Neha met Pranav and there was an invisible ‘cord’ that bound them to create leather accessories and easy clothing
By Asmita Aggarwal
Two youngsters meet while doing a design course at Pearl Academy, they discover they have similar tastes, they fall in love, launch a label together titled Cord, a mythical thread that binds them and their ideologies and then they become not just partners, but also companions for life. Meet Neha Singh and Pranav Guglani.
The latter came from the legendary Chhabra saris family, a business his grandfather began 80 years ago, in Chandini Chowk, which got divided and diluted once it was broken into pieces and distributed among the family members. Pranav’s parents started Amrita Textiles, which was a highly successful ethnic wear label, which he had no interest in, that’s why Cord took shape in 2015, after six months of graduating and brainstorming. “My mother is a textile designer, so a lot of what I’ve learnt and imbibed is from her. Growing up around fabrics, designs, and textiles, I knew it is what I am meant to do,” says Pranav.
Cord besides clothing also does some beautiful accessories in leather inspired by Pranav’s training with Gautam Sinha of the eponymous brand which now has found cult status Nappa Dori. Their offering includes printed and pure leather that weathers clutches, wallets, totes, laptop and shoulder bags that are crafted in their Noida factory. The raw materials are locally sourced and each item is painstakingly handcrafted; the pricing is from Rs 2,900 for a wallet to Rs 13,000 for a laptop bag.
“Neha, my wife interned with Arvind brands in Bangalore working on Ed Hardy, Elle fashion and Gant to grasp the retail sector. We launched Cord as an effort to connect the past with the present as the name suggests, a mix of vintage with modern sensibilities,” he adds.
Their line for Lotus Make-Up India Fashion Week, in association with EbixCash will witness the unveiling of a summer collection that has the warm emotion of earthy tones, ivory, beige, olive and their favourite tank brown, which they believe suits Indian skin tones, greatly inspired by the classic film, The Artist. “In keeping with how fast-paced city life can be, we offer relaxed clothing, lots of collars, pockets, easy, flowing ensembles in linen, khadi, cottons, and poplin that take you from day to night,” he explains.
Neha sketches and looks after silhouettes as well as construction, while Pranav manages detailing, everything is a shared effort, as well as the accessories that use buffalo hide, as well as sheep leather, which is then tanned using vegetable dyes with colour variations. Each bag is hand-sewn and it takes a long time to piece it together, plus leather will never lose its grip or lustre, if it is genuine. Craftsmanship using age-old processes makes the products discernible. “We never release a bag immediately into the market, we first review its intimate interaction with the body, how comfortable it is to use and most importantly its functionality and is it easy to maintain. Once it answers all these questions it is retailed, so R & D remains integral to our DNA,” he explains.