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May 20, 2018

Designers To Watch Out For In 2018: Aashna Singh and Sneha Saksena Of Olio

Text by Sadaf Shaikh

The quirky duo’s brainchild was born out of a desire to design playful clothes along with creating a community for women to share their narratives

Aashna Singh and Sneha Saksena, Fashion Designers
Quirky Tales

If you were to examine Olio’s website, you would notice two sections that stand out. The first, ‘Stories’, showcases the label’s collections, most of which are shot in idyllic meadows and picturesque pastures, while the second, ‘Blog’, takes you on a sartorial journey across India, featuring women who talk about issues like feminism, body positivity, sustainability and inclusiveness. Founded by Sneha Saksena and Aashna Singh, the former armed with a degree in design from NIFT, Gandhinagar and the latter with her experience in corporate communications, the brand was born out of a desire to design playful clothes along with creating a community for women to share their narratives. “People love stories and Olio is a brand that loves to converse. We don’t only want to sell you a dress; we want to take you on a journey,” they emphatically reveal.

For the enterprising young duo, seeing everything come together like puzzle pieces is what keeps them going. That being said, they do find it challenging to arrive at the sweet spot between creating pieces that they personally love and those that sit well with the audience — case in point being their admission that their last collection featured too many off-shoulder ensembles. Another bone of contention is reconciling their festive collections with their trademark minimalistic aesthetic. “The whole point of Olio is to make fashion simple and it is tough to express that thought only through traditional wear which tends to be colourful and ostentatious. Added to that is the problem of providing the right pricing since we want to be accessible to the masses. Recently, we managed to circumvent this and are very proud of our collections Sitara and Aina.”

Drawing inspiration from the parks they walk in, the foods they experiment with and the music gigs they dance at, Saksena and Singh are currently working on expanding their offerings to include a sleepwear section. “We discovered that there was a dearth of snug pyjamas and shorts to lounge in. The world is now moving towards athleisure and normcore — basically, comfort clothing that you can wear to dinner as well — and that’s what we want to focus on at the moment.”

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