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Our sari needs innovation, says HUEMN's Pranav Misra

The label's co-founder talks about completing 10 years in the industry, collaborating with Pepsi and the double 'pallu' sari

Actor Sara Ali Khan walked the ramp for the HUEMNxPepsi show last week.
Actor Sara Ali Khan walked the ramp for the HUEMNxPepsi show last week.

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Fashion collaborations always end up being an initiatory journey inspiring a cultural dialogue.

HUEMN, which completes a decade in fashion, recently joined forces with Pepsi for an on-ground fashion show in Mumbai, with actor Sara Ali Khan walking the ramp.

It isn't the first time that the fashion label has collaborated with the beverage brand. Talking about the latest collaboration, which was presented last week, HUEMN's co-founder Pranav Misra says, "It is an interesting and 360-degree collaboration between both companies. Apart from the limited-edition merchandise from HUEMN, we are also releasing a limited-edition Pepsi black HUEMN inspired cans very soon. The idea is to address a wider audience that we collectively talk to, that is the youth of India."

Also read: 10 style trends that defined 2022

HUEMN's co-founder Pranav Misra
HUEMN's co-founder Pranav Misra

Dwelling on this creative alliance, Saumya Rathor, category lead (Pepsi Cola), PepsiCo India, says, “This new generation is armed with swag or an inherent confidence in their own abilities. They are not afraid to express themselves and Fashion has always been an important tool through which they can express their identities. Our collaboration with HUEMN is our commitment to celebrate this very philosophy.”

In an interview with Lounge, Misra talks about the brand's evolution over the last decade and their push on construction techniques. Edited excerpts:

How do HUEMN’s core values of elevated athleisure and street cred complement the Pepsi vocabulary?

The collaboration between HUEMN and Pepsi is an organic one. It goes beyond clothing styles; it is much deeper than that. Both Pepsi and HUEMN share a community that we work with, engage and continue to expand. This community is the youth of India, the new generation that is the epicentre of this collaboration. Our brand DNA’s are aligned at empowering the youth and hence, this collaboration came off seamlessly.

How has the brand evolved in the past 10 years?

The founding principle remains intact which is storytelling. I always aspire for evolution over change. With time, HUEMN has evolved in techniques and categories within fashion, but what we have not changed from day one.

How does a collaboration of this magnitude impact the label’s overall style and presentation?

I think what is important for me is not the nature of the collaboration but its purpose. The purpose is to be more inclusive toward the audience that we address. Collaborating with an iconic and youth-centric brand like Pepsi does that.

What are the attributes you look for in a collaborative partner?

Authenticity to their craft and truth to their narrative. If a company is able to retain its principles over a period of time, it builds credibility in the market. Just like life businesses that are built on trust and transparent communication connect with the audience. We look for that.  

Hoodies, denims, bombers and conceptual tailoring ('devil suit') have been recurring in most Huemn collections. What are your favourite textiles to experiment with?

Textured and brushed cotton terry, silk crepe, and heavy cotton denim.

What inspired you to come up with the double ‘pallu sari’ recently?

I think, as a community, what is interesting and important to note, which I have thought about a lot over the past few years, is that sari is such an important garment with respect to Indian culture and heritage, but almost little to no work has been done renovating it technically. A lot of work has gone over the years towards the decoration of it on the surface. I wanted to disrupt that. I want sari to be a more relevant garment globally in the future. The future requires innovation. The idea came from this thought.

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