Walking into the summer house studio brings in a sense of calm. With the fresh open air and the rustic look of the decor, one instantly feels at peace. Since today’s youth seems to have forgotten the concept of ‘dolce far niente’ (the joy of doing nothing), the brand aims to gently remind each of us to stop what you are doing, take a look around, and enjoy life for what it is. Diverting from the hustle and bustle of city life, the summer house looks forward to bringing back the feeling of lounging in your summer house, on vacation, in a comfortable and stylish look surrounded by a simple yet luxurious decor that reflects the latest house siding trends.
We had a chat with Rekha Datta, the operations head of The Summer House. Keep reading to get to know the history and inspiration behind ‘The Summer House’
“We are not designers. We are a lifestyle brand” says Rekha. And rightly so, their brand shows us a whole new level to luxurious lifestyle, which is made easier to achieve with their elegant and timeless homeware products which is also affordable and long lasting. Since they noticed a high demand for their products while producing for major retailers like TOAST and Fab India, they decided to retail the products themselves. They eventually progressed to apparel and successfully launched their online store in 2014. They look forward to becoming one of India’s largest sustainable lifestyle brands.
While the duo does not wish to follow trends, quality and timelessness is what they aim for in their collections. As neither of them had any background in design, they initially created designs which everyone would like to wear, everyday. Which is why, they work with indian crafts and give it a modern rendition. They design with more of a global aesthetic in mind so that anyone anywhere in the world can wear their designs.
Material and sourcing
Organic is the first choice. Preferring fabrics like pure cotton and silk, they always look for something that will last. Good quality fabrics designed to make sure you can use them repeatedly preventing the clothes from landing up in landfills and polluting the environment. Moreover, they obtain these fabrics from surplus stock of factories.
The fabrics are dyed and printed using azo-free dyes. They opt for printing their designs rather than sourcing readily printed fabrics. Working with craftsmen for their homeware products, they prefer keeping it local in order to reduce their carbon footprint. As for production, Shivangani, the creative head and designer of The Summer House, designs the collection which is then produced in the in-house production unit which is a part of our boutique as well.
Sustainability of brand
Although Rekha believes it is not possible to be completely sustainable and organic in the fashion industry, the team does try being environmental friendly in every small way possible. Through quality control, use of azo-free dyes and printing from certified units, the brand makes a conscious efforts to reduce their carbon footprint. The main idea would be to drive conscious consumption as they believe that the cost of a garment is not just financial, it’s also social and environmental. This is why they urge our clients to buy less but buy better.
Terming their clients as ‘Cerebral Sheets’, the brand looks to design for the Influencer. A person
who is not only a thinker but also puts her thoughts into actions. They look to create comfortable clothing that is ideal for working women, say aged between 25 to 40. Maintaining a global aesthetic to their designs, the brand has managed to bag some international orders too from countries such as USA, UK, New Zealand, South Africa and many more.
Clients are welcome to drop by the store to take a look at our collections, but they also have an online store, through which they have received most of their orders. Although they dodnot customize, they are happy to make any alterations to fit the client’s needs and liking. Following a method of smart sizing helps in altering the garment for a perfect fit.. Apart from which they provide each design in sizes of XS to XL.
The collections mostly showcase a minimalistic style. With the aim to create timeless pieces that can be worn again and again, the brand produces a collection of 10 garments having about 30 pieces of each style in order to maintain exclusivity. the designs can be effortlessly dressed up or dressed down and can be worn to various occasions, be it a casual day at work, or a wedding you have to attend or if you are heading out on vacation. Believing that luxury can be affordable, the brand sets out to prove it by pricing their products at just a 100% markup. The price of the products can range between Rs 1,250 to Rs 3,000 and can go up to Rs 6000 in case of garments made of silk. For their upcoming collection, they are looking to create 25 styles, with a good mix of different styles to make sure that there is a something for everyone.
A small team but a happy team who work together equally to achieve each of their dreams. Shivangani Parihar is the founder and creative head, while Rekha Dutta heads operations. They have a master patternmaker and two tailors, who travel from the industrial parts of Bangalore, but love to do so as they feel content and secure in their profession. The brand has recently added to their team, an intern and a part time graphic designer. At the summer house It is believed that the value of the product must go to its maker. Which is why they make sure to pay the tailors more than minimum wage, provide them with basic necessities and help them with investments. Each one is treated as an equal and prefers working together on the same floor. The employees here are happy to work and are passionate about what they do.
Opinion on styling and its influence
Rekha, dressed in a tan skirt and printed shirt from the summer house’s august collection, opts for a minimal style herself. She says that Style is about being comfortable. As long as you are comfortable, you look it and you feel it. She believe that style is individual and we do not need to follow trends to look stylish. She has high hopes for the styling industry and believes that most people can benefit from personal styling as they are unaware or unsure of what suits them.
Nestled on a roof top corner in the heart of Bangalore, The summer house is open and peaceful. The atmosphere brings in a sense of calm and works well with the concept and idea behind the brand.