Offering contemporary Indian wear in muted colours and relaxed fits, NEH launches in Chennai
Twenty-three-year-old designer Nehal Swaroop doesn’t believe in following the trend. Her four-year-old brand NEH has developed a strong identity over the years and is chosen by celebrities such as Kangana Ranaut, Mira Rajput, among others as they offer comfortable outfits suited for semi-formal occasions. “When I sit down to design a new outfit, I think in terms of what I feel like wearing right now or what I want to see other people wear rather than staring at Pinterest for latest design trends,” says the NIFT student who also has a store in Delhi. Although Nehal has been to Chennai with pop-up exhibitions twice last year, the brand is now here to stay as she introduced her collection at the recently re-launched Saumya boutique.
“Our biggest customer base has always been from Chennai and other cities from the South such as Hyderabad and Bengaluru. I think it’s mainly because of the weather in these places. I only work with fabrics such as cotton, chanderi, mul mul and such which are all light fabrics,” she says adding that unlike in the North, people in the South appreciate simplicity a lot more. “They prefer simple, breathable clothes, which is basically the USP of NEH,” says Nehal, who along with her designer mother Simira Swaroop started the brand in 2014. NEH primarily offers kurti sets that includes a kurti, pants and dupatta that can be bought separately as well.
The silhouettes are mostly anti-fit, comfortable clothes in breathable fabrics featuring a lot of layers and gathers. “We also do a lot of shararas, in fact that is one of the first things all our customers want to pick up. I make clothes that make you want to twirl around. They are very feminine and very minimal. Everything is just about right, with nothing over the top,” shares Nehal. If you go through her collection, you can see that the colour palette includes powder blue, pinks, teal, prussian, kora and mousey grey. From their Take that Twirl set, to Shake that Sharara set, you have a range of ensembles to choose from. “One of the things that make us stand out is the colours we use. We use offbeat colour combinations such as teal and light pink, hot pink and beige etc. We also have clothes that use the same colour from head to toe. Very few people are comfortable with that. But with our brand, people seem willing to take it,” says Nehal adding that she uses florals, geometric prints, digital and block prints in her designs.
`6,900 and upwards.
Available at Saumya, Nungambakkam.
— Fathima Ashraf