February 18, 2016

Stories from Lokal South & Encrypt: MFI by Myntra

by Anusha Narayanan

In our four-part series on MFI (Fashion Incubator) by Myntra, we looked at 5 of the 7 Designers in Residence that Myntra launched with the year-long programme: Pluie, VaishvikThe Ink Bucket, Mr. Bowerbird & SUO.

In the concluding piece in this series, we introduce Lokal South and Encrypt.

Lokal South

“How did you start Lokal South?”

“Boredom. I was bored of creating pretty lehengas and sarees. Also, people thought I was jobless/unemployed as I was running my own show from home as a small brand owner/freelancer back then.

I needed a change. I couldn’t definitely go and get myself “employed” because I suck at being an office employee doing a 9-5 job. I tried and I hated it. There are so many rules and I love breaking them much to any employer’s chagrin.”

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Lokal South is a brand stemming from the beautiful people, life stories, culture, colours and spirit of God’s own country, Kerala. This eccentric brand embodies fun, humour, connections and tales and marries modern designs with quirky colour bursts of prints.

Started by Darshna, Lokal South is a tribal meets retro meets vernacular, adoration that flows smoothly like the sand on the beaches of Kerala. “Illustration prints of our Lokal Southerners – people who believe in the philosophy of Lokal South are juxtaposed in highly chromatic colours and patterns,” Darshna explains. Some of her favourite brands include Mara Hoffman and Manish Arora for their eccentricity.

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Lokal South is a unique, expressive, very individual, hippie kind of an attitude, more than a style, which spins stories of people into the designs. But like all entrepreneurs, business, is always a challenge that pushes one to do more, and Darshna shares, “The biggest one [challenge] is self-doubt. And then there is running out of time and my unwillingness to delegate.

Before MFI, I worked at a label-level making a handful number of garments and now I function as a brand designing as many as a 100 styles. This has been a major shift but a good one.”

To more stories spun into cloth, cheers to the colourful journey of Lokal South.

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Encrypt

Priyanka Kumar, a designer with an experience of over a decade, started Encrypt out of her love for travel, culture, people and fashion. Breaking away from the routine, she expresses, “I’ve worked in the industry for nearly a decade, designing as per the given guidelines, often wondering what my brand would be like[…]

So one fine day, I decided to ditch my job and took the plunge. MFI came about at the same time and has acted as a major catalyst in making it happen.”

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Encrypt is casual and puts the fun back in individual. Elaborates Priyanka, “We usually design small trend-oriented capsules and most of our pieces are transformable with easy DIY’s to ensure that a bit of ‘you’ is worn with the clothing.”

Some of Priyanka’s personal favourites are the brands that build onto people, and have an underlying element of frivolousness such as Monki, Moschino, Kate Spade and Each x Other, to name a few.

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The vision with Encrypt is to be a consumer-centric brand, which it tries to inspire through its unique roll-packaging or through the ‘crafty’ trinkets that come with each purchase.

“In the immediate future, I would like to collaborate with artists, graphic designers or even my street style muse to co-own a capsule,” says the designer, “Encrypt is meant to be a youth mapping platform – where people can meet and exchange ideas, exhibit their products or just chill.”

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From fast fashion to traditional, to clothes for men, women, youth, children and the whole panorama in between, MFI by Myntra is an initiative that supports the enterprising culture of India. It provides a purely talented pool of people, a platform to come together under one programme, grow individually and through peers and mentors, and find sustenance.

We look forward to a second edition as Myntra Fashion Incubator – for seeing more hidden gems shine.

Visit Myntra Fashion Incubator’s website or browse through their Facebook page for details.

This is part of a four-part series on Myntra Fashion Incubator and its Designers. For the rest of the articles in this series, click here.

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