“Nachle Designs”: stand-out modern Indian wear brand by Guyanese designers

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana
Hashim Alli and Melicia Partab-Alli and their team of models who showcased their Habibi Collection

Forging ahead with the idea of bringing something different to the traditional wear market, Hashim Alli and Melicia Partab-Alli have left their mark on Guyana’s fashion industry with the creation of their modern traditional Indian wear brand “Nachle Designs”.

The brand, which was launched in 2014, features a mix of Eastern and Western cultures while still displaying a modern look.

“Designing started in 2014 and has evolved throughout the years to now, we are the only Indian fashion line that uses western cultures as well into our fashion.”

Speaking with this publication, Melicia Partab-Alli shared that fashion came quite easily to her and her husband and it was just one of the hobbies that she and her husband enjoy doing together. She added that a career in fashion is quite fruitful despite facing a few challenges.

“It has been an incredible journey so far, one with triumphs, of course, that comes with challenges as well. But it’s very fruitful, I must say in this profession. Designing is just one of the… hobbies that my husband and I do together,” she expressed.

“We not only do fashion, myself and my husband, we own the… Mrs. Teen and Mr. India Guyana franchise so we’re actually part of this Indian culture for a very long time, we’ve both been dancing and event planning and a whole lot of other things, so fashion has been a part of everything else and now… we have our own fashion brand that complements it,” she made known.

Fashion in bloodline

Adding to that, Partab-Alli shared that fashion has always been in her and her husband’s lives, and has always been an interest to them.

“Fashion has always been something that is quite in our bloodline because we gravitated towards it early on. Everybody loves to look good and we always try to have really nice outfits and look outstanding… so fashion came easy for us, because… I consider myself to be a fashionista at this point,” she remarked.

According to the designer, the inspiration to get into the fashion industry came simply after realising that the things that they would prefer to wear, are not always found in local boutiques or online.

“Sometimes you don’t always find what you’re looking for at a boutique or online so it came in the inspiration that we started making our own things, stuff that we wanted to wear and we just started creating from there. That is where our idea of ‘Nachle Designs’ birthed, where we wanted a certain look and we wanted it to be extravagant, we wanted it to be vibrant, and we wanted it to be ours,” Partab-Alli said cheerily.

Cultural and creative grant

In January 2022, the talented designers were afforded the opportunity of being granted the cultural and creative grant for “Nachle Designs” by the Culture Youth, and Sport Ministry.

With this financing, the couple was able to lunch two new clothing lines, one for the working people, which was done for the holiday of Holi, and their second collection “Habibi” which was created as more of a resort wear and everyday look collection. This line of clothing featured pieces using signature Indian designs with a mix of western flair.

After launching this line at the POSH fashion show for the cricket carnival festival, it was then selected to be a part of the First Lady’s charity event, Chari-Tea, and shortly after was displayed at the Orange the Runway Fashion show in December 2022.

Added to that, these designers are determined to take their business to the next level in 2023. The main goal for “Nachle Designs” this year isto have a physical location, which would allow the duo to have a more welcoming environment for their clients and a space to display their outstanding and exceptional pieces.

“Our 2023 goals would be to have a physical location… or studio where we can actually have clients over to have a more inviting environment for them and also display our pieces…currently we’re only an online store and we actually just go to our clients,” Partab-Alli stated.

Evolving industry

The young designer and businesswoman noted too that fashion is currently the most evolving industry in the world and it changes drastically, as she encouraged all youths who want to join the industry to hop on board and follow their passion. Though it’s risky, she said with determination and consistency shall come great rewards.

“Fashion… has become like second nature at this point for us. To young people joining this industry, I say go for it, put your all into it, there are going to be days where you’re going to stumble and fall, but always remember, you can step on up and look fashionable doing it. I think you need to know that it’s not going to be all stars and bright lights all the time, you’re going to have dark moments, but it’s what you do in those dark moments that prevail and make you successful,” she encouraged.

“If you’re going to just stay down when you fall and not get up… you’re not going to see the outcome of it, you have to have the battles, you have to have the challenges, that’s the only way, when you have the success, it’s going to mean the world to you,” she added.

One of the main challenges of being in the creative industry, according to Partab-Alli, would be keeping it financially stable. Being in the creative industry, she stressed, is not always stable but she and her husband always manage to push through.

“Being a designer as any other career…. It can have its moments where it’s profitable, but like any other career it does have its moments where you have to put in the work and you have to dedicate yourself to it, sometimes you have inspiration, sometimes you do not, sometimes it’s easy to get inspiration, sometimes it’s not as that easy. But throughout the challenges comes very sweet rewards,” Partab-Alli Shared.

Partab-Alli explained that most of the materials she uses for her stand-out pieces are sourced from overseas as she shared how disadvantageous it is to be unable to source materials for a desired look from the local market.

“It would actually be awesome if it had one general place that had the latest in terms of materials to source in terms of the finishing products, in terms of everything, because right now as it is… you have to go to multiple places, sometimes it’s a drag. And you have to just use what you have, so I find that currently in Guyana we have a lot of outdated fabric,” she remarked.

This year, “Nachle Designs” will be launching its first line for the holiday of Holi and will see other collections follow shortly after. Also offered are custom designs for special occasions, upon customers’ request. (Tassia Dickenson)