Conversation With The Multi-Faceted Designer, Mayank Modi
Bengaluru designer Mayank Modi’s calm demeanour puts you at ease. But, the clothes horse believes his tryst with designing is best attributed to sheer serendipity. Speaking about his brand Mayank Modi Fashion’s line, Mayank shares the inside track with BananiVista.
BV: Describe the vibe of Mayank Modi fashion in not more than a line. Also, how would you describe the vibe of your collections?
Mayank: Eclectic yet elegant Men’s Wear
BV: How did the idea sprout? Did you always want to have a fashion brand of your own?
Mayank: I was working with HP (Hewlett Packard) in their finance division after college. During this time my mother opened a multi-designer store – MOGRA at the Leela Palace Hotel. I used to visit the store during my lunch breaks and realized there was nothing for men but we had beautiful clothes for women from designers all over India. I decided to make my own shirts. Not having a formal education in the fashion industry, it was a little difficult in the beginning as I did not even know the names of fabrics and how to differentiate them. On weekends, I caught hold of a tailor/master and made a collection of 15 pieces. Once displayed on the racks it was all sold within a week. I was extremely happy and decided to make some more. Finally, after a few collections and assurances of a good response to my designs, I quit HP and decided to start a brand -MAYANK MODI for Men’s Wear.
BV: What is your personal style like?
Mayank: I love wearing PANTJAMAS (Looks like a Pant with the comfort of a Pyjama). I design them and decided to name it – PANTJAMA. Also, I wear only CHINESE COLLAR shirts. During summers its Hand Block printed shirts and winters I wear a REVERSIBLE Jacket / Bandi’s made of Wool that is very stylish and also keeps me warm. I wear T-shirts occasionally while on a beach holiday. My all-time favourite is a white linen Chinese collar shirt and Pastel Blue PANTJAMAS. I also love carrying sling bags. Have a collection of fine leather bags and pouches.
BV: Take us through your venture’s evolution.
Mayank: During my stint at HP, I rented a garage for Rs.1500/- a month and hired 1 tailor and 1 Master. For about a year, after work, in the evenings I would go sourcing for fabrics, buttons and other accessories to go with my collection. I would then look at the production till 9 pm and would again go back the next day during my lunch breaks to check on the progress of the collection. It was strenuous but very exciting to juggle a well-paying job and a passion which I never thought would become my full-time profession. I loved the feeling of being surrounded by beautiful fabrics and clothes. During weekends, I would travel to Chennai, Goa, and Hyderabad to market my designs. Finally, I quit HP one day and concentrated on my brand full time. By now I had also started making Jackets and Kurta sets and moved to a bigger and better place. My team increased and so did my range of designs. I was now making everything for men – Trousers, Shirts, Jackets, Kurtas and Blazers all made of luxurious fabrics from natural fibres. My brand is exclusively available at MOGRA in Bangalore and also at other multi-designer boutiques across India. I wanted to start something more. Pret wear at affordable prices always fascinated me and I decided to start a pret multi-designer store and named it – MOGRA PRET. We had some beautiful clothes sourced from cities across India which were priced between Rs.1500/- to Rs.10,000/-. The store became popular in no time but we could not sustain the high rents in Malls and decided to shut down. But, I still wanted to do something more and decided to start my own label in women’s sustainable clothing under the brand name – ASMI by Mayank Modi. It has been only 3 months now and we already have a website and have been doing well from MOGRA in Bangalore. In the next few months, we plan to take it pan India and then would also like to be a part of International fairs for sustainable clothing. My men’s wear is categorised as premium and priced between Rs.5000 to Rs.20,000/-. Women’s Wear made of natural fibres only and is priced between Rs.3000/- to Rs.10,000/-. From here on, I also plan to venture in Textiles and Home Furnishing.
BV: What does your typical day look like?
Mayank: I don’t like waking up early but realised my day goes best when I get up early as I have more time for myself. Typically I get up at 6 am and head to the Gym. I am not much of a breakfast person so my breakfast is very light. I head to the office (workshop) by around 9 am. The mornings are usually kept for designing and developing new designs for both Men’s and Womenswear. After 12 pm I do a little follow up on the work in progress and make a few changes if required, Planning on what to send to stores. Analysis of what is the current trend and future forecasts for my collection. My client meetings are usually fixed between 3 pm and 6 pm. Meeting my vendors, clients and fittings are all done during this time. After 6 Pm I like to unwind a little with a cup of coffee at our store – MOGRA and love interacting with our walk-in clients. This helps me relax and also help me understand what the market requires and the designs which are appreciated and the ones which have a flaw in them. I head home at around 8 pm and relax with family and watch a little tv before I dig into my current favourite book, which also puts me to sleep
BV: What next? We are talking in terms of your brand.
Mayank: I would like to create better and more classic designs which are worn and acceptable all over the world without having to compromise on the beauty of Indian Fabrics and Textiles. I have recently started my women’s wear label – ASMI . Its been about 3 months and am quite happy with the response as we celebrate sustainable clothing and also help educate the clients on the benefits of wearing clothes made of pure sustainable fibres. I would like to take it pan India in the next couple of months and then International as soon as possible. Since I started designing clothes I have always had a passion for beautiful textiles and fabrics. I would like to start a brand in textiles and home furnishing which compliments my clothing brand. Apart from this I am an entrepreneur at heart with a keen eye for detail and would be happy to take in any opportunity that comes by which make me very happy coming back to work every morning.