Almost about eight years ago, designer Rina Singh created a small collection to display at a show in London. Not like she gained enough success through the showcase itself, but a potential client saw prospect in her subtle and clean designs. By the end of that trip, she sold her first order to Maureen Doherty’s store Egg. And that’s exactly how one of India’s minimal clothing lines, Eka, was created. Today, designer Rina Singh showcased her Spring Summer 2018 collection at Ensemble, Mumbai. A display that perfectly captures the vibe of Indian summer, we saw everything from relaxed, billowy silhouettes to a summery colour palette in this collection titled Kinship. Curious to know more about the designs and her brand, we asked Rina Singh a few questions. Excerpts…
Tell us about your Spring Summer 2018 collection Kinship. How different is it from your previous collections?
I still work with natural textiles. In fact, I make my own textiles, and that aspect remains the same. I also work with the same crafts people. What changes from one season to the other is the palette, the treatment of the collection, the motifs and patterns we use, as well as the silhouettes. It only gets carried forward from one season to the other, but we add a bit of twist in each.
Can you tell us the expected price points for this season?
The price points remain the same… it starts from Rs 14,500 for dresses and jackets, and can go up to about Rs.18,000.
What is Eka’s brand ethos?
I love to work with the people that I have worked with, so that’s a carry forward always. Again, what I like to do season after season is mixing different patterns together. I also work on new shapes that aren’t ordinary or stereotypical. I like to work with easy shapes that don’t hug the body. It only gives a little ease to the customer who’s wearing it. Then, there’s emphasis on natural fibres so that the garments don’t bite into the skin.
Talk to us about creating pieces for Eka. Where do you seek inspiration from for colours and silhouette?
This season, the inspiration has come from travel. From walking across the streets of Paris, Japan, Korea, or wherever… you kind of get mixed up. So, the preferences and inspiration this season are extremely cross cultural.
You started stocking internationally first, and only later did you do the same in India. Do you think, today, India has a market for aesthetics similar to yours… minimal and not OTT?
Yes. We have the weather, and also the women who would wear the clothes that I create. In fact, it’s only about building the market, which is what I’m trying to do. Also, there is all kinds of India, within India. There’s a minimal India… in fact, there’s always been a minimal India. It’s just that we like to talk about maximalism, because that’s what gets all the attention.
This interview, conducted by Eesha Kaul, has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.