The fashion playing field in India is rather adult with an emphatic intensity on bridal lines masquerading as couture. In India, the word fashion in itself conjures up blush visuals of shimmering Tarun Tahiliani couture, Anita Dongre’s prêt-à-porter lines and reigning Bollywood stars in designer threads. Fashion for kids is not of any relevance really in the massive Indian design scape, despite it bringing in some serious money to international brands that carry kidswear lines. In an evolving fashion landscape, pre-teens and teens are walking and talking fashion louder than adults globally, something that international fashion house, Zara, understood a long time ago.
Rishi and Neetu Kapoor’s first born, Riddhima Kapoor-Sahni, a jewellery designer and her businessman husband, Bharat Sahni, launched their indigenous new clothing line for kids, Sam & Friends, in December 2017 in a bid to change the fashion stakes, and styles, of kidswear in India. And
Rubina A Khan spoke to Riddhima Kapoor-Sahni in New Delhi:
Why did you think of doing a kid’s fashion line and not one for adults, given your inherent style and persona?
My husband, Bharat, has been in the kids’ clothing business for over fifteen years now and he is very passionate about it and I trust his business sense implicitly. This is why we chose to do a fashion line for kids only. Sam & Friends is for children between the ages of 0-16.
Why is the line called Sam & Friends?
We have named it after our adorable daughter Samara. Sam stands for Samara.
How much is Samara involved in the design and style aesthetic of the line?
Samara is too young to be involved at the moment. Yet she still gives her likes, dislikes and preferences on the collection.
Who has she taken after in the fashion stakes in the Kapoor / Sahni family?
Sam & Friends is not frilly and flouncy, nor is it inspired by what Bollywood stars are wearing. Was it an intentional move to steer away from flamboyant fashion for kids?
Kidswear is one of the fastest moving segments in India and today’s kids are well informed and aware of fashion due to social media. As I mentioned earlier, Bharat has been in the business of fashion for kids for a while now and he truly understands kids fashion, so technically we have stepped into the arena a level ahead of the others. With our unbeatable price points and an uncompromising quality for the fabric, finish, style and design in the garments, Sam & Friends is being loved by both kids, and their parents. All our garments are made with international quality and safety standards which I reckon a majority of Indian customers are not aware of.
What are the pieces you wish you could wear today?
I wish I could wear the bomber jackets with flashy sequins, party skirts and sequinned dresses!
What is Samara’s favourite piece from the collection?
A pink jacquard dress with a beautiful corsage.
Who is Samara’s style icon?
Her Nani (Neetu Kapoor)
What is the future of Sam & Friends?
As of now, we are trying to make Sam & Friends reach the maximum number of Indians and the response so far has been overwhelming. Furthermore, we will be launching our own website in January 2018 to reach all our online shoppers and retail through online portals.
PS. I’m a new friend of Sam too. Interestingly and not quite by design, I wore my Sam & Friends tee to a screening of the Hollywood film, The Greatest Showman, a title associated with the late Indian legend, Raj Kapoor, for his achievements in the cinematic world – leaving me in a total Bollywood state of mind. If you’ve seen the Zac Efron/Hugh Jackman/Zendaya circus theatrics, you’ll know what I’m talking about!
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