Oceana Clutches Founders: 'Rocky S Felt It Was An Ideal Match'

Oceana Clutches Founders: 'Rocky S Felt It Was An Ideal Match'

Founders and sisters Rima Kapadia and Rashi Maniar of Oceana Clutches talk about their collaboration with fashion designer Rocky S for London Fashion Week

Manasi Y MastakarUpdated: Saturday, October 21, 2023, 09:06 PM IST
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Launched in 2019 by sisters Rima Kapadia and Rashi Maniar, Oceana Clutches has scaled new heights. The sisters recently designed a collection of bags for fashion designer Rocky S for the London Fashion Week. The home-grown luxury brand, which believes in slow fashion, eco-friendly and cruelty-free products, evokes India’s rich legacy of hand craftsmanship. Several Bollywood celebs like Alia Bhatt, Sara Ali Khan, Shilpa Shetty Kundra, Malaika Arora, Shweta Bachchan Nanda and influencers like Masoom Minawala, Komal Pandey, Roshni Bhatia, among others have sported an Oceana handbag.

In an interaction with The Free Press Journal, the sisters talk about their experience of working with Rocky S and more.

Excerpts from the interview:

How did the collab with Rocky S happen?

Rocky Star, being a legendary designer, noticed our bags on a blogger who was wearing our classic silhouette, The Minaudiere, with an outfit. He saw the synergy between our bags and his clothing line – both being sassy, classic and edgy. Rocky S felt it was an ideal match. Our similar energies and vibes naturally clicked, leading to a beautifully curated collaboration. Our collaboration with Rocky Star happened naturally, effortlessly and organically.

What was the concept of the collection and what brief did you receive?

‘Damned Soul - An Eruption', Rocky Star’s Spring/Summer 2024 collection symbolised the release of a dark soul and the colour palette stands for the human experience of angst. It had colours like Ivory, Black, Burgundy, Grey and Gold. The garments would have a lot of sequins embroidery and metallic fabric texture. Rocky S shared his sketches with us and we meticulously crafted the bags. Every detail, from sizing and shapes to the choice of materials, was a collaborative effort. We even incorporated the sequins from his outfits into our designs. He wanted bags that sparkle and complement his collection. The bags proudly feature the prominent logos of both Rocky S and Oceana on the front.

What kind of preparation/research went into the making of the collection?

Our preparation involved numerous meetings and meticulous planning to ensure the collection perfectly complements the outfits as per the sketches. Considering the specific look for London Fashion Week, our focus was on creating glam bags harmonising with the outfits. The goal was to offer a complete, cohesive look. We first created trending silhouettes of clutches, then brainstormed on materials and played around with embroidery swatches, to see which ones look the best according to various shapes. Everything was orchestrated to perfection, all geared towards the runway under Rocky S and our creative vision.

Any important takeaways from your experience at the London Fashion Week?

London Fashion Week was the most stunning experience of our lives! It was a transformative moment, our first international foray into the world of fashion. One of the most striking aspects was the level of cooperation we encountered. Bloggers were very supportive; everyone appreciated our efforts.

London itself became a muse. The city's fashion scene, pulsating with innovation and creativity, offered a stark contrast to what we were accustomed to in Mumbai. It was a beautiful fusion that resonated deeply with our design ethos. The experience was not just different, it was contemporary, avant-garde, and truly inspiring and motivating.

Tell us about Oceans, how did the journey start?

Rashi and I are absolute bag-a-holics. We love to collect bags from all over the world. Oceana was born out of my 40th birthday party with my family and friends where I sent out invites in the form of personalised clutches and asked all invitees to carry those as an accessory for our party. With everyone flaunting them so beautifully, the clutches went viral on social media and our friends and family suggested we start our own line of clutches. We soon realised there was a missing niche for luxury which was made in India. It was then that we decided to start our brand to make use of our Indian karigars (craftsmen) and home-grown materials and explore that route of style. That is how we decided to get into accessory design.

You two are sisters and business partners. While running a business, creative differences are bound to happen. How do you keep them from affecting your relationship?

In our journey as sisters and business partners, we have discovered that our bond as a family is the cornerstone of our successful partnership. Being sisters is the best part of doing business together because it provides us with a unique understanding of each other and our aesthetics. We not only comprehend each other's strengths but also respect our individual expertise.

Creative differences have not been a stumbling block for us. This is because we have clearly defined our roles within the business. Rima, with her creative flair, takes charge of the artistic aspects, while Rashi oversees the management and production areas. Our division of responsibilities allows us to leverage our strengths and ensures that we are both contributing effectively to the business.

Moreover, our in-house team plays a significant role. Working together, we harness the collective creativity and skills of our team, whether it's for marketing, editorial work, or managing our online and offline presence. This collaborative effort not only enhances our business but also strengthens our sisterly bond as we collectively work towards our goals.

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