‘Our focus is on creating head-turning designs’

Designers Narresh Kukreja and Shivan Bhatiya are currently working on their 10-year anniversary line

Designers Shivan and Narresh at the Chivas Studio.

Designers Shivan Bhatiya and Narresh Kukreja are two of the most celebrated fashion designers in India. They are known for their bold, confident and sophisticated beach and resort wear collections. Shivan & Narresh is also the country’s first luxury swimwear brand. The duo’s creations are not just popular with Indians; personalities such as Beyonce, Oprah Winfrey, Kim Kardashian and Mindy Kaling were also seen donning their eye-catching ensembles.

The designers have been collaborating with ‘Chivas’ for an immersive experience, ‘Chivas Studio’. Metrolife caught up with designer Narresh, who spoke about their style of work, the collaboration and more. 

Tell us about your collaboration with Chivas.

It has been six years since we started this collaboration. We wanted to explore ways in which we could define the four notes of Chivas — fruity, flowery citrus and creamy— and put these ideas forward in some tangible form. As designers, it became our responsibility to represent these four notes of Chivas. We wanted to celebrate these four prints with the four notes of Chivas in the form of an experiential setup.

As a designer, how will you define your style of work?

We can be defined in three simple words — bold, confident and sophisticated, in terms of design language. Our woman is millennial and body confident, irrespective of her size . We wanted to celebrate that.

Like every year, Pantone Color Institute has come up with the colour of 2020 - Classic Blue. What do you think of the colour?

Pantone as a company tries to make life simple for the garment industries across the world who bet on colour for business. But as design houses we have a slightly different role to play. We tend to follow instincts to pick colours for the season and eventually in a global scenario.

If a certain colour is picked up by a lot of design houses that colour goes on to then becoming a trend. Whether we will pick up that blue, I can’t say right now. It depends on how we feel when we design the next collection.

It was in 2017 when you forayed into interior designing. What influenced you to do so?

If it had not been fashion designing, we would have been interior designers. It’s something that I really wanted to do but fashion is what he chose. However, there was always a part of us that wanted to get into interior and decor. That’s when in 2017, we did our first interior project.

We realised that this, as a stream of an industry, is something that we really enjoyed doing. We then started ‘Shivan & Narresh Homes’. It allows us to express ourselves creatively, in a more three dimensional, spatial form. We like to pick up a project or two in a year which allows us to celebrate our creativity in a different medium. Since clothing and fashion is our bread and butter, we get the luxury to choose the project that we take up for interior designing.

You also collaborated with ‘Heads Up For Tails’...

Pet parents are like any other parent anywhere in the world. It is a human emotion and one can’t put a price on it whether you feel that towards your own kids or towards your pets. Since it is an intangible emotion, the product price almost has no significance.

We live such decadent lives, we felt that pets need to live the same life as their pet parents; especially, owners who would love to travel with their pets. That is the reason why we felt India needed its own designer petswear line. About a year ago, when Rashi Narang of ‘Heads Up For Tails’, came up with the idea, we had already been doing our R&D for my pet dog, Mytis, with customised collars, leashes and jackets. After the two years of research for our own pet, we were happy to be able to extend it other dogs out there.

What is your most preferred fabric to work with?

I think it all depends on the functionality and occasion you are wearing it at. While on a holiday functional fabrics are very important. For a destination wedding, it’s very important that the fabric is anti-crease. I have a preferred fabric in each category to work with.

What do you keep in mind while designing?

As designers, our primary focus is to create designs that register easily and is a head-turner. If a designer doesnt make one feel elevated, then they havent achieved the most important thing as designers. Whether it is an interior space, or a garment one is wearing, the most important thing to make them feel elevated.

What is next for you?

We complete 10 years in India in March 2020. So, currently, we are working on our 10-year-anniversary collection. The line focuses on looking back at the creations we have created over the past decade and what the next 10 years are going to be like.

As a luxury holiday brand, we want to glorify five distinct holidays we stand for — safari, swim, resort wear, cruise and the last one is ski, that we plan to get into, starting next year.

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