How this fashion label strides the fine line between eclectic and traditional

Mumbai-based fashion label Maison Blu makes trendy yet versatile clothing pieces that can be styled in a variety of ways and for a variety of occasions
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What does it take for a fashion label to stand out in a saturated market? Trendy designs, a glamorous clientele and a vibrant social media presence. Mumbai-based Maison Blu ticks all these boxes. Launched in 2014 by sister duo Anisha Kapoor and Reema Singhania, this label has been spotted on celebrities like Katrina Kaif, Michelle Poonawala, Sunny Leone, Divya Bhansali, Sophie Choudhary, Regina Cassandra, Sargun Mehta and Sahher Bambba, among others.

“Maison Blu aims to deliver iconic pieces to the fashionistas of today. From floor-grazing lehengas and pre-stitched sarees to embroidered jackets and ruffle skirts, each piece from our atelier is designed for those who wear their personalities on their sleeves – bold, beautiful and decidedly glamorous,” say the founders in a chat with YS Weekender.

Katrina Kaif in a Maison Blu creation

The background

Anisha has an MBA in Retail Management from Welingkar Institute of Management and Reema specialised in Textiles and Printing from the BD Somani Institute of Art and Fashion Technology. Together, they conceptualised Maison Blu to create timeless yet versatile garments that could be worn as statement pieces within an affordable price range.

“We both believe that fashion ought to be versatile. Our multipurpose looks are based on the latest fashion trends, and our outfits can be worn in multiple ways. For instance, our embellished tassel jacket can be donned over a layered skirt and our metallic skirt pairs beautifully with a ruffle-sleeved blouse for a night-out with the girls,” says Anisha.

Reema adds, “Through Maison Blu, we offer iconic pieces to resonate with the woman of today – something that flatters, and also helps her confidently express her personality. The idea is to make garments that feel like a second skin and is both comfortable and glamorous.”

Their team of 25 consists of tailors, masters, karigars and production assistants, and they function out of their workshop and store in Mumbai. They ship worldwide and have clients in many countries including the USA, UK, Singapore, Indonesia, and UAE, among others.

Anisha and Reema’s varying design inspirations and philosophies are what guide them and act as the foundation for their brand. A collective passion to create has allowed them to make a seamless mix of Indian and Western looks over the years.

They highlight that every collection of Maison Blu’s reflects multiple influences. Anisha says, “We love combining different elements – whether it is power with fragility, finesse with effortlessness, or serenity with drama.”

As partners in work and sisters in life, they have found a rhythm, and constantly take inspiration from their personal adventures as well as their travels around the world.

What’s on offer

‘Boho-chic’ is the vibe that best describes the clothing from Maison Blu. The use of neon hues and eye-catching tassels abound, both in Indian and Western wear. Their collections include tunics, dhoti pants, sharara sets, dresses, jackets, waistcoats, tops, and lots more.

“Since festive Indian clothing is incomplete without intricate work and a touch of drama, many of our pieces are peppered with pretty embellishments or bold thread work, to create edgy, western-inspired looks that are ideal for cocktail parties or formal soirées. From beautiful jewel tones to elaborate drapes and modern silhouettes, Maison Blu’s sartorial collection is crafted for those who embrace tradition and understand how to modernise it in their own distinctive style,” explains Reema.

The brand launches seasonal collections and intersperses these with mini capsule collections. Their aim has always been to create multipurpose looks revolving around their clients’ present-day needs, while ensuring they remain timeless for future use. They take inspiration from current fashion trends in India and around the globe.

Their last capsule collection titled ‘Style your Mood’ offered a variety to suit every client’s requirement. “No matter the changing times, we have always strived to offer multipurpose fashion where an end user can get more out of their purchase. Our main philosophy at Maison Blu is to deliver more than our client expects from us. So, we are constantly working at giving our customers a little more out of their purchase. Regardless of the changing times, we focus on creating multipurpose pieces that our patrons can style in a dozen different ways."

"As a designer, I hope to see this line of thought across different levels of the industry, so that fashion can be made fun, exciting and something to be re-visited, time and again. Like the ‘blue’ in our name, our brand symbolises elegance, serenity and stability, all of which you can find under one ‘maison’ or home – our label!” Anisha shares.

Their upcoming collection is described as focusing on ‘playful, glamorous, young, and bold metallics’ in keeping with currents trends.

Design and manufacturing of the clothes takes place in-house and one can purchase the clothes from their studio as well as other multi-designer offline stores like Aza, Ensemble and Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop. They are also available online through the websites of Aza, Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop, and a few other international ecommerce domains. They also participate from time-to-time in selective events pan-India and abroad.

Figures of growth

According to data published on Statista, the market value of textile and apparel across India in the financial year 2020 was $106 billion, and this value was estimated to reach $190 billion by 2026. No matter how hard crises hit, the fashion industry relentlessly moves ahead.

The Maison Blu team began their label with an initial investment of Rs 5,00,000 and have seen significant growth since then. By placing themselves on multiple platforms, they have widened their reach significantly. 70 percent of their clientele comes to their own studio or through events they participate in, and the remaining 30 percent comes from multi-designer stores.

Though their core audience is women in the age group of 25-40, a lot of older women come to them as well for customised silhouettes, as their modern and vibrant aesthetic appeals to many. “Age is no barrier in today’s times and women are increasingly embracing colour and unique re-wearable silhouettes. We ensure that the customer’s individual preferences are incorporated in each custom piece,” says Reema.

Their customers are their biggest ambassadors and help in spreading the word. The team also pays attention to online marketing activities. Brand engagement with end users, stylists, and influencers have helped the brand grow.

The pandemic certainly affected their business, as the lockdown forced them to suspend all activities indefinitely. A new bridal collection was in the works which has now been pushed ahead. However, they have taken this setback in their stride and surged ahead.

The founders share, “The love we get for our versatile outfits is our biggest reward. We love seeing the creativity of our clients in re-wearing and re-using the same pieces in different ways. It shows us how much our clients really cherish the pieces they buy from us and that motivates us to create styles that have a contemporary edge but classic usage.”

Edited by Anju Narayanan