LOLA Suman B: Goa’s young gift to the world of fashion!

PRASHANTI TALPANKAR, PANAJI | 20 July 2016 09:53 IST

Suman Bhat

A young entrepreneur of Goa has not only attracted the whole Bollywood towards her designer labels but has also shown a path of success to Goa’s ‘designer talent’ beyond the Arabian sea, sitting here in a tiny tourist state.

The end result of her combo - passion, determination and creativity – is astounding.

Today, she is one of the favourites of big celebs, may it be Tabu, Katrina Kaif, Malaika Arora, Shilpa Shetty, Dia Mirza, Twinle Khanna, Chitrangada Singh and even the young Bollywood talent like Athiya Shetty (to name a few).

Her designs are custom made. That’s why we saw the heart throb Tabu  wearing a custom made black Shift at the promotion of Fitoor.  Katrina Kaif   appeared in one of the issue of @lofficielindia, looking chic in ‘her’ ‪Linen ensemble.

Suman Bhat - and her LOLA by Suman B - continues to create waves in metros of India while this young talented fashion designer sits in her studio at Caranzale, where she was born, did her schooling at Shiksha Niketan in Sangolda and Green Rosary at Dona Paula.

And do you know where she displayed and how she promoted her creative collection? No retail outlet either in Goa or anywhere in the metro. Well, you guessed it right. The Social Media. The Facebook, to begin with…

Creating the FB page lolabysumanb on 1st April 2013, Suman’s first collection Caolesce was up by 22nd August.

The LSB is today 3-year 9-collection old and recently completed its first runway show at Amazon India Fashion Week in Delhi.

“I could sense the growing power of social power. I tried it, and it worked”, says Suman, the Symbiosis alumni.

Katrina Kaif in LOLA Suman B

She feels social media is a great base to network, meet clients all over the world and helps to sync with the current way people like to shop.

The online boutique, she says, has more advantages as the feedback is instant. 

“Our customers can always tell whether they loved the piece or were disappointed so that the designer can then improve or have a way of making it up to them.”

It grew up gradually. When the FB ‘likes’ visited the LSB studio, the labels were pulled out of a small leather suitcase. Today, the fresh-coated studio has its house production room separated from the display area with a team of 5 interns working in Goa while a special PR team working out of Mumbai.

Suman has been today chosen to design an exclusive line for The Sachdev Group’s online portal and retail shop chain called RocknShop and KITSCH on the same platform as international brands like Alexander McQueen, Victoria Bekham, Chloe and Bibhu Mohapatra.

Her design labels are now also available at CREO in South Mumbai, AZA at Bandra, KITSCH in Mumbai and Delhi, THE ALMARI STORE in Hyderabad and THE BOMBAY ATTIC in Bangalore.

The LSB now loaded with celebrity orders for their destination weddings, cocktail parties and holiday wardrobe or promotions for their upcoming movies.

The whole journey is nothing but her passion turning into profession, with wholehearted support of Goa’s top academicians – Dr Gurunandan Bhat and Anita Haladi – to their only child raised up with a gentle advice: ‘whatever you do, give your best to your work’. No compulsion, no planned orientation of ‘their’ choice.

And the passion was created not by the glittering world around, but her grandmother, who gave her two precious gifts as a child – a small home machine and training in sewing and knitting.

Twinkle Khanna posing with LOLA

Why LOLA?

“It’s a tribute to my grandmother. The sewing machine she gave me had a tiny sticker on it – Lola”, says Suman while her wet eyes twinkle.

In fact Suman is thankful to her parents to allow her to take one year break to discover her skills with regards to her career, after she passed out her Std XII.

She combined her hobbies like reading, sewing and swimming that she was passionate about, converted this passion into talent and the talent into her skills to crystalize her dream: yes, she decided that she wants to be a fashion designer.

She then interned with Goa-based world famous fashion designer Wendell Rodricks for a year, confirmed what she wanted to pursue and passed out from Symbiosis in Pune with a degree of BDes specializing in Fashion Design.

And she defied the first rule she was taught on the very first day at fashion retail class: “no independent designer should start his or her own boutique for at least the first 4 years. It’s not a smart business move.”

But Why?

“The hard truth I learnt about this industry is that graduates are paid very less, making it hard to sustain. The choice is you either work hard to help someone further their own fashion label as part of their team or you work equally hard (and more) to further your own. I chose the latter,” says Suman.

Malaika Arora in LOLA Suman B

But when it comes to business, she keeps saying ‘our’ label. Who are they? Partners?

She smiles and says, “technically I am the sole proprietor. But the final product is a team work, not me alone.”

Suman Bhat has unconventional ways of thinking. Her positivity, passion, humility, enthusiasm, creativity and innovativeness will definitely take her to places. But there is something more than this she says:

“One has to create the scope and have a voice that gets heard. The uniqueness of the product decides leap of the business”.

This is what the young start-up believes in!

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Previous Comments

Congratulations Suman. Well done. I still remember the little girl who drew santa and gave me. Hoping you will do some outfit for me. Love judas

- Judas Mascarenhas , Mapusa | 21 st July 2016 17:51

 

shes inspiration to young talent.

- amita naik, bambolim | 20 th July 2016 12:44

 

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