Ayesha comes to town

Ayesha of “Black” fame plays with colour for her new fashion accessories brand

The first thing that grabs my interest is the marvellously loud beads in red, orange and green cheerfully jostling with ultra-muted browns, blacks and off-whites. I’m instinctively sucked into the corner tendering more ogle-worthy neckwear in shocking pinks, oh-so-cute purples, and flexible ones in silver and gold hints. And, a few of those see-through pendants are stocky enough to put self-assured paper weights to shame!

Ayesha lovingly unhooks an aqua-blue necklace that has tiny slices of mother-of-pearl strung together, and asks me: “Aren’t they beautiful?”— like a proud mother showing off her first child’s first drawing. And, why not? In a way, these accessories adorning the walls of the store are her own tiny tots. Ayesha Kapur, the little girl who bagged many awards for her stellar performance in the 2005 sensation “Black” is now a teen with her own brand of fashion accessories ‘Ayesha’.

It’s not every day that you come across a 14-year-old entrepreneur. But then, Ayesha Kapur is no ordinary teen. With Dilip Kapur (who owns Hidesign) for a father and Jacqueline Kapur (who runs the Casablanca stores) for a mother, getting into the fashion business only seems like the most natural thing.

Says Jacqueline: “Ayesha always travelled with me to pick up stuff for Casablanca. She’d be delighted at what she saw.” Ayesha cuts in: “But we always argued about what we liked. Some were for the young, and some for the slightly old, and we picked up different stuff.”

Says Jacqueline: “That’s when we realised that good fashion accessories from India were either exported or available at unorganised markets such as shops on the streets.” Adds Ayesha: “We realised we could use Indian tradition, give it a modern twist, and make it a brand,” adds Ayesha. “Every girl has a shopper inside her, and ‘Ayesha’ hopes to let her discover that,” says the ninth grader who’s a self-confessed ‘mood-dresser’.

After stores in Ahmedabad and Puducherry, ‘Ayesha’ comes to Chennai. Right now on display at Casablanca in Ispahani Centre, the brand will have its exclusive store soon at an upcoming mall in the city.

What Ayesha calls the ‘feel-good-for-the-day’ accessories also include bags, hair clips and bangles, and are mostly designed by the mother-daughter duo. They also work with their manufacturer and a gypsy self-help group in Puducherry. They travel around to add ‘what’s-in-vogue’ to their collection. The ‘Ayesha’ range is priced from Rs. 40 to Rs. 1,000.

After I complete looking longingly at every piece around, Jacqueline says: “Tell me, does a man ever get excited at fashion accessories?” Truer words never uttered.

As for Ayesha, she’s right now excited about her forthcoming flick “Sikandar” with Parzan Dastur, who famously counted the stars in “Kuch Kuch Hota Hai”.