From making global brands accessible, to creating slow fashion, or a funky label for the trendy, these youngsters are torchbearers of the future
Vineet Singh (29) & Siddarth Gadodia (25)
Vineet Singh (29) and Siddarth Gadodia (25) started Upbeatz.com about eight months ago to cater to the discerning, well-travelled Indian. Currently stocked with personal hygiene products and sunglasses, it’s not your average e-commerce site. “The aim is to bring lesser-known local brands from across the globe to the Indian consumer, who wants something other than Prada and Gucci,” Gadodia tells us.
With over eight years of experience in online advertising, marketing, branding and sales in companies such as Google and Delhivery, Singh prefers unwinding with a book, be it fiction or biographies. Gadodia on the other hand, has worked as a manufacturing engineer in firms such as Gretone Engineering and Kilgour Aerospace in the UK, and has an affinity for adventure sports and music festivals across the globe. With founders with interests as varied theirs, it’s no surprise that the e-store will soon have an interesting mix of products, starting with ManCave (men’s grooming brand from the UK) by the month-end, Crew (a wearable tech label from Philippines) and Big Bad Wolf (a California kidswear company) by December.
While the duo has made Bengaluru its home, it was not their first choice. “We were looking at Mumbai and Delhi, but realised that the tech talent here is far better. The people are also more receptive and adventurous. We keep going to startup events, meeting VPs and innovators and I doubt we would have the same experience elsewhere. We have had an very enriching year, apart from the traffic, of course,” Singh concludes.
Two to Tango
Tessa and Teena Vellara (22)
Twenty-two-year-olds Tessa and Teena Vincent Vellara at first glimpse might just appear to be pretty girls, but put them together and they are a powerhouse of ideas. The twins began with exploring two very different avenues — baking and designing a clothing line, and that’s when they realised, that they had a flair for it. A mere attempt to earn some pocket money at age 17, Tessa started Cuppycakes, a confectionery business that was popularised purely by word of mouth. Teena on the other hand began Tee-ara her clothing line. “I was always interested in clothes and wanted to design my own line that was at par with what’s available at high-end malls, yet providing them at a reasonable price,” says Teena. Working in partnership, these girls have come a long way from starting these enterprises to starring in a movie with Alia Bhatt and Shahid Kapoor. Declaring their new found love for acting, they reveal that what came to them by chance was a good opportunity, and given a choice would love to explore the world of Bollywood. Fortunate to have worked with some of the most talented actors, directors and producers at the very first shot, the twins are raring to go. They’re 22, young, and beautiful and have each other to fall back on. Balancing college, and the various other projects that they take up, they add that it’s because of family support and the institutions that they studied in that they have come this far.
Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama (24)
Designer Priyanka Ella Lorena Lama of /p.e.l.l.a/ finds perfection in imperfections and her garments are a reflection of the thought. “It’s not that they’re badly made but they are anti-fit, not in focus and not forced upon. You could describe my aesthetic as easy, well-made clothing with offbeat silhouettes,” begins the 24-year-old. Originally from Darjeeling, Lama moved to Bengaluru six years ago when she enrolled in NIFT and has since not even entertained the thought of moving elsewhere. “It’s motivating to be working along so many people who are trying to make a name for themselves,” she shares. While the city may not be as fashion forward as Delhi or Mumbai, Lorena feels that people are willing to try unusual silhouettes.Picked as one of the six designers to watch out for nation-wide, through Lakmé’s Gen Next programme last year, Lama has showcased her designs at the Lakmé Fashion week both times this year. Crafted from hand-made organic fabrics, her designs include dresses, tunics, capes and jackets.
Her debut collection, Utopia, saw an all-white line-up of long flowing jackets, draped dresses and loose tunics with billowy sleeves made from silks. Her Fall / Winter line, Abstinence, was inspired by her convent school education, which taught her about making do with basic necessities. Currently retailing out of Melange and Ensemble in Mumbai, Neel Sutra in Delhi and out of her studio in Bengaluru, she hopes to set up a standalone store in the city in the near future. Details: pella.co.in
— Rashmi Rajagopal & Niharika Chevur