Cord’s Neha Singh takes us behind the seams of her slow fashion label

by Neharika Manjani

From their travels to the books that line their shelves, designers Neha Singh and Pranav Guglani draw from experiences both mundane and memorable to bring character to Cord, a slow fashion label the duo co-founded in 2015. Scroll through their latest line-up on our website and you’ll spot not only their signature leather bags but also breathable and biodegradable fabrics that have been deftly transformed into pieces that are sustainable yet seriously stylish. To learn what goes into the making of their collections and more, we got Singh to take us behind the seams and here’s what we found.

What goes into making a Cord collection?

“All our pieces are crafted using sustainable and breathable fabrics but the time that goes into each one varies. While the simpler silhouettes that make up our basic range usually take between five to six hours to complete, the ‘Porto’ top in our current collection, for example, took years to execute. It was very difficult to find people who could do the smocking by hand and even after we managed to acquire the right kind of resources, it took almost two days to complete just the smocking.”

Is there one thing that binds all your pieces together?

“All our pieces transcend trends, can be worn season after season and have a strong focus on functionality. They are also reflective of my partner’s and my experiences. I really believe that we are where we travel, the books we read and the people we spend time with. All of our experiences come through in our collections.”

A non-negotiable for you as a designer?

“Quality is definitely a non-negotiable but another thing that lies at the core of Cord is comfort.As designers you’re often tempted to create something beautiful that may not necessarily be wearable but we refrain from doing that because we don’t want to shift our focus from comfort and functionality.”

What are some of the challenges you’ve faced as a slow fashion label?

“We would like to get our own fabrics woven but since we only create in small batches, that would really drive our prices up and we’d struggle with keeping our collections accessible. People who shop fast fashion already don’t understand our current price points. They lack awareness about the design process, the fabric and print that has been worked on for months.”

What’s next for Cord?

“We just launched menswear three months ago and we want to open more stores. We’re also looking to get getting into ahimsa leather soon. Again, the high prices might be a problem because currently the leather products on our website are moderately priced. It might affect our sales initially but we’re willing to take the risk and see how people react to it.”

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Navy Blue Eze…

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Green Tokyo Dress

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Tan Garrison Bag

₹7,800

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Green Transporter…

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Tan Halo Sling …

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Green Doctor Bag

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