Women are slowly but steadily encircling the globe today; we’re slowly breaking free from the shackles of sexism that have held us back. Women all over the world, particularly in India, have taken the fashion industry by storm and have strived to make their dreams a reality.
Sonia Jain is another of the country’s most talented female entrepreneurs. Sonia and her sisters are the brains behind Riha, a platform for online shopping. Riha is a known emerging brand that untangles the clothing of life to fit the Indian palate and environment when it comes to fashion and fabrics. It is a confluence of trendy and comfortable textile styles. In no time Riha has achieved widespread acclaim since its launch.
Read to know more about Sonia and her brand Riha.
Questions and answers
How did ‘Riha’ become a synonym of liberation for you during the lockdown, and how did it help you battle the lockdown blues?
The year 2020 saw the beginning of a new era of contemplation and pause, rearranging life. There was restriction, but the mind was always free to think, create, and dream. Riha arose from such a thought.
Riha’s strategic edge continues to be its ability to have fuss-free, fashion-forward models. The brand’s strategy is to instil trust and individuality in any customer by making them feel at ease and effortlessly put together.
How do you and your sisters collaborate and brainstorm ideas before creating or marketing a new product line?
We three sisters are a part of a large extended family that includes four elders, their children, and their children. Each of our collections is a testament to our love for color patterns and the fabric that will fit the season’s style. We all have varying tastes and conceptions of design. But, through honest conversations and an open mind, we try to make something incredible.
What are the sources, natural or otherwise, wherefrom you draw inspiration for your creations?
Inspiration can be found in different forms. Our go-to picks are designs and fabrics that resonate with all things moving, have an edgy vibe, and make us feel so content in general. We strive to choose fabrics that are durable, long-lasting, and adaptable.
There is a saying that you can judge the personality of a person from the way one dresses. How far is that true, and how do you create clothes to suit diverse personalities?
A person should wear and feel the most secure in whatever makes him or her feel most relaxed. We want to achieve a combination of colors and patterns that reflects something special. We want to remain anchored in the idea of independence.
What is fashion for you, and how do you manage to bring about a culmination of trendy and comfy to your creations?
Fashion for us is drama. It is how we can present ourselves to the world in our best possible role. Bright colors, earthy shades, bishop flowy sleeves, elephant skirts, quirky prints, and delicate patterns are all part of the look. It’s all about the ebb and flow, the highs and lows.
Fashion is the most dynamic industry that changes every day. What is your research procedure to remain relevant and up to date with the current fashion trends?
The dynamic of any industry has shifted in the previous year. I believe that people are now going together more actively all over the world. We get our ideas from our fashion-forward family and the online community, which has a plethora of fashion influencers, websites, videos, books, and runways. We want to strike a balance between the fast-changing essence of trends and fashion that is slow, evergreen, and effortless outfits that are available at reasonable prices.
How is Riha customized to suit the Indian taste and climate when it comes to design and fabrics?
There is something quintessentially Indian that can come out of our outfits through our prints, fabric, or style. We want to work with designs and trends from all over the world but stay grounded in the Indian palette of taste that will epitomize our desi culture. We have customers from the Netherlands, Dubai, and Singapore who love our outfits because of the Indian feel.
How do you manage the different aspects of your business, such as the selection of raw materials, design, production, and marketing?
Mansi works with influencers and other social media pages to reach out to target consumers. She is studying mass media at the Singapore Institute of Management and is our Marketing head. Surabhi is studying fashion at Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, and she is our technical design head. I, Sonia, the management head have done my Master’s in Management from Singapore Management University.
All of us collaborate and indulge very passionately in all the aspects of a brand, be it from designing and marketing. If you love something, you’d want to be a part of the whole process and that is what drives me to oversee everything.
Co-ords are a fashion statement that has now come back to the market with a boom and is becoming a favorite. Can you talk to us about one such Coord set of Riha?
Coord sets are our signature style, as they are the most comfortable and complete outfits.
The pink handwoven coord set is a perfect summer piece that you can pick any day without putting much effort and look and feel bright and breezy.
How significant a role did social media, and the digital platforms have to play in promoting your brand?
Digital platforms such as social media are among the most versatile and cost-effective strategies used to reach the target consumers and elevate sales over time. Consumers are sure to be more responsive to the messages when marketing through social media, and it aids in increasing brand recall value and loyalty.
We also use traditional promotion methods such as word-of-mouth and Pop-up store displays and exhibitions to reach our local audience better.
1. One vintage fashion statement you would love to come back with?: Sweater vests.
2. The most exotic accessory you own?: Earrings.
3. One designer you would love to collab with?: Sabyasachi.
4. One area of fashion you wish to delve into?: Opening a boutique store.
5. One should choose fabrics according to their body shape. True or False?: False.
Passion or profession? Why not both! – Prachee Viraskar I am Prachee, an MBA graduate. My father wanted me to work at a bank, and so I gave all the banking exams and landed up