As for the price points Team S&B is tuned to doing bespoke clothing. Some of our customers indicate a specific budget so the level of customization we give clients is quite unique.
What are the unique challenges when it comes to working with and designing for NRI brides?
Most of our NRI Brides live in the US or UK. We have a small team of enthusiastic assistants who provide online services as well as an in-store design team who have mastered the art of custom design. When you are designing for someone across continents who cannot visit you, there are minor challenges like fittings for which we use video conferencing to help visualize the final outfit. Our sales team and design assistants use our in-house modes of communication like emails, WhatsApp & texts, Facetime & Skype and such other depending on the client’s preference. Preparing mock-ups, sending fabric swatches, taking measurements online all this makes it simple for the person far away to place their order.
How have Destination Weddings changed your offerings for brides and guests?
Destination weddings are extremely popular and in-trend. The flavour of the destination and smaller number of guests makes it easier for us to apply creative ideas to create a brides dream outfit. Our global line is a great fit for beach weddings as well as European and American destinations.
What are you designing for Grooms?
Grooms these days are very fashion conscious. They don’t want to just match the bride but to have a look that stands out as well as something that compliments the brides look and the setting as a whole. Depending on a grooms personality we offer them muted tones to unique colours to create a dream personalized look and unusual styling which is minimal yet princely. Sherwanis & achkans, angarkhas, bandhgalas with breeches, ceremonial kurtaas, accessories like pockets squares, scarves, turbans and a whole lot of creative brainstorming goes into creating a smashing look for a groom to-be.
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N S Patkar Marg
Kemps Corner Flyover
M: +91 9833520520