Sisters Hiral Bhogi and Nidhi Mehta started Limited Edition, a collection of cloth bags, in 2008 and have recently taken their designs to Lakme Fashion Week. Hiral is a commerce graduate with extensive experience in handling operations in the banking industry over the last decade. Nidhi has studied graphic design and was the head of design at Freedom Tree Design (Trend and Color Consultancy) for the last three years. While Nidhi designs, Hiral handles operations, and together, they’ve built a brand that only promises to grow bigger in the future.
When they started, Hiral had just had a baby and was taking a break from her professional life. The sisters had always thought that Indian women have a very distinctive sense of dress, which marries Indian aesthetics with contemporary styling. They saw a huge disconnect in the accessories market, where it was practically impossible to find the right bag to compliment the Indian woman’s unique style. Pooling in their savings, the sisters decided to take the plunge to start their own design company- a range of funky, colourful and unique bags that were conceptualised, manufactured and designed in India under the brand Limited Edition.
Thanks to a steady growth in business and having had no dead stock in three years, Nidhi recently decided to quit her job and devote all her time to the brand. She is very clear about the business logic behind their decision to make bags. “It is an untouched market with a lot of scope. Name an Indian label that comes to mind when you think of bags? Maybe one or even two! But if you think of garments, there is a long list.”
Nidhi and Hiral were last seen at Lakme Fashion Week. “For us, fashion week has been a platform to build brand recognition. It is a resource for young entrepreneurs like us to get exposure to alternative channels for business. Today, India is a confluence of artists and we are a generation that is redefining the context for Indian design.” Fashion Week is dictated by trends but Nidhi disagrees. “We do not follow Spring/Summer, Autumn/Winter. That is something we have learned in India. The Indian customer follows festivals! And we respect that. One has to understand their customer and present them with better choices. That is the key!”
The designers are inspired by their environment and local culture. “The vibrant colors of Holi, a traditional Bharatnatiyam dancer’s make-up, the arrangement of fruits on a fruit cart and almost everything around us inspires us. For instance, even in a crowded train, one would never find two women wearing the same print. Through our efforts, we want to bring a little bit of this experience of India to people’s day-to-day lives. Today the mass production of items has brought us to value products that are unique, handcrafted and have their own identity. Our design philosophy stands for the same value. That is why you will find that every piece is individual, handcrafted and uniquely interpreted.”
Volume 1 Issue 12