By Pujanee Galappaththi
Accessorising is the finishing touch added to an outfit and this week we decided to focus on clutches. Clutches or pouches – whatever you call it – are considered zipped wonders and have become somewhat of a staple in the fashion industry.
We spoke to some people specialising in the art of clutch design, the co-owners of Navya SL, sisters Munawara Cader and Sulthana Cader.
Navya SL offers a variety of clutches and handbags ranging from printed to embroidered and handcrafted ones.
“Clutches are a fashion accessory, and accessories complete an outfit. The perfect clutch can complement your garments, give you that glamorous touch, and also make you feel elegant. Thus, we try to offer one-of-a-kind designs for our lovely clientele,” said Munawara and Sulthana.
The Cader sisters started Navya SL two years ago as an online store which functioned mainly through Instagram and Facebook and currently, they offer a range of retail collections in The Design Collective store on no. 28, Stratford Avenue Colombo 7, The Design Collective at no. 70, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7, and the Fashion Market store on Green Path.
“Our collections are created with a lot of love and care and we have a strong policy of not repeating ourselves. Hence our collections in the different retail stores are distinctive and exclusive.”
Speaking on the beginning of their venture, Munawara Cader told us: “My sister and I came up with the idea to start Navya SL because we found a gap in the local market. We were shopping for clutches ourselves and found it impossible to find something that satisfied our taste. The name Navya SL was used to show the ‘Sri Lankan-ness’ of our designs. Navya means new, modern, and trendy and with that we added a local touch – that is what we aim to offer.”
When asked about the inspiration behind their designs, they said: “We derive our inspiration from everything around us, starting from current trends to nature and Sri Lankan culture.”
The folks at Navya SL are very supportive of modern local designers. They stated: “We support their brands and we appreciate the young talent that we are surrounded by. We also collaborated with Buddhi Batiks because of how niche and inherently Sri Lankan her products are.”
Speaking of their creative process, they said: “Before coming up with a design, we brainstorm and create a moodboard and try to decide on the best ideas to incorporate into our products. We take into consideration modern trends, both local and international, the season, the prevalent colour palettes, etc. After coming up with this raw idea of what we want, we pass on our ideas to our team who will design and execute our ideas for us.”
Navya SL sources their raw material globally and does the fabric printing in Sri Lanka.
The biggest achievement of an entrepreneur, according to the Caders, is customer satisfaction and delivering that quality product. “It is also nice to see that our taste and sense of style is appreciated and sought after by our clients, because we are very picky consumers ourselves. And when we finalise a design, we always try to make a product that we would want to carry and it is very rewarding to know that they are received positively by other people as well,” they said.
We asked them what their most popular product was and we were told that currently, it is the printed clutches; they believe it is because of the hot trend surrounding prints this season.
Finally, we asked them to give us a few pointers on how and where their clutches can be worn, to which they said:
“Well, our clutches are completely versatile. They come with a chain so they can be carried as is or carried as a cross bag; whichever it is, they are perfect to pair with formal attire such as sarees, shalwars, and also a simple black dress.
They are also perfect for a casual brunch outfit – white t-shirt and jeans.”