Meet 30 something Sneh Nihalani, from Mumbai, whom we fondly remember from our Mass Communication days back at the SNDT Women’s University, Juhu.
She always brought a unique and fresh idea to the table and it is no wonder that Sneh brings to the world of fashion and design a unique brand that’s born from her dreams.
A very creative girl who has always loved experimenting with designs and cuts for her own fabrics and garment design, she created Radio Rani for ‘girls of all ages’ – young at heart, experimental and free spirited.
How did it all begin?
“It all started with a personal need. I love saris and was always scouting out for something different, something that’s me,” recalls Sneh.
The inspirations for the designs come from life. She sees so many women around her who are so different from each other. It’s interesting to observe them and weave stories she says.
“Since I’m a writer by profession, in this case, a 6.5-metre cloth became my board,” smiles Sneh.
The name Radio Rani defines her. Sneh’s friends from advertising fondly call her Radio Rani because of her love for the medium. “This also gives me the liberty to expand it to various concepts for my collections like Risky Rani, Peace Rani etc.,” adds Sneh.
Her initial investments included getting artists such as Snehali Pawar a very talented illustrator to work on different themes based on mythology and stories for Radio Rani.
Besides that, a lot of sampling happened for months until Sneh was happy with the final quality of print and the material.
She also mentions, “A proper professional photo-shoot was another thing I invested in as that sets the attitude for my brand.”
She took the help of Pavitr Saith, an ace photographer who conducted the shoot and the multi-talented and gorgeous Paloma Monappa who modelled for Radio Rani to add to the oomph factor.
What’s more, Sneh also took the trouble to get a stylist and makeup artist and she painstakingly created the sets and did all the propping herself.
All her collectables over the years such a the Trishul (trident) bought from the Maha Kumbh Mela came handy during the photo shoot. It was a one-day shoot where Sneh and her team managed to shoot for eight different saris.
We’d like to call her the multi-tasking Rani as the way she takes on the challenges head on, “Since right now it’s a one-person show, I’m the CEO as well as the dispatch person for Radio Rani and there are various challenges at every step; from coming up with new content and designs to marketing it to the right customers etc.”
What makes Radio Rani saris so unique?
We like the bold concepts and the play of colours that is a signature style of Radio Rani saris. So when we asked Sneh what makes her craft stand out, she says, “With Radio Rani, saris have become younger and a little irreverent. They adorn to unfold what you are.”
Sourcing the fabrics
There is Peace Rani that talks about finding peace in chaos. The Maha Rani is a sari based in the story of princess Draupadi from Mahabharata. Then there is Road Rani which is all about quirky truck art motifs and sayings.
“I source my fabrics from various parts of India Mumbai, Gujarat, Chennai etc. Even for digital and screen printing, I have different vendors who specialise in certain kinds of printing,” explain Sneh.
These saris are experimental so will stand out in the clutter but yes, without breaking the rules. You can pick up a Radio Rani sari in cotton, cotton silk, satin and pure silk for now.
Sneh soon plans on experimenting with other fabrics such as khadi, then there are stoles starting at Rs. 1,800/- INR while the saris start at Rs. 9,000/- INR.
Go online shopping for Radio Rani
Currently, Radio Rani is available online. One can directly write to Sneh to buy her gorgeous saris at firstname.lastname@example.org or inbox her at facebook.com/radioranibysneh.
Sneh has recently started taking part exhibitions as well, so those in the city can keep a look out for her a Radio Rani display.
Recently Sneh participated in the Vintage Garden exhibition in Bandra in March and will be participating in a few more in June- July this year. Not only that S9 Muses in London will also be showcasing her saris in their pop-up in May.