Anushree Reddy was one of the Indian designers who heavily contributed in the dismantling of the traditional bridal red and bringing in the pastel revolution to Indian wear. Her feminine designs complemented with a romantic colour story instantly became a wishlist item on every bride-to-be’s list. Over the years, Anushree has sprawled her clientele beyond Hyderabad and the rest of the southern region.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of the Hyderabad-based designer, and to celebrate this milestone, she is set to launch her first flagship store outside of her home city. Her new flagship store will be located in the financial capital of the country–Mumbai and the ‘The Queen of the Suburbs’ Bandra, within the city. ELLE spoke to the designer to recap her past and what is she most excited about in the present and for the future.
ELLE: 10 years in the industry, what has been your most significant learning and your biggest reward so far?
Anushree Reddy: “After ten years in the business, I believe that being a self-taught designer who has never studied fashion has provided me with the most significant learning. I completed my MBA in Cardiff, and when I returned, I barely had any technical training about designing clothes. I believe I have mastered the finer points, literally beginning with the tiniest of details and working my way up to the most complex. Opening my flagship stores, in my opinion, has been incredibly lucrative for me in terms of rewards. I recently opened and currently operate three stores. It’s been great leaving my comfort zone and moving on to another place. Even fashion weeks have been extremely fulfilling for me. I believe I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to develop a niche through the years, today we’re recognized for our feminine bridals.”
ELLE: Although you’re based out of Hyderabad, you have a nationwide clientele. What made you open a flagship store in Mumbai?
AR: “Yes, I’m based in Hyderabad, and I believe moving on to create my flagship store in Mumbai was the next move. Moving to Mumbai was at the top of my bucket list of things to do as part of my 10-year anniversary celebration plans. The city and I have always been in love, it exudes a spirit that is really unique. It is what initially drew me to the city because I wanted to step outside my comfort zone. After some months of searching, I finally found the ideal spot, and I never looked back. I didn’t come in with the intention of signing; I just happened to be passing by, and it clicked. It was the energy. It was just the atmosphere and setting. Compared to other cities, I believe Bombay in general is a little ahead of its time when it comes to fashion. So that’s something that really motivated me to start my own business here. It encourages you to work a little harder. That served as its driving force.”
ELLE: The interior of your new store has an art deco vibe against your bright and pastel ensembles, tell us about the design process of this store.
AR: “The space’s decor has been a lot of fun. As a result, I’ve utilised a lot of thunder stones, which are from the Telangana village of Thunder, It’s genuine stones. We transported that down to Mumbai, and it serves as my flooring. It is a lovely grey, and I previously utilised it in my area in Hyderabad. Therefore, we desired to keep moving in the same way and warm the walls. I don’t like very bright areas, any kind of decor that I employ in the business tends to have a history of its own, and I guess I’ve always leaned a bit more towards antiques and moody lighting. Which is why we obtained antiques from Kerala. They will have a little bit of history to them, as well as stuff that I’ve picked up over the years and collected. I’ve travelled to Kerala several times, as well as Joe the Pool, where we gathered up old stone pillars and chairs. Therefore, we gathered antiques from Kerala. The entire space is curated with collectables from all of my travels.”
ELLE: With a new store and a bridal season in full swing, what’s your game plan for the upcoming months in terms of growing your business in a new metropolitan city?
AR: “In India, the wedding season is always in full flow, which is always extremely exciting. And I believe that for Mumbai, we have selected a unique line of bridals that is more glitzy and opulent. I can’t wait for people to see it since it will help me grow my business in a new location. We’ve extended our scope in terms of what we do, which makes me delighted. Now, we have a complete menswear line and a resort collection for women that includes kaftans, gowns, wraps and other things. We also do a lot of work, where we do everything from a tropical destination wedding kurta to the groom’s primary attire. I’m looking forward to the busy season with these line extensions.”
AR: “It’s heartening to see that people haven’t really moved too far from the usual and that weddings are still a little bit more intimate and destination-focused. The main trend I’ve noticed is that everyone is shunning the usual colour red, which is really thrilling to me. More exotic colours are becoming popular. I find the colour scheme to be quite vibrant, with gold serving as the new peach and pink, and ivory serving as the new red. The vivid dark reds and maroons have definitely been swapped for muted, softer tones. I believe that brides do not want anything heavy because it kind of drags them down.”
ELLE: Tell us about your ‘Bombay edit’ collection for this store, how different is this curation from your regular lineup?
AR: “We have created a tonne of new prints only for the Bombay edit, which makes it very special. We have flowers, lizards, snakes, and everything else in it, which is completely different from any of my previous prints. Thus, I’m quite pleased about that. We have created an entirely new bridal collection exclusively for Mumbai. It’s distinctive from what we’ve previously experienced. A soothing colour story with lots of crystals and pearls for the upcoming season. From the cuts and the way needlework is usually done, new forms have evolved. We’ve done a lot of testing, so the styles and silhouettes are fairly varied. The extra effort gave it a little edge, and for our men’s clothing, we released a limited-edition Ekatara Chickenkari line here. We also have a small selection of our indo-western wear with applique work. I’m thrilled because it’s more of a limited edition and only accessible in Bombay.”
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