The Socially Conscious Fashion Duo

Nitya Mittal Biswas & Isha Gupta, Co Founders — Ruche & Hues

Headquartered in New Delhi, India, Ruche & Hues is a flagship brand of NI Designs, a partnership firm, jointly owned by Nitya Mittal Biswas and Isha Guptaimages_designers_244317_avatar_ruche_hues_notjustalabel_653649526

Ruche & Hues (RH)  is a luxury fashion brand that designs and manufactures handcrafted party bags and purses for women with preciousness. These bag designs are inspired from nature and its textures and hues. Ruche & Hues offers fashionable party purses that can carry all your essentials required on a day out – a perfect match of fashion with function. Each bag has been designed, handcrafted and developed with delicate and intricate handwork.

Nitya, the design & business development head, pursued interior design from APJ institute of design. Although, fashion always bred in the core of her heart. In 2006, she designed her first range of western dresses and exhibited them at a  prominent show in New Delhi, and many more followed. In parallel, she started an interior design firm, soon followed by a fashion buying house — SunLotus

Isha who handles the Digital Marketing & Content for the brand is a BA (Hons) Mathematics. After an unsatisfactory attempt at an MBA, she decided to take a break and join a buying house instead for hands-on experience. She joined a reputed consultancy and executed many projects for the cosmetics & personal care verticals. Her love for fashion went hand-in-hand and she developed a latent dream of opening her own label sometime down in lane. She met Nitya in the middle of launching a luxury brand and decided to join hands almost instantly to form Ruche & Hues.

The duo share some interesting insights with Team ABT.

Tell us about the idea behind Ruche & Hues
Ruche & Hues (RH) is a story of ruche meets hues, where Nitya is the ruche of the brand, the skin, the embellishments, the texture, while Isha adds the hues to it, the style, the brand, the outlook! Nitya dreamt of creating delicate timepieces for women of style, and Isha joined hands to compliment and complete that vision. Today that dream is a reality. We proudly launched Ruche & Hues, a flagship brand of NI Designs, in November 2015.

What’s your brand strategy?

The brand envisions to be a go-to brand of bags designed for the moment. It would offer a product to suit every occasion and moment in a woman’s lifespan. The mission is to innovate and develop gorgeous and luxurious hand-pieces to complete that look with perfection for all times. We are aspiring to collect all fashion trends and also innovate its own to make available the trendiest, prettiest and the most gorgeous handbags and purses.

Ruche (pronounced as ‘roosh’) literally means ‘a pleated, fluted, or gathered strip of fabric used for trimming’ while Hues (pronounced as ‘hyooz’) refers to ‘a gradation or variety of a colour or tint’. We picked these words each to form a brand that pays attention to embellishments  and the whole gamut of colour possibilities available to us. RH is synonymous with patterns, embellishments, textures and colours.

What’s special about Ruche & Hues?https:__s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com_236x_4f_b3_61_4fb361a8de927c8c329d16ec01c22a81
At Ruche & Hues, each bag has been designed, hand-crafted and developed with delicate and intricate handwork. We use High quality raw material make the bags such as pure silk base, imported glass Japanese round beads, bugle beads, cut beads, sequins and crystals. We have 4 primary collections – Dressy Affair, Mystic Glitter, All Day Dazzle, and Vintage Rust.

Dressy Affair offers bling and glamorous hand-pieces for all special occasions. A marriage, a prom night, a special evening, there’s one for all. Mystic glitter is the bold and chic collection of RH that is your perfect party mate. These bags not only compliment your little black dress, but dance with you All day long offers a range of chic bags in vibrant colors to add a style accent to your daily attires. There are times we love wearing and feeling the old hues of our fashionable era. That’s where the RH vintage hues set in.

For the first 1 year RH plans to launch new collection twice a year. AW 2015; SS 2016 & AW 2016. We do plan to relook into the strategy in the coming year and see if we can 4 season collection or at least 3 to start the change.

How does the business work?

We have two models. We sell directly to customers via our own e-shop www.ruchehues.com and various digital channels including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Tumbler B-to-B: We also partner with luxury boutiques and multi-brand stores across the globe to place our products through their sales channels. This enables us to make bulk sales and showcase our brand at global platforms.

How did you guys manage to fund the venture?
Its a self funded venture. Me and Nitya both have always worked all our life and finally putting our savings into our passion. We needed to do this together and on our own. So, thought of putting in all we have and take the leap of faith. Though we would love to have some funding come our way as we climb the ladder.

Did you face any challenges as a Women Entrepreneur ?
Yes of course. As an entrepreneur we faced all those challenges that a startup faces from paperwork, setting up, digitals, content, marketing, etc. As women we had the challenge of proving ourselves after so any years for doing something on our own. The decision, the route, the direction, all had to be our decisions. Being from India, you face roadblocks in operations as its still a mans world out here. But by gods grace, we have been received very well by all the partners we work with. Our buyers across the globe are extremely supportive and we have a small virtual family out there. Women have already proved their business acumen in all spheres, and we are a part of that bandwagon for sure. We wish to take our indian brand globally and we indeed will. 🙂

Tell us about the Social Responsibility at Ruche & Hues
We support the activities of Protsahan India Foundation, a social enterprise that uses creative education and art innovation to empower street children & young adolescent girls. We help children and girls aspire for a life that may not be in their destiny in their current sense of being.

Ruche & Hues donates $2 from every sale it makes per month. The more sale we make, the securer would be the lives of these children. This money would go towards managing the daily needs of these children from slums and streets. Protsahan incurs close to $4000 every month towards these children and their requirements

As of now, Protsahan has rescued about 800 girls directly, since 2010, and working with about 100 on everyday basis. And through other life skills projects and partnerships touched lives of over 10,000 girls pan India.

Our funds are used for Protsahan’s Creative Street Micro Entrepreneurs that is aimed at churning out 100 creative slum girl micro entrepreneurs rescued from points of vulnerability and abuse, from streets and slums; Project Educare that deals with Creative Education and Skills Development through innovative approaches of Design, Art, Stories, Photography, Theatre and Cinema to foster Creative Education and Sustainable Livelihoods; and spread awareness amongst women of marginalised backgrounds by organising design oriented workshops to render survival skills including production of sanitary napkins, terracotta jewellery, cushion covers, designer earthen lamps and so on. The organization also undertakes trainings on the understanding of Gender and Sexual Violence and Child Abuse to young children and adolescent girls are provided under the Gender & Sexual Violence Peer Training Project

What’s your Vision?
The brand envisions to be a go-to brand of bags designed for the moment. Its mission is to innovate and develop gorgeous and luxurious hand-pieces for women. RH aspires to become a sought-after luxury brand for bags and purses in years to come.