Reby Kumar of Guapa hopes to make resort wear a necessity in India
By Asmita Aggarwal
She comes armed with an economics degree from Lancaster University, UK which Delhi girl Reby Kumar pursued after leaving NIFT Mumbai in three months. But serendipity played its part and after she worked with an economist and then shifted to Blue Ocean Strategy, where she looked after promotional affairs she returned to NIFT Delhi to complete her course.
After changing seven jobs, she finally decided to do what she was good at, designing and launched Guapa, her label, which in Spanish means beautiful. Seeing the need for a resort brand which caters to holiday wear, Reby was encouraged by both her parents and husband to take the leap. “There was a time in my life when I was very confused , I didn’t know where it was all going but slowly things settled and now I have a workshop in Shahpurjat and a store in Hauz Khas Village,” she admits.
What differentiates her label from others is that she is focussed on clothes which you can travel with, so they are lightweight, fun and easy-breezy. “We don’t do embellishments besides a little beading, but the focus is on prints. Like the first line we did was titled, ‘Between the lines’, so it had checks, stripes and everything in between. The second line was based on Filipino tribes, so there were floral prints which didn’t overshadow the colours that remain our mainstay,” she smiles.
Her SS ’17 collection uses T-shirts as its showpiece and even though it is influenced by the 1920s flapper era with the dropped waists and the tassels and fringes, it does play with layering. What makes the line ingenious is the use of bamboo cotton which has an even, raw finish to it, along with a thicker crepe with a grainy feel and satin. “This time I’ve also included knits,” she says.
Being an economics student, Reby believes it taught her how to manage a business and to make garments which are cost effective. “Running a brand is not just about design it also involves back end processes which can help you smoothen out the rough edges. Maths and accountancy helps me manage my store along with number crunching and I have learnt how to utilise my space to a maximum. I hope I can expand my business in the future as resort wear is a burgeoning market,” she concludes.