Sisters unified by the forces from above, is a relationship that wraps in it the role of a confidante, a wardrobe consultant, a best friend, a counselor and a mother. It is a combination that blends like butter with jam. The forces of two sisters combined together, is enough to take on the world. The fashion space is going to see a change, with the unison of 2 sisters, Priyanka Bagrecha and Deekshita Jain who are all set and ready to launch their label Phd.
You may be wondering why Phd? To begin with the name goes on to enunciate ‘House of PiaDeeksh.’ and the amount of thought & care put into each detail is equivalent to that of a Phd. The labels philosophy, ‘Two contrasts Pia+Deeksh coming together in their harmony’ which is depicted in each of their garments. Mirroring the beliefs of the youth today, its clothes go on to reflect chaos in peace and noise in silence as explained by Deekshita. Each of its garments celebrates the confluence of traditional designs meeting contemporary ones embodying the spirit of the modern Indian woman and evokes with it emotions ranging from fun to seriousness.
The brand presents offerings for those who are young and sophisticated at heart.Now, you know where your wardrobe is coming from.
So one between the two dynamic forces, Deekshita Jain is in conversation with us. What? How? All your questions will be answered in this space.
When and how did Phd come about?
PhD’s first collection encapsulates its journey. About a year back, when I returned from London after completing a course in pattern cutting I spent 2 months free. I was considering options, wondering where to go from here. Me and Pia wanted to start something of our own, but my family felt working in an organization is important because it gives you exposure teaches about professionalism and all the other things that come in an organization like HR and marketing, which I had no clue about. Hence, I completed my portfolio and went on to applying at various companies.
I got a response from a renowned design house based in Mumbai. I went for the interview, it went great and they told me you’ll have to do an illustration test after which the appointment letter will be sent to you. 5 days went by, and I hadn’t heard anything from them in regard to the illustration test that was mentioned. I called them, and was informed that the illustration test wasn’t required and I would be mailed the offer letter the following day
Bursting with happiness I went on to inform my family members the same. Then another 5-6 days went by without any communication from their end.
I called again and was notified, ‘Oh! It’s not happening anymore!’ and the call was hung up on me.
This bitter experience made Pia and me realize that we have the confidence, zeal, experience and knowledge that is required to start and set up a label of my own. Hence, our first collection is based off ‘Modern Romanticism’ going on to evoke how the rudeness of the world gets you in touch with your inner self, making you realize what the romantic side of you wishes to do.
Phd celebrates 2 contrasts, two contrasts Pia being the more traditionally inclined and evergreen with her choices, I on the other hand have a more contemporary or modern outlook. She sticks to minimal while I prefer a more bold/exaggerated look. So PhD’s clothes are not confined to one of the above mentioned things but are a perfect blend of all of them and that’s how the label’s philosophy went on to be coined, the designs celebrate contrasts in perfect harmony.
Pia and I have been designing together since 9 years, the first 3 years I hated it, but post that I am the most grateful person there can be, and I can’t thank her enough for pushing me to be a part of this field.
What stage is Phd in?
Phd has just launched. Being a start-up there’s a lot that comes with it, some of them being handling labor, marketing, costing, communication and making.
Our label is extremely thought upon, so every element of a garment and branding has a reason for its existence. It is not a part of the ensemble, just because it is something either of us like or prefer. The concepts, the mood all have been decided upon with a reason, and I hate going back in reverse mode. A silhouette is based off a concept, which is then followed by a mock-up and pattern. The construction of patterns is pretty exhaustive and we do it all ourselves.
Is there a word of advice, you have for design entrepreneurs?
Being an entrepreneur, designing is only 20% of the job. The first step is ideation, that’s followed by sketching out of the designs. This is followed by the next most crucial step of planning for your construction. This is a very important phase, because we need to be able to have answers to all the questions about the garment, what is going to be made? How is it going to be made? This then has to be communicated in the clearest of ways so that the garment is made in the manner you envisioned. Design houses incur a lot of cost and spend a lot of time in the creation of their first piece.
A design entrepreneur’s job involves labor management, sourcing, fabric consumption and planning and calculation of lead time. Apart from this, one also has to look into the social media and communications part. So it is a lot of jobs in one.
How is the experience of working with your sister?
It is the best thing ever. We are like two pillars, if one of us falls apart the other is the steadying force. In the process we do have disagreements and fights, only to emerge stronger. Most importantly we have learnt to keep our professional and private lives separate.
Where can we see Phd 5 years from now?
Pia and me have a lot of interesting plans up, but you will have to stay tuned to our space to know more. We are also looking to have our clothes in all the multi designer stores like Pernia and Aza.
What’s PhD’s plan for the year ahead?
We don’t have a pre decided, 1 year or 2 year plan. But we are looking to contest in various competitions and to be staged on platforms which appreciates our thought and promotes the brand too. We are looking at these platforms, because they will enable the brand to be recognized by multi-designer stores. Right now we am more focused on creating awareness than making money. We are proud to call the clothes we produce as couture.
Can you tell us a little about the clothes of the brand?
The clothes can be described as Westernized Indian clothes and it celebrates two contrasts coming together. Phd designs clothes for the strong yet soft Indian woman. We make a statement by using conventional techniques on unconventional fabrics.
Fashion is ever- changing and ever evolving, Phd voices the changing trends and demands of today’s fashionable consumer. Breathe some freshness into your wardrobe, with some of Phd’s designs. Contemporary designs infused with the elegance of Indian charm, creates an alluring charm to clothes and designs. It’s one address for all your wardrobe needs. Show them some love and stay fashionable. Deekshita Jain also imparts fashion knowledge as curator of Questerra’s Fashion Intensive. Feed off some of her fashion knowledge, the Fashion Intensive is broken up into 4 series. At the moment 1 is on the road, there are 3 more that you could apply for. You haven’t missed the bus just yet.