Ink Tone Swep Images POP Location Amsterdam, Netherlands
In both your Iconic and Unapologetic collections there exists this symbiotic relationship where loud color and muted mood coexist, as if every piece is a woman’s self-expressive companion as opposed to just clothing. Where do these worlds collide and cohabitate for you?
I believe one doesn’t live without the other. Fashion as an art form is an expression of yourself and your own identity, and that extension of oneself also correlates to your mood and mission of the day. And thus, your wardrobe should allow for this notion to exist: at times you want to celebrate life in all its abundance, which demands for a bold look with opulent colors. Other days you have the desire to complete your presence with a muted touch. I feel my collection has the delicate balance of fierce elegance that fits into every woman’s wardrobe. She likes her floral maxi skirt but she’ll team it with trainers. The Monique Singh brand believes that each item she wears should enhance her presence. Each one is her.
Fashion is like an unspoken language, expressed instead with texture, sensation, allure and luxury. What statements do you hear emanating from the Monique Singh brand?
The Monique Singh brand emits a statement of strength, femininity and freedom. We bring together a fusion of sophisticated Indian artistry and contemporary western facets to create garments that speak volumes without muttering a sound. Stepping into a power suit from Monique Singh empowers a woman to create her own universe. This is not only reinforced by elements of bold yet elegant design features that accompany celebrated signature floral patterns, but also by honoring her heritage, making her feel grounded and authorized in succeeding her journey. The elegance of the Monique Singh women is worn with ease. She straddles traditional femininity and contemporary beliefs whilst radiating unique qualities which allows her to leave her own impression on the world. She is a tastemaker in her own right and has an individualistic outlook to the world around her. She is unapologetically free.
Your garments weave Indian artistry and the mod West aesthetic into a uniquely beautiful braid that ponytails into these various wear-styles. What does the merging of these two lanes convey and accomplish?
For me, it conveys the notion that there lies beauty in everything. There is beauty and strength in diversity: in every culture, in each individual. Don’t ever hide who you are from the world, instead wear it with pride. It liberates you to be the best version of yourself. Through the Indo Western design characteristics, the collections accomplish creating a palette that makes the modern women feel bold and intricate simultaneously. The brand, its purpose, values and designs with its signature fusion of Indian artistry and contemporary western facets are a direct representation of who I am and what I stand for.
How has your background in marketing and design at the luxury brand level helped position you for success now with your own fashion label?
The biggest gift it has given me is the opportunity to gain priceless first-hand knowledge from various talented people; getting a glimpse into the wonderful minds of Creative Directors, working with artisans that demonstrate the level of craftsmanship, precision and perfection that is required to play in the luxury segment, and gaining a detailed understanding from CEOs and business leaders on the critical success factors to build a solid business foundation. It has given me invaluable lessons from mentors who taught me to believe in myself, my own visions and ideas, and my gut feel…
… Looking back, my experience really helped me in creating structure in the chaos one finds themselves in when setting up their own business. Writing my own business model was a good experience as I had a fair amount of knowledge about the essential factors and it also created a healthy critical view of my own ideas. I really enjoyed writing my brand’s purpose and values, as it came from the heart, but nevertheless, were always reinforced in the brand-building-criteria. When designing my range plan, I always maintain a meticulous focus on creating beautiful luxury tailored pieces which incorporate a classic edge. One valuable lesson I learned was that next to passion, a massive will-power and hard work, you need perseverance! This will get you to your desired end-goal.
Recently, I worked with Italian haute couture label Brunello Cucinelli who much like yourself is committed to championing more ethically and environmentally aware practices in your work from sourcing and design to sales and distribution. Why is this more important now than ever?
The COVID-19 pandemic has really forced us all to stand still, reflect and evaluate on the status-quo and whether our own behavior is facilitating a better tomorrow. The fashion industry is having a massive wake-up call. In addition, consumers are also expecting brands to do better. This raises critical questions on whether we really need this high rate of consumption and how we can restructure our production processes to be more sustainable and resilient. I am a firm believer of timeless and slow fashion. All of our designs are handmade locally in our Atelier in the Netherlands by skilled artisans. We aim to optimize our circle of influence in creating ethical production practices and working conditions. In addition, we only work with ISO 9001 certified fabrics and opt for sustainable fabrics such as organic cotton and faux leather. We hope to contribute in making a change for a better tomorrow.