Break Out & Be
Break Out & Be
Her dream, her dynamics and her expression has always been design; right from when she was a young girl, Haasya Chandna used to find patterns and colors in everything, whether it was her toys, nature and all the various sights around her. She had her own personal equation with art, right from dressing up her barbie dolls in clothes sewn by her, to sketching in class while school was on. Haasya always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. As she grew older, her fancy for art started to grow exponentially and she took it up seriously. She took art lessons to brush up her skills and then eventually, after completing junior college in Mumbai, she went for an undergraduate program to the London college of Fashion and got her honors in pattern cutting and design.
“Life in London, was, an experience no words can encompass. Being in the city where art is so open and omnipresent – in architecture, in fashion and in the vibe of that beautiful city, was entrancing. Fashion school was a life defining experience. As for me, being brought up with the Indian perspective of education, this was completely fascinating. Learning to draw inspiration from everyday objects and streamlining it all into a design structure was very new and exciting. I could finally see myself being able to achieve everything that I had been dreaming of since I was a child. I would finally be able, to not only design the clothes that I so loved, I would be able to design my dreams,” she happily reminisces.
However, as fun and captivating her experiences were in a foreign country, for an 18 year old who had never lived away from her parents was a great challenge. Living on a budget, cooking her own meals, feeling homesick and a million other reasons made her want to run back home. What got her through was her insatiable drive to achieve and of course, some really good people who turned into lifetime friends. She also had the good fortune of meeting some very interesting people with different mindsets from various cultures, which made her time there all the more worthwhile.
Independence and stability come over time, and with all her struggles and long nights full of crazy ideas, brainstorming, sketching, deadlines and projects, she paved the way towards her career in design. Haasya knew then, that she wanted to design evening wear for women, mostly couture. She wanted to be exclusive and elegant. She returned to Mumbai immediately after her graduation and began work on starting up her own label. Finally, she could create clothes with her own design essence and make women look even more beautiful and appealing to themselves and to everyone else. And Kazamiir by Haasya Chandna was born. She knew Kazamiir couldn’t just be another run of the mill design line, it had to beautifully blend every client’s and her own sensibilities.
When she started the label back in 2007, it was all unfamiliar to her; the fashion industry. She had never had any family member or mentor in the business to guide her through her career. But slowIy, she made her way through as an entrepreneur. She set up a small workshop for designing and production and worked privately with clients at first, before stocking her designs in a few stores across the city. It wasn’t easy. Mumbai is a city full of aspiring designers, each with their own brand of couture. “It was tough; before I got the first few clients, I would urge my friends to spread the word. I would meet with friends of friends and eventually, through word of mouth, word got out. And though I was happy, I suddenly found myself finding it hard to manage everything on my own. But it never stopped me; not the sleepless nights, not the finicky clients, not even my own inhibitions.”
Work started coming in at a fast pace, and she felt a rush of excitement when she saw her picture in the papers with the Miss India contestants for whom she had designed an entire collection; the fame that comes with this career can be quite enthralling yet intimidating. “I always had to remind myself that I was doing this not for the love of fame, but for the love of creating. Thankfully, even though my ambitions sky rocketed with all the possibilities lying in front of me, I always remembered, that humility is my best friend,” she says about her attitude.
Success came early to her brand in its initial years and she was immeasurably grateful for all the people who appreciated her design sensibility. She participated in various fashion shows and portals and publicized her brand and slowly started expanding to different parts of the world. It has been eight years to her business and what a ride it has been! She did face some tribulations by way of inspirational blocks or financial hurdles. But she came through eventually, stronger and wiser. “Being a businesswoman today does give you a certain sense of responsibility and that can really help you advance in life.”
Of her future plans, Haasya says, “today, my love for design and creating little pieces of my aesthetic, has gotten the better of me and I am now starting up an online store for eclectic home decor where I can introduce the people of Mumbai to exquisite pieces of furniture and curios, all curated and designed by me. Where fashion design was an amalgamation of people’s sensibilities, Deco Eclectica (my brand) for me, is a union of the elements of the world around me. Of course there is a lot of fresh excitement in this for me, along with some anxiety to see my business take the shape I expect it to. With the right mindset and the business acumen I’ve come to learn over the years, hopefully Deco Eclectica can also reach out to contrasting and off beat minds all over the world”.
- Living Local