It’s not just enough for a modern fashion label to create beautiful and thoughtful collections each season, while keeping a careful eye on the ebb and flow of the red carpet. There’s also connecting with the fast-changing social media landscape, while still nurturing relationships with editors, all the while listening to the needs of the women who wear your clothes.
Good thing the husband and wife team of Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia are in it together. The duo were among the 32 new members added to The Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2013 and built a reputation on breathtaking embroidery for industry heavy-hitters like Oscar de la Renta and Valentino.
"We love coming to Texas because the women here take such good care of themselves."
Sachin+Babi expanded the vision of the brand with the introduction of Noir Sachin + Babi collection and the introduction of Ankasa, their home accessories line.
Warm, thoughtful and down-to-earth, the couple recently touched down at Saks Fifth Avenue for a private lunch with local customers and a fundraising event for Recipe for Success. CultureMap grabbed a few moments at a back table of 51fifteen at Saks for a chat about social media, their theory on celebrities (and the one famous face they would most love to see in Sachin + Babi) and possible Southern expansion plans.
CultureMap: What role does social media and bloggers play in the branding of Sachin + Babi?
Sachin + Babi: Social media is instant outreach with real-time results you can monitor. It’s not filtered and the bloggers are good to work with. They know the brand and interpret Sachin + Babi their own way. It makes fashion very democratic.
CM: What does that mean for traditional media?
SB: Traditional media still sets the standard. It definitely still matters.
"We lean more toward television girls because women can relate to them. They see a mom on Modern Family wearing something we’ve designed and they can see themselves in it."
CM: We see celebrities like Scarlett Johansson, Jennifer Lopez and Emma Stone have stepped out in Sachin + Babi. What celebrity would you like to see wearing the brand next?
SB: We’d like some sort of a role model. We’d love to see Jennifer Lawrence in the line. She’s sharp and beautiful.
In general, we lean more toward television girls because women can relate to them. They see a mom on Modern Family wearing something we’ve designed and they can see themselves in it. Of course, we are obviously very flattered to dress stars from TV or movies.
CM: Speaking of women wearing your clothes. Let’s talk about Houston women and fashion.
SB: We love coming to Texas because the women here take such good care of themselves. There’s a level of femininity and personal pride in how women dress and present themselves. The Houston woman has quite the appetite for fashion.
We talked on the way here that our next store outside of New York could be in the south. There’s a lot of possibilities.
CM: You’re married and you have a business together. What’s life like outside the office?
SB: We try to have a life outside the fashion world. None of our friends are in the fashion business, so when we get together, we never talk about fashion. It’s really quite refreshing.
We are honest with each other and we know each other’s strengths. We are on the same wavelength.