Meet The Woman Making Anti-Wrinkle, Luxurious Wear For Women
“….I have always had the startup bug in me, long before 'startups' became a buzzword in India…TLL brings in international aesthetics to create a stunningly simple, minimalist yet very, very Indian line of clothing.”
Photo Credit : https://www.theluxurylabel.in/,
Nazia Erum was a bit of a teen prodigy. Thing about prodigies is that they blaze bright and strong for a brief moment and die off. Nazia has managed to defy the odds to keep glowing consistently as she morphs from journalist, to UN rep and now into a juggler of TEDx speaker, mother, writer and now the founder of The Luxury Label (TLL).
Trained as a writer, was a UN rep for many years after that and now a fashion label. Why the shifts?
Trained as a journalist, then worked on UN projects heading communications for the Global Fund Secretariat, to now a fashion entrepreneur. I like to keep reinventing myself. The core of all my work remains communication, design and problem solving. And I have always had the startup bug in me, long before 'startups' became a buzzword in India. My first one was at the young age of 19, when I founded, a citizen journalism based website that had raised seed round. It had been much ahead of its time in India.
Share some of your proudest moments
Proudest moments are those that leave us forever in a moment of awe, accomplishment and sheer joy, together. For me it would be sitting at the board meeting of Global Fund at Geneva at the age of 24, at a round table of people who were the best in their fields from across the world. I was perhaps the youngest Indian to be there. I relived those moments when I spoke at TEDxGurugram recently and was the youngest in the stellar lineup of speakers.
You say TEDx happens only once in a life time. Share your feelings on being invited to speak, what was your talk on?
Actually TED happens once in a lifetime. TEDx is the closest you can come to the surreality of that moment. It was certainly a delight to be asked to speak at TEDxGurugram, part of the TEDx India Anchor program supported by Infosys.
My talk brought in the concept of how we can positively change our body image and body perception simply by wearing our 'Powersuit'. It is what brings out the most fulfilled version of us: making us look good and feel even better. The key to it being questioning and confronting our conditioning.
This is also the philosophy that led to the birth of The Luxury Label. To empower urban Indian working women through what they wear: the right balance of Indian style with international aesthetics and long lasting comfort.
On to your startup, The Luxury Label (TLL)
The reason behind launching TLL
I was looking for a go-to clothing brand that would give me options in wrinkle-free, fuss free, polished tailoring and easy care - all the things that as a modern well-travelled Indian women I would want but never had in Indian clothing styles. [Thus TLL came to be]
Date of launch?
December 21st, 2015. We officially announced ourselves with a brand collaboration and a PowerBreakfast Series across India. The Luxury Label supports initiatives that are women centric and forward thinking.
What sets it apart?
TLL brings in international aesthetics to create a stunningly simple, minimalist yet very, very Indian line of clothing. Our product range comprises of light, daily use sherwanees, tunics, waistcoats, shalwar-pants and scarves. We are working on a prototype of pocket-dupattas. Our product line is travel and work friendly, and meshes seamlessly with the Indian way of life. Also we do not use models for showcasing our clothes, but real, on-the-job working women.
Who designs for the brand?
The 'Luxury' in The Luxury Label does not stand for pricey designer tags. Instead the luxury is in the experience of wearing our clothes.
Urban working women in India. Especially mid to senior level professionals.
Will TLL raise funding any time soon?
As of now, we have not started looking for funds. We are running at full bandwidth and customer satisfaction comes first. I have already had the experience of running a startup at a young age, so I measure my steps ahead. Will certainly raise funding when The Luxury Label is ready for it.
50% repeat client rate, any known numbers for customer growth rates? How are your customers hearing about TLL?
TLL, has women influencers on board. Our customers are our biggest ambassadors. We are also reaching out to corporates and using social media to expand user base. Once a TLL woman, always a TLL woman.
Juggling family life, a new baby, writing a book AND starting up. Take us through a day in the life of Nazia
There are days when my days and nights merge into one another and I forget to eat or drink. That is when I have a new idea to implement or a new collection to launch. Then there are the warm fuzzy days when I sit for hours on end with my feet up typing away ferociously as words collaborate with my fingertips to form sentences for the book or columns that I write. I write at DailyO, HuffPost and my first mainstream book comes out in 2017 published by Juggernaut Books.
I think its passion that runs through all that I do and so I am seemingly able to do many things at once. And I see this passion proudly being passed on to my two year old daughter who is already so independent. I believe anyone who has mothered/fathered a startup has gone through everything that a parent experiences while raising a child - the same heartaches, the same challenges, the same hand holding and the same letting go. I am actually thinking of writing a book on that and calling it the “Bootstrapped Momma!”.
Why do we get the feeling you started TLL for the need to create ease and luxury in one and not for the financial opportunity?
You are so very right. As I said, it was a concept that I felt was needed and felt passionate about. And the evidence for the same lies in the way women love The Luxury Label and our customer keep coming back for more :)
Whether passion for a startup will make it a viable and sustainable business is debatable but we definitely want to see where TLL goes with this wearable, anti-wrinkle luxury concept. Check out The Luxury Label here.
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