Found comfort in lounging? Style up with these Made in India brands by women entrepreneurs
As the world reeled under the COVID-19 pandemic, people held on to whatever little comfort they could. 2020 may well be behind us but the year has spoiled us with lounging from the comfort of home, while also getting some work done.
From Bollywood celebrities lounging in breezy kaftans to people attending virtual meetings in comfortable casual wear, the humble ‘fashion is comfort’ has never been truer.
Hence, loungewear was the definite fashion trend of the year and retail fashion brands like H&M and Zara were also quick to cash in on it.
HerStory presents four women-led brands which had been doing serious business of offering comfort through fashion, way before the pandemic turned the world around.
(From L to R clockwise) Aayuushi and Anushka Agarwal, co-founders of Erotissch; Bhanu Garg, Founder of Sweet Slumber Store; Riddhi Jain, Founder of NeceSera; Tanvi Goenka Sekhsaria, co-founder of Mystere Paris
Long before COVID-19 led to loungewear becoming a major fashion trend, Riddhi Jain noted that high-quality casual clothing was missing from the shelves. In 2017, the BBA graduate from Emory University, US decided to start a sustainable loungewear brand to help people unwind in comfortable clothing after a long day of work. Based in Delhi, the startup’s name ‘NeceSera’ is a portmanteau of ‘necessary’ and the Italian word ‘Sera’ – which means evening.
With a focus on fabric, its ideas are conceptualised in Europe and manufactured in-house at Faridabad. As an eco-conscious brand, it recycles 70 percent of the 2,700 litres of water it usually takes to make one t-shirt.
Targeting all women aged above 18, its range of loungewear and nightwear is available on ecommerce platforms like Amazon and Nykaa, besides the startup’s edition. Amidst the pandemic, it has also introduced the work-from-home edition as well.
Sweet Slumber Store
Lawyer-turned-entrepreneur Bhanu Garg’s loungewear brand Sweet Slumber Store stands out with unique Indian Jaipuri prints among a rich collection of loungewear clothing. Founded in 2018, the Dehradun-based label also offers a wide variety of accessories like headbands, scrunchies, turban caps, and décor products – all priced between Rs 99 and Rs 2,700.
The entrepreneur says the key focus is on quality and affordability, while its USP remains keenly attending to the customer needs. Targeted towards people from all walks of life, the label has also catered to celebrities like Meera Kapoor and Mallika Dua.
After quitting her profession as a lawyer, Bhanu worked briefly as a makeup artist. Heading a small team of four people, she says entrepreneurship, especially in 2020, was filled with learning and new experiences.
Mumbai-based Mystere Paris has been popularising fashionable sleepwear and loungewear since its inception in 2015. Entrepreneurs Tanvi Goenka Sekhsaria and Vishwanshu Agarwal’s focus on online brand building has played an important role in their growth over the years.
Priced between Rs 499 and Rs 1,999, their products, including lingerie, are available on most ecommerce platforms like Myntra, Jabong, Flipkart, Tata Cliq, ShoppersStop, Flipkart, Amazon, and FirstCry, in addition to their website.
An alumna of Stern School of Business, New York University, and IIM Bengaluru, she was earlier associated with Booz and Company as a management consultant.
Sister-duo Aayuushi and Anushka Agarwal used their education and penchant for fashion to start a bed-to-streetwear clothing brand, Erotissch, in 2019. Based in Delhi, the startup offers a range of comfortable loungewear inspired by the Japanese concept of Jinbei, a form of nightwear that can also be worn outside to run errands.
Targetting working women aged between 18 and 35 years, the brand also designs masks, beachwear, and lingerie.
Launched with 280 SKUs in October 2019, its products are available on major ecommerce platforms like Ajio, Myntra, Amazon, Flipkart, and Little Black Book, and forayed into retail store Shoppers Stop in July this year. Although COVID-19 imposed several challenges including shifting base from Noida to their hometown in Agra, the brand clocked Rs 1 crore in revenue in five months during the pandemic.