Accessory designer, Sonali Dalwani, is known to create the perfect accompaniments for the equally perfect dresses. She believes that fashion is what makes a statement but it’s the accessories which tell a story. Being practical and business oriented, she has something to give to everyone who walks into her store. Sk gets up close and personal with the designer.
1. Having worked with a line of big wigs like Karl Lagerfeld, Valentino, Chanel and Ungaro what made you start your own label?
The reason is actually very personal. When I decided to start my own label, I had two kids to take care of and no real time to spare for ‘work’. Starting your own thing was the right choice for me because I have good experience and a rich background, so I couldn’t possibly be a mess. Bringing your own label to the world also means you get to spend more time with your family and less of restrictions.
2. Could you tell us about Crimzon?
My collection has been around at Karma, Aza and other big stores across the metros as well as big shows like IMC and Design One. I received some great reviews as we had established a place at Hughes Road. People came; they saw and fell in love with the designs. My work spread via word-of-mouth and no real advertising and before we knew it, we created Crimzon.
3. We hear that your designs are available in the International market as well. Are the needs of both the markets the same, in terms of accessories?
Jakarta, New York, London, Madrid, San Francisco we’ve opened niche boutique stores here. They love what we create however; they prefer their accessories to be muted and subtle. Since I’ve worked for the International market before I know what they’re looking for so we create simplified and less ornate stuff. We use eclectic fabrics to give a very vintage inspired look.
4. What are the challenges you face as an entrepreneur in comparison with working under somebody?
Both the organizations that I had worked with in the past were big. I learnt a lot from it, I used to interact with seniors on a one-one basis which was great exposure for me. 5 years down, I was handling the entire operations by myself and I did well. Having a background in business did help though the greater challenge for me was that I didn’t have technical skill set. I’m much more settled now.
5. Earlier, accessories were not considered as a serious market. What has brought about a change now?
There hasn’t been a drastic change even today. Though my shows were well received by the fraternity, critics and the media, one is not given much credit in India. People think shoes are very secondary and don’t pay much attention to it. In the west, Jimmy Choos are worshipped. The mindset of the common man has to change only then people will pay heed to their accessories and give them its due.
6. What can we look forward from you this year?
I’m still nurturing Crimzon and plan to put in all my creative energy to create newer markets for my baby. We’re working on the next line already as we do something new every few weeks.