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SMB STORIES : Two different aesthetics , two different markets , two different Brands, One Designer

Updated: Feb 13, 2023

Meet Soumick Mondal ,a Designer from West Bengal creating mark in the Indian Fashion & Design Industry with his dual Design Projects.



A leather designer from NIFT , Kolkata , Faculty at Gurukulam Fashion Kalyani; an initiative by INIFD & an entrepreneur of two homegrown brands : one that marks it’s name in the domestic front : Haute Potli whilst the other Aamogh; a synonym for Lord Ganesha an entirely different project in terms of designing , aesthetics and product range. How did he make it possible ? Let's dig deep into the Designer's journey.


Versatility in a designer is a skill only a few have been able to established successfully. While a storyline connects a Brand language , this designer has succesfully been able to create two strong brand languages via the brands he owns. Colour Splash being an Unique Selling Point for Haute Potli while Aamogh defined by subtle detailings , neutral colour palette with a fair balance of femininity & structure.


"Brand story is something your brand /product conveys to the audience or the market

Haute Potli ; an Accessories Brand that , as the name suggests , started wth Potli bags for women, in collaboration with a colleague ; Shatabdi Mitra , now a travel enthusiast.The brand that caters to domestic market . The first product range started with PU & Textile bags , washed Denim & Canvas , eventually Screen printed fabric and elements of Leather added up.Wide range of bags from gusset bag to bucket bag , envelop , Unisex bags , Duffle bag , jute bag , Tie-dye Duffle bag , potli , sling bag etc. are now a part of the family.


Aamogh started with a lot of research work with lookbook A/W19-20 , for the Global Market.Inspired by the real life character of the movie , The Danish Girl ."We researched from the art era , took inspiration from the art forms , colour palette etc. The collection revolves around the floral motifs where everything got imbibed into the handbook as well as Winterwear for the newly found Sustainable Brand , as we worked closely with artisans to create handmade motifs across the clothing line" , the designer says.


As we went through the collection of both the brands , we saw stark difference between the two , each creating significant stories without an inch of explaination .

(LEFT) A range from haute Potli (RIGHT) An Apparel from Aamogh Collection


What role does a designer play in his own Design Business? Is it all about designing ? How does Branding influence the market ?


Mr. Mondal quotes , "Actually , it is not ‘just about the design’. Designing is a process & Design Process is a key factor. Marketing , on the other hand plays a major role whether you make a home décor product or an accessory or a garment. Even when you freelance a service , marketing is one thing you can never miss out on.It is also important to understand what kind of market you are into so your goals , target market , price points & processes are crystal clear. Is it a B2B Business? Are you registered in trade shows to present yourself in International market? Are you an online company? Things like these , helps you weed out unnecessary anxiety you might come across while playing your business cards."


HAVING YOUR OWN DESIGN LABEL IS ENTREPRENEURSHIP . IT IS A BUSINESS & AS A DESIGNER IT'S A JOURNEY !

While we think , a designer just needs to design beautiful things, he/she has to sit with karigars to get the designs made, build the brand , know about the placement of brand in the market, must know the marketing techniques , accounting & a lot of other things other than designing when one starts their own business. "Brand Positioning is as important as designing and building a brand.No matter what story does your brand tell , the presentation & photography must be top notch to make an impact" , the Designer emphasises as he experiences the impact of right kind of branding & positioning in the market.


While a good chunk of designers are lucky enough to get enrolled in premium Design Institutes and get an opportunity to learn from the basics of colours , shapes , hierarchy, to developing techniques of how to think & design , most often the design students aren't able to relate the application of these basic elements. The designer stresses on the fact that learning Visual Language is an important aspect that we learn through the basics of foundation program like Geometry & Elements & Principles of Design , these subjects being the building blocks.


“ We follow all the processes to build up a collection . From moodboard , storyboard , Trend research ,to creating the Inspiration boards , developing motifs , sampling with the karigars and then moving on to production " , the designer spills out his secret of building two successful brands .


It may sound easy but the whole process rests on a lot of brainstorming. Right from the looking out at Inspirations & Theme to Mindmapping to finding out the right emotions to describe the collection , the whole process is a task in itself. Making different presentation boards , the Design Development is in itself a huge process. " The processes are not easy , but what gets you going is the practice" , the Design-preneur states.


Aamogh started a little later . What makes the brand a little different is the movement and process of fostering change. The designer collaborates with local artisans to develope the range .


Supporting Sustainable Artists & Designers , we asked Mr. Soumick Mondal, what according to him is sustainability ? " It is about the social good – supporting artisans by directly buying from them , treating karigars equally and fairly.Understanding the supply chain and making necessary amendmends in the lives of people contributing enormously to the fashion industry is what makes a sustainable economy", he says as he provides ethical working conditions for artisans he works with and pays fairly.


A question that always is disturbes the passing out designers is whether to start up as soon as they passout or should have an experience in the industry first ?


“ I wouldn’t have known about Ethical Fashion if I would not have worked in the factory before!” , says the designer , who started his own brand well after years of experience with the industry.


"Starting out all on your own is a different journey. There are certain things you don’t know. So you should work under someone who knows how things are done . You sit with karigars and understand the basic nuance , how your work flow must be planned & executed . You gradually learn handling work , processes & people when you work under a system , be it a Designer Label , a factory or an export house" , he explains.


As you learn things from people who have already done it before you , your journey becomes a little easier ! And that's what My Design Journey is all about .


 

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