A Q&A with the Hyper-Creative Founders of Independent Indian Fashion House, Shivan & Narresh

Independent Indian fashion house Shivan & Narresh brims with creativity. Whether it be their upmarket New Delhi outpost, newly opened Goa store, or two-level shop in Mumbai’s trendy Kala Ghoda neighborhood, the brand’s brick-and-mortar window displays are due to catch your eye: think collar shirts imprinted with South Asian cityscapes, plus saris and swimwear sporting eclectic collages that imbue a gamut of striking colors, uniquely proportioned shapes, and thoughtful motifs inspired by the designers’ experiences.

At HAP, we are all about finding the best independent boutiques worldwide (of course, in addition to hotels, restaurants, and bars with a similar fare). We can confidently say this is one of our favorite boutiques (seriously, there’s nothing like it).

We sat down with those at the helm, Creative Director Narresh Kukreja plus Head Designer Shivan Bhativa, and asked them all about the brand. Read on to hear what they had to say. 

(Left: Shivan; right: Narresh)

Tell us a bit about how you got started with Shivan & Narresh?

The brand’s journey is rooted in the classrooms of NIFT New Delhi, where our collective love for travel, art, and fashion inspired us to launch the first luxury swimwear brand in India. We felt the calling towards this segment after we won the Italian Mittelmoda International Beachwear Award in 2006. Shivan and I are both extremely passionate about traveling and want to explore every corner of the world; hence we wanted to work with a category that inspires travel. We felt that swim & resort wear was this category of clothing that spoke a global language — one that was universal in its acceptance.”

 What kind of clothing do you design? How would you describe the brand’s aesthetic?

 “Shivan & Narresh is a luxury holiday lifestyle brand that caters to all forms of holidays, whether you’re on a beach, resort, cruise, safari, or ski trip. The aesthetic is bold, confident, and sophisticated.”

 What are some sources of inspiration for your latest collections?

“Our biggest inspiration comes from travel and art. Our whole aesthetic revolves around exploring diverse cultural and art structures, then bringing them to our design canvas. Our recent trip to the Shekhawati region of Rajasthan inspired our latest Fresconian series. Various traditional fresco murals that decorate innumerable Havelis, architectural structures, regional flora & fauna, hand-painted walls and rose-tinted skies inspired us to paint five iconic prints: Maru, Surroco, Legermash, Solscape, and Zoolostamp.”

Do you have a few favorite pieces right now? If so, tell us about them. 

 “There is always an instant love for paneyos as they are extremely versatile and help a woman transform her look from a beach to brunch to a bar in the evening. Our favorite ensembles for men include oversized resort silk shirts and knitted polos, which we can pair with our signature print swim shorts or trousers for morning to evening looks that make a dapper statement. With the onset of the summer season, the Shivan & Narresh visors, hats and espadrilles are a must-have in every resort-ready wardrobe.”

 Being that the majority of our readers are in the USA, can you please share where they are able to find your clothes outside of India? 

“Consumers outside of India can easily explore the collection on our website; it’s very user-friendly, and we offer shipments worldwide.”

Lastly, is there anything you’re working on that you are super excited about?

“Currently, we are working on our upcoming new series inspired by our trip to Finland. It’s a very exciting collection with distinct curated styles and prints inspired by Finnish landscapes and the breathtaking natural experiences that come with them. We are also working towards the International market with a vision for global expansion.”

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