Traditional With a Twist - Swapna Anumolu talks with You & I

Traditional with a twist is what comes to mind when one thinks of Mishru. Started by Hyderabadi girl Swapna, the brand was born out of her passion for design and beautiful clothes that can be effortlessly worn. While Swapna does not have a formal education in fashion, she does have an eye for non-fussy yet beautiful clothes that appeal to today’s young and modern Indian woman.

Tell us about yourself and what led you to where you are today.
It is a very simple story, actually – no lightning strike. Identifying a need and then going after it. After that came the tiring part: research and identifying if the idea of Mishru is even plausible. And then the exciting part: learning everything there is to know about this industry, from textiles and looks to understanding the market, what works and what doesn’t.

So here I am today – a designer by choice and a business owner by chance – looking forward to creating beautiful outfits that make people feel great about themselves. I’m hoping to inspire others to be a tad more adventurous with their style choices.

Being in the fashion industry, where do you draw inspiration from and how do you keep up-to-date with the latest trends?
There is so much inspiration all around us, particularly when one travels to new cities and experiences different cultures. Equally inspirational are heritage buildings, architecture and fabrics from different parts of India. I am currently looking at street styles from across the world for inspiration on how to make Indian designs more wearable and more easy-to-style. Having said that, Mishru isn’t only about staying on trend. We are as much about new trends as we are about classics and re-inventing those classics. Hence, I also like to keep an eye out for unique exhibits around the world - The Manus x Machina costume display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York was phenomenal and truly inspirational.

What is Mishru all about?
Two years ago, we launched Mishru, with a collection of simple kalamkari anarkalis. That simple red anarkali was the beginning of a successful company.

The focus is and always will be on making a beautiful product. Crisp colours, unique prints, and playful sophistication are the hallmarks of Mishru. We specialise in contemporary and fun silhouettes in Indo-Western and Indian wear. Finding something that suits your individual style should not be that difficult. Mishru is about providing that choice and more.

Who is your target clientele?
The best part about Mishru is that we don’t segment. We have a wide enough price range, but more importantly, we cover the entire spectrum when it comes to Indian and Indo-Western wear. Our current focus is wearable high fashion, so we are looking at creating designs that you can wear more than just for that one special occasion. But we are still stocking the classics, the new fashions and everything in between.

How would you describe the fashion space in Hyderabad?
The fashion space in Hyderabad is evolving. There is a shift from wanting to fit to wanting to stand out. People are experimenting more; they are more willing to try out new styles, new looks and new designers. This is very comforting for design houses like Mishru, as it allows us to take liberties and be more creative.

How do you like to unwind?
The great part about doing what I do is that it doesn’t feel like work. Though I must admit, it definitely feels like work when I have to tally numbers (laughs). But when not doing Mishru-related stuff, I like to hang out with family and friends, travel, and read. I like to take in a good movie or a concert at times.       – as told to Suneela