The time for summer flings and sunny vacations may have gone by, trendy swimwear that’s chic and exotic is however here to stay. Shivan & Narresh, a beachwear brand that’s got the Indian consumer hooked talks to us on what drove them to create this new line.

Their whole idea of starting a swimwear specific brand was to bring about a change in the mind-set of the average Indian. In 2009, the very idea of developing a business in an arena that sits at a very low level of acknowledgment and acceptance seemed farfetched. They encountered several challenges throughout their journey but were able to pursue their goals, thanks to their faith in art and fashion that motivated them to take the risk.

“We met during our undergraduate studies at NIFT in Delhi. Our unique complementing skill sets clicked and we decided to collaborate and participate in a couple of international design competitions, like the Italian Mare di Moda Beachwear Awards 2006 in Bali and World Wearable Art Awards 2006 in New Zealand. That helped us achieve scholarships to pursue our further education in Italy”, says the enthusiastic Narresh. Further to this, they decided to collaborate professionally and completed their masters in the fields they needed to hone their specific skills in. Subsequently, this led to the inception of the eponymous brand.

With travel being the brand’s main source of inspiration, these ace designers have brought awe-inspiring forms, illuminating textures and eye-popping designs that have been derived from art, architecture, flora, and fauna from across the world. Simply put, though, the brand is an amalgamation of Shivan’s strength in silhouettes and patterns and Narresh’s passion for colours and prints.

If you know anything at all about swimwear, you ought to know the legendary Bikini Sari and the Resort Sari from Shivan & Narresh. This signature piece imbibes the idea of a contemporary vision of a bathing suit whilst keeping the essence of the traditional sentiment of the sari. With the idea of a functional silhouette, the Bikini Sari can be draped in several distinct ways proving its versatility. It can be worn as a resort wear outfit, lounging by the beach; or can be paired with a glamorous pair of trousers for a destination wedding or a cocktail party. The rage caused by the Bikini Sari can be seen in the wardrobes of young loving honeymooners to 45/50-year-old body-conscious women.

In time, this beachwear brand has received applause from critics and a great audience for going out of their way to create art. Their recent collection, SS’19 Koi Series is one such campaign that is very distinct in terms of colour palettes and prints. In fact, the tribalesque feel of the series is inspired by Gond art from Madhya Pradesh and their colour inspirations are from the bustling streets of Turkey.

As part of their growth strategy, this swimwear line has observed that luxury design houses join hands with street-wear brands in order to expand their audience and incorporate their signature style into one’s daily wardrobe. Similarly, the SHIVAN & NARRESH X KOOVS collaboration aims to reach out to a whole new set of the target audience which is much younger. The collection portrays the ideology of travel; the essence of the brand taking it further by aligning it with the lifestyle of athleisure, street style, sports and cocktail which interests millennials today. The four major prints of SHIVAN & NARRESH X KOOVS are Rose Magnolia, Sweet Magnolia, Summer Night and Lush Vineyard — curated exclusively for this project.

In all essence, the brand believes, “the very idea of being able to establish a swimwear-centric brand when the category wasn’t very optimistically accepted in India,” is the greatest achievement throughout the journey of Shivan & Narresh. This has opened a lot of doors in the Indian fashion industry and brought a huge change in the ethos of the Indian audience making it a potential industry on its own.

What next? Although swimwear is the centre of the brand, their goal is to diversify as much as they can and touch base with different audiences. “After successfully dressing our first beach bride in Vietnam, we are working towards setting our foot more into couture with innovative silhouettes and patterns, details of which will be disclosed soon”, promises Shivan.

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