story written by Seth Friedermann
feature and runway photography by Adrianna Favero
feature styling by Pauline Toruan
feature makeup by Clara Isabella
feature model is Liisa Õunmaa of Muse Model Management
runway garments SS2013 by Sachin + Babi
feature garments FW2012 by Sachin + Babi
feature accessories by Gemma Redux
Sachin and Babi Ahluwalia are a remarkable creative team. Designing clothes, designing brands, designing businesses. The first thing that strikes you about them is their mix passion and a sense of defiance for the brands that they build and the clothes that they design.
“The joy of doing what we do is that we have a very close understanding of what this customer is, who she is and we can speak to her with the work that we do.” Sachin + Babi as designers and owners exude a sense of independence. They protect down to very small details, not only the way they design, but the way the run their companies.
Because the husband and wife team’s background is in embroidery, it might be expected that their designs would edge towards the lavish. In fact, the opposite is the case. They use the fanciful as inspiration, but meld it on to designs that spring from a core of functionality and flexibility. The Spring 2013 collection is a perfect example. The runway was full of looks comprised of separates that could be mixed and matched to create distinctly different impressions. From casual to formal all with the switch of a jacket or pant. That extreme flexibility matters a great deal to Sachin + Babi, and is as much a hallmark as their decorative embellishments.
“We’re a boutique business and we like what we do and I think we’d like to remain that for as long as we can, because with the scale that we are at, we are more in touch with our customers, more in touch with their needs, and it’s more important than anything else.”
Their designs embody a spirited girl. Sophisticated certainly, but with an independence that matches naturally with the way that Sachin + Babi conduct themselves. Classically trained but keenly aware of the needs of the modern woman who is their client. They have a love of the history of their native India and the surrounding countries. Because of that, their designs often spring from a rustic, ethnic, and historical place, but they execute them in cutting edge fabric or in shapes that are clearly of today. Babi summed up the hopes of their designs and the core of their business with a beautiful simple sentence, “success is being embraced by the everyday gal.”
“I wouldn’t want to walk into a Zara because I think it’s rubbish I think it’s wrong what they do.”