Bollywood and Kollywood’s most amazing fashion designer we’ve encountered is none other then Sidney Sladen, a hard working soul based out of Chennai, India. We are honoured to bring you our intimate interview with him. Scroll below to read the full feature of 23 Questions with Sidney Sladen.
Where is Sidney Sladen Fashion Ltd. from? When and how did you start this company?
First and foremost – Sidney Sladen was started by Gods grace. Sidney Sladen is a fashion design company based in Chennai South India. The company started nine years ago.
Tell us a little bit about Sidney outside of your company. What are your interests? What do you do to unwind from a long work day?
Sidney (outside the company) is actually quite the same as the Sidney in the company. I like travelling, listening to music, partying a bit, and hanging out with friends and family. At the end of a stressful day I relax or unwind by playing with my dogs or taking them for long walks.
What was the first piece you ever created? Who was it for? What were some of the challenges you faced with the piece? Were you nervous?
The first garment I ever made was for my mom and sister. It was for New Years’ if I remember correctly. I would have probably been around 14 at that time. I don’t really remember being nervous, I was actually quite excited about it. To be honest, it was quite a tacky design when I think of it now. However to my sister: it’s her favourite.
How do you keep up with current trends? What generation of clients are your products most appealing to?
I think with the present use of social media like Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, etc and also with the boom of the fashion industry blogs and trend forecast sites – it’s actually quite easy to keep in touch with what the latest trend is. Fun enough, our clients range from new born babies to probably 60 year olds, we have never focused on any particular age group.
Do you only do custom orders, or do you have in-stock pre-made outfits available as well?
We do custom orders – and we do have in stock products. We also create customized garments.
How long does it take to get a lengha made? What is the lead time on most of the custom designs?
The longer time the better, preferably 4 months in advance. But that rarely happens though, and we have turned our bridal lenghas in less than a week as well.
Do you have any suggestions or advice for our readers that have never made a custom design – and require some assistance with creativity?
I personally believe that it is very therapeutic to go shopping and try on clothes etc, but I also believe customized clothes work well in hiding certain flaws and accentuating certain parts of the body. I guess you have the ability of creating what you want based on your confidence comfort level and requirements.
Do you have a studio, are you home-based? Where are the majority of your clients from? Have you had clients from overseas design and purchase with you?
Our flagship store is in Chennai, we also retail from Malaysia. Being a Chennai based label our clients are predominantly from Chennai and other parts of India. However we also have a large client base in London, America, Paris, and Australia
Who are some of your inspirations fashion wise in the Bollywood and Hollywood industry?
I would probably say Madonna, Kim Kardashion, Dita Von Tesse, Kate Moss, Beyonce, Kanganaranaut, Kareena Kapoor, and Olivia Palermo.
If you could collaborate with any other designer – who would it be?
The one and only Dolce and Gabbana.
What is Sidney Sladen Fon Ltd most known for? Lenghas, Suits, etc? Do you provide outfits for bridesmaids? Is there a signature SS piece?
As mentioned earlier we are probably known for everything, our mens suits are quite successful, we do baby naming ceremonies, wedding gowns, lehngas, beauty pageants, uniforms, and anything related to fashion. I guess we love every element of occasion to dress up.
Where is the material for most of your designs purchased from?
We travel extensively for our fabrics. From Hong Kong, China, Dubai, Paris, Amritsar, etc etc etc.
What has been the most challenging part about running a business? What has been the most enjoyable detail of this business?
I guess the absence of skilled labour at times would have been the most difficult probably when we first started the label. Luckily we have been blessed with a very loyal staff base that are as enthusiastic about fashion as I am – and love their job.
I guess seeing a client really happy wearing a Sidney sladen garment whether it’s a film star or socialite or working woman/man is something that always excites me and makes me feel very happy
Can we expect Sidney Sladen to have pop up shops in the near future, or trunk shows?
We normally don’t do trunk shows, but we do have our solo seasonal show every year and yes we will be doing our next one very soon.
Which one of the three jewellery items completes an outfit? Bangles, Necklace, Earrings (you can only choose one)
Is there a reoccurring trend or request that you are receiving from your clients? Would you be be able to elaborate on this?
Not really, I guess everyone wants to be different, however I guess florals seem to be a bit of a highly requested trend this season.
What is one colour that you find most clients gravitating towards?
**yawn** Black ( haha )
What are ways to save costs for clients who want a custom made outfit? What would you recommend?
Fix a reasonable budget, that’s the first recommendation. Then sit down with a designer who can give you what you are asking for according to the budget. It’s not too difficult when you think about it. There will be very minor compromises if it’s an open conversation. Everyone is entitled to having a budget or an amount that they would like to spend, and I think it’s any designers job to make something fabulous within a reasonable budget.
What is current trend that is huge among brides? Do you see this trend lasting or do you think it is a fad that will fizzle out very soon?
Every bride wants to look fantastic, that is the repeating trend and they are entitled to it. With regards to clothing, the brides are all very different in terms of the look or image they want. However Indowestern owns seem to be a huge hit.
What is your favourite piece that you have ever designed? Do you often go back to this piece for inspiration?
All of them to be honest!!!
If you had to wear one outfit for a whole year, who would it be designed by and why?
Dolce and Gabbana – I simply love them.
Do you specialize in bridal wear only or other pieces as well?
The label basically caters to bridal, pret, pret couture, casual chic, mens formal, mens bespoke, and childrens wear.
We know you’re a fan favourite among the Kollywood industry – who are some of the people in this industry you have collaborated with?
We have been blessed to have worked with almost everyone in the industry from:
- Mr. Rajinikanth
- Jeyam Ravi
The list goes on! We were working on Sakka Podu Podu Raja which stars Santhanam and Vaibhavi in the lead.
To see more of Sidney Sladen’s amazing creations – please check out his Facebook Page.
We would also like to thank Galatta Cinema for the stunning images of the beautiful actress Trisha. Please visit their website.