November 18, 2021 (IANSlife) Avant Garde jewellery brand, Outhouse, aims to add an element in the fashion world with the launch of their very-first bucket bags crafted in PETA-approved vegan leather, featuring 24k rose gold finishing, to celebrate its Poppi monogram, a sophisticated metaphor of childlike joy, optimism, and vibrancy.
The brand reinterprets the classic silhouette of a bucket style bag into their own playful version with the Poppi monogram embossed on it. The monogram, is unique amalgam of nostalgia with contemporary design, turning to the enduring beauty of nature to create its brand-new five-petal poppi flower monogram.
Designers and co-founders Kaabia and Sasha talk to IANS about their inspiration and latest offering, a simple yet timeless design, which holds special significance to them.
Tell us about the new bucket bags and how Outhouse is an brand catering to all accessory needs?
Grewal: This is not our first attempt with bags, we launched our first collection around 4 years ago, and received an overwhelming response which led us to introduce more styles in the years that followed. We have made a conscious effort to use vegan leather since we launched our first bag collection, and have continued doing so ever since.
Our last drop, ‘Furbie’ was also crafted in vegan leather, so was the ‘Birdy’ – the ultimate (eco) essential tech accessory. Outhouse is also known for its fanny packs and sling bags. The house’s most functional creations, our designer handbags are conceptualised and crafted to be the perfect companion for your inseparable essentials. Handcrafted purely in vegan leather, these luxury bags add the ultimate touch of sophistication to every look.
The brand thrives on constantly pushing the envelope with design, and redefining how accessories are created and adorned. Every piece aims to be a piece of art, a style statement and a conversation starter, which embodies a bit of culture and heritage, and also the soul of the Outhouse woman. This has also helped us diversify our product categories, which initially focused on jewellery, but now we’re proud to be known for our consciously handcrafted bags. Handmade in our studio, our offerings are a culmination of the finesse of the craftsman technical prowess and a keen attention to detail.
The OH Poppi Bucket Bag is consciously handcrafted in PETA-approved vegan leather, enlivened with the 5 petal OH Poppi monogram. This piece is finished with 22Kt gold and sweetheart lock metal decoration.
Tell us a little about the collection and the creative process that led to it.
Grewal: The Iconic OH Poppi monogram celebrates the excellence of craftsmanship through the iconic new 5 petal monogram. This makes its way to newly launched OH Poppi bucket bags, rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets adapted as versatile iterations in hexagonal, rectangular and scalloped silhouettes, with both metallic finishes and hints of colour. The collection will also see a men’s jewellery line.
Taking a trip down memory lane, this monogram has always resonated with us personally, retracing our steps to when we were kids. When it comes to what the monogram means, it was designed to represent a sense of playfulness and vibrancy that embodies the house’s individual spirit in the essence.
Our inspiration dates back to the time when we stopped by our childhood home this summer where we spent the early years of our life, a home where we hadn’t been for long which led to the birth of this new chapter. Designing the monogram was as simple as a drawing on our Notes on the phone. The beauty of the monogram and its simplicity lies in its origin of drawing and the fact that we wanted it to look nostalgic.
In the efforts to create something new and memorable, the creative process always starts with mood boarding leading to working on final prototyping and making everything in Cad and design finalization.
Your brand falls into the premium segment when it comes to costume jewellery, what gives you an edge?
Grewal: Outhouse is a bridge-jewellery brand. Its inspiration lies in a classic combination of shapes and symbols of Indian and International cultures, moods and fashion; experimenting with materials like Swarovski, semi-precious stones, leather and metals, creating beautiful works of wearable art. This is the spirit behind the brand power and timelessness.
A play of geometric and fluid metallic forms with exotic crystals and semi-precious stones forms the basis of the design aesthetic. We have always strived to achieve mastery in every aspect of creation and provide women around the world accessories of the highest calibre, thus setting us apart from other accessory brands.
While more and more young brands foray into this segment, do you feel first mover advantage will always keep you ahead of the game?
Grewal: Along with the first mover advantage, there are a lot of other traits unique to our brand. While the jewellery field grows by the day, it is now easier than ever to get lost in the plethora of emerging brands. We strongly believe that the key lies in creativity and reinvention backed by having in-depth knowledge. Outhouse Jewellery is synonymous with statement style, exploring aesthetics inspired from an assortment of arenas, it is as unique as it gets. The constant drive to keep doing something fresh and stimulating is what we feel keeps us ahead of the game.
With a focus on sustainability, what initiatives is your brand taking to incorporate sustainability into its collections?
Grewal: Being a fully sustainable brand is definitely a route we are aiming to take by being mindful and we’re making our way towards it. While we have worked with Vegan leather before when we launched our first bag collection, we believe that it is a crucial time to redirect and repurpose how we want to move forward as individuals and as a brand and encourage a new thought on how we do what we do and the way we do it.
Small but effective steps need to be taken, which is why we ourselves are exploring new and sustainable ways and alternative materials to replace the unsustainable materials we all depend upon. We look to source ethical materials from home grown, local vendors to support Indian artisanship. One step at a time, sustainability is definitely a journey. We have made a conscious effort to use vegan leather and using other environment-friendly materials like jute and cork are some of the ways we contribute to sustainability.
Celebrities or influencers which do you feel translate into sales, and which hold more weight?
Grewal: We would say, sales are dependent on multiple factors. Apart from a good marketing strategy, social media also plays an important role these days in converting sales. When it comes to shopping for fashion, it heavily depends on how visually appealing your products are presented– either on a model, celebrity or influencer. Celebrities and influencers have definitely played an important role when it comes to creating a buzz and also building a brand-recall, but we would not solely depend on them for sales.
Less is more or more is more, your pick and why?
Grewal: Outhouse has always been known for our bold and edgy designs. Having said that all our accessories are handcrafted in a way, that they would all make a statement when worn as is, even if it’s just a pair of earrings.
The beauty of styling accessories is that there are no rules. Depending on the occasion one can choose to just opt for a simple pendant necklace, or stack multiple pieces at a time. As a brand, it is very versatile and we have something for everyone
Are you looking to sell stake to a group in order to expand the brand?
Grewal: At this point we are proud to say we are a self-funded brand and have not reached out for funding. But yes, we are open to the idea. Having said that, alignment with the right group or partner is key for us as we wouldn’t like to dilute the positioning of the brand. The soul essence of the brand is the fine balance between design and craftsmanship. A company with a strategic bent of mind and someone who only handles luxury strategy is someone we would approach, to have this conversation with.
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