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How Shivan & Narresh Launched India's First Luxury Beachwear Brand Right Out Of College

The fashion industry happens to be one of the most fast-paced and constantly evolving industries in the world. Fashion trends come and go in the blink of an eye, but if there is one thing that doesn't change, it is the idea and possibility that inspires it.

Two friends decided to change India's unfamiliarity with beachwear and herald a bigger change in the Indian fashion scene by reimagining the way swimwear was incorporated into mainstream fashion choices in their home country. What started out as a passion project turned Shivan and Narresh's life around, and soon the duo was christened as “bikini boys” of India.

How Shivan & Narresh Launched India's First Luxury Beachwear Brand Right Out Of College(c) MensXP

But there is a lot of history behind their success and raging popularity as India's first luxury beachwear brand.

Swimwear as a fashion category was non-existent in the the Indian subcontinent, when Shivan and Narresh first set foot in the industry. Freshly out of college, the NIFT graduates were told that “the big money lay in selling lehengas”. Industry veterans tried to sell the Indian festive wear category as the “it” thing to make their debut with.

But research and personal inclination told the duo to explore other avenues and turned out that swimwear was a category they could dig into.

How Shivan & Narresh Launched India's First Luxury Beachwear Brand Right Out Of College(c) MensXP

It all started when Shivan and Narresh was had just joined NIFT, New Delhi. While Narresh was specialising with women's wear, Shivan was studying leather corsetry at a prestigious design school. They were introduced by a common friend during their first year, but, it was design competitions that brought them together. Their complementary skills helped them bag most competitions, and they soon realised that sticking together would be best.

Yet, when they set out, people around them were apprehensive and discouraging. That plunged Shivan and Narresh into a dark phase when they didn't know the right answers or how to seek them. But eventually it was their passion and creativity that won, and they decided to sell swimwear as a lifestyle.

How Shivan & Narresh Launched India's First Luxury Beachwear Brand Right Out Of College(c) MensXP

For the makers of the brand 'Shivan & Narresh' their “constant job and passion is to send people on holidays”. What started off as swimwear, soon morphed into resort wear, followed by menswear. But more recently it is their celebration wear that has got the town talking.

But for Shivan, their greatest design invention they lent to the fashion dictionary was the, “bikini saree” which has been adorned by the who's who of the industry and Bollywood divas. Their menswear is equally popular and eye-catchy. And though Shivan and Narresh have personalities that are poles apart, their talents and quirks make them the perfect partners to work with.

How Shivan & Narresh Launched India's First Luxury Beachwear Brand Right Out Of College(c) Shivan & Narresh/MensXP

They started out with a sum of Rs 1 lakh that they had won through a competition, and combined it with another 50,000 rupees borrowed from their parents, and bought three machines that would help them breathe life to those killer swimsuits. From their first store in Hauz Khas to their first flagship store in one of India's most expensive malls, Emporio, they have come a long way in the last seven years.

How Shivan & Narresh Launched India's First Luxury Beachwear Brand Right Out Of College(c) Shivan & Narresh/MensXP

And when it comes to giving a wise piece of advice to aspiring designers, both Shivan and Narresh believe that “a designer must always represent himself or herself, and bring that to the table. Knowing who they are, what they represent and where they are coming from, and pick your line of work keeping it in sync with who you are. All else will automatically fall into place."

How Shivan & Narresh Launched India's First Luxury Beachwear Brand Right Out Of College(c) Shivan & Narresh/MensXP

Learn from these two fashion innovators, as they share industry insights and personal lessons with us, about how to make it in the industry on your own terms.

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