“Like now, I’m trying to speak and he’s cutting my sentences,” laughs Abu, while Sandeep reply to that is that they’re both part of the same interview. The fashion designers who’ve completed 25 years in the business have recently come out with a book to celebrate the same. They spoke to CS about their journey:
Abu: We look back with a lot of happiness, but with the highs have come the lows as well.
Sandeep: We started off with literally ` 15,000 and since then the business has grown. We don’t have a record of all the work we’ve done because we could not afford to keep a record. Over the last ten years it’s been better. But that’s life. It’s never a smooth ride to the top.
Abu: To last in the long run you have to get finer in your craft. We haven’t followed trends, we’ve set them.
Abu: There was no documentation of our earlier work. So this book is a documentation of whatever we could get hold of. A lot of people are possessive of their work but we have to move on.
Sandeep: That’s the main part of the creative process also. Struggle teaches you creativity as you have to reinvent yourself. We’ve never been insecure about our creativity.
White’s the way to go
Sandeep: Reema Kapoor appeared on a magazine wearing a crushed mirror outfit that became a rage and everyone had that outfit.
Abu: Jaya Bachchan wore an outfit with 48 kalis and she carried it with confidence. White has been another milestone. When we first started making outfits in white, it was considered an inauspicious colour. Till today, we continue with our whites and they have been accepted so well.
Learning with friends
Abu: We’ve had the most wonderful associations. Our family, friends like Dimple Kapadia, Amrita Singh, the Bachchans and some others have been pillars for us. We started making our relationships through our work. We’re blessed that our creativity was respected first and people became our friends because they liked who we were.
Sandeep: We’ve never shortchanged anything in our lives. We go the whole nine yards, whether it is with an outfit or with our friendships. It was Jaya who once said that it’s always nice to be in the company of friends who stimulate you and from whom you can learn.