Chennai-based entrepreneur Lavina Ramchand has made heads turn with her designer label, Ruha.
Lavina studied fashion for a year-and-a-half and after intense brainstorming, realised that ethnic desig was her calling. Since then, there has been no looking back. Orders have been pouring in and the client base has been increasing.
Lavina Ramchand talks to NXg about her passion, the industry and her label…
Why go the ethnic way?
Right after I finished my course, I took a couple of months off to decide what I wanted to do. There were western clothes, sarees, salwars and so on. I decided that I would do justice to ethnic clothes and so went ahead with ethnic designing.
My clothes, though ethnic, not stereotyped. I design them but I make sure that it cater to older people also. I add a mix of classic and modern to my design which is loved by youngsters and elders alike.
What does Ruha mean?
Ruha means clothing in a foreign language (Hungarian). I was looking at a lot of names and this one struck me. I found it feminine and it also was ethnic.
I thought that it would arouse people’s curiosity as they would want to know what it meant.
How did you start off?
I initially started off by selling my designs to friends and family. Word of mouth worked the best and more people started calling. I wanted to develop a clientele whom I know would come to me no matter what. It is never smooth when you start off alone. Financially, my parents helped me out. But that is not the scary part. I was provided with all the resources, but ‘how to make use of it’ was the scariest part.
The scariest aspect of starting a label…
The scariest part is getting someone to leave the brand that they have always been buying and coming to me. I think that is the greatest challenge for any new comer in the industry.
Who is your inspiration?
My inspirations are the designers in the industry. The elegance and smoothness of their designs are incredible. When I look at them, I think to myself that I want to be there some day.
My father was always in the clothing business. He was a wholesale seller of clothes.
My grandmother was a designer. She could turn even a small piece of cloth into something meaningful. I think I owe my designing skills to her.
To have a full-fledged studio up and running so that my clients can drop in, ask for what they want and leave with their designs.