As Brand Architect of OLIO, I shape our brand language. Happiest when surrounded by people, I work on building an OLIO community. From managing brand communication, pushing OLIO in the press, seeking out interesting people to feature on the blog, to managing social media accounts, I work on developing the brand personality.
I love clouds. I have the worst road rage. My dreams are so vivid I’m exhausted when I wake up. I intentionally snort when I laugh these days because it’s fun. My Plan B is to become a farmer. Running is meditative for me and I go for long runs on Sunday. I was a dog from Madasgascar in my last life - I owe my keen sense of smell to that. I feel a lot of cute aggression; I bite and pinch out of affection.
I love beer.
Aashna: So tough. It's like going to war each day. No one ever tells you that. But we've grown tremendously. We're fierce, we work so hard, and we fight for everything we believe in.
Sneha: True. What do you think one of our biggest challenges were?
Aashna: I think the hardest challenges are the ones that stem from our gender and the industry we work in. Unfortunately, fashion is readily characterised as the poster-industry of consumerist materialism; as frivolous and superficial. When you add to it two young women entrepreneurs, people tend to perceive our business as a passion project, which is very frustrating.
Sneha: Yeah, it makes us really angry. We're not just selling clothes, we're telling stories.
Aashna: Exactly. In this age of mass retailers, we're creating a brand with a soul. We don't want to just sell you a dress, we want to take you on a journey.
As Creative Director of OLIO, I shape our design and visual language. From art-work for our collaterals, conceptualizing our events (on a budget!), seeking out the softest linen, to designing an entire collection in 10 quick days, I handle the work of a full fledged creative team all-in-one.
I’m obsessive about moisturizing – I spend 20 mins twice a day. If my body feels dry I get a headache. I get separation anxiety if my laptop isn’t with me at all times. I hate sharing a bed with someone and surround myself with a pillow wall. I can dance for 12 hours straight. I love grey everything. I’ve watched 8 movies back to back (obviously I don’t have that kind of time anymore.) I do yoga every morning and I’ve always dreamt of starting my own brand.
I love beer too.
Sneha: A lot of my inspiration is from origami. I also love basic elements and shapes and that has found it's place in many of our pieces.
Sneha: Pockets! Functionality is a key component of OLIO. All our dresses have pockets!
Aashna: What's your favourite piece this year?
Sneha: The Puzzle Dress! Constructing it felt like putting together pieces of a puzzle. It became the nucleus piece for GRID. Once it was done the rest of the story just came to me.
Aashna: Yeah, it's super OLIO.
Sneha: I really do feel like it conveys the brand identity and design language of OLIO - mix of subtle colour palette, structured in form and very graphical.
Together with Vizo, Rakesh, Abhay, Gaurav, Lukman, Rajiv and Gopal we make a fantastic team. We only take the day off on Sundays, often our work days last 14 hours and as we head home we're covered in layers of grime and sweat - and not just our own.
But we wouldn't have it any other way. We're lucky we get to call what we do "work."
All photos by Tenzin Lhagyal.