We are beyond excited to introduce MEHROTRA, a Stockholm based accessories and lifestyle brand representing the best of Swedish minimalism and Indian warmth. It’s a family-run brand with consciousness in it’s DNA. We got the chance to sit down with the CEO and initiator of MEHROTRA to talk about her personal relationship to the brand, Sweden and India. This is the first part of our story on MEHROTRA, see the second part of the story for more on MEHROTRA’s take on conscious fashion, quality in production and the marriage of Swedish design and Indian handcraft.
Hi Sofia, thanks for taking the time to sit down with us!
Thank you, it’s a pleasure!
I noticed that you went to a fashion school in London, what inspired you to start a company straight out of school?
Well, I did go to the London College of Fashion. The courses, however, are split into all fields of fashion, and I studied the business of fashion.
Ah, so you’re a business grad? Where did the fashion interest come from?
I’ve always had a keen interest in fashion. As a kid I would do a lot of sewing together with my [paternal] grandmother, and during my time at college I complemented my business studies with design-related courses in the evening..
You sowed together with your grandmother?
Yes! My grandmother was from India and a very crafty lady. She would help me with my school assignments in our textile classes when I was young.
I see, how’d you nurture into a career choice?
Well, my interest in sewing grew into an interest in the business of fashion during high school. My interest got me an internship at ACNE, assisting the lead of shoe production there. I would say that’s where I finally got hooked and decided to make a career within fashion.
So that’s when you decided to go to London?
And so after your degree you decided to come back to Stockholm. How come?
What has developed into MEHROTRA was actually my final major project at school. I wrote my master’s project researching a viable model for highlighting and making something out of the contrasts between Swedish and Indian fashion. In the end it just made sense, and so MEHROTRA was born. MEHROTRA is a family business it’s run and inspired by our family, and we are all here in Stockholm, so it just made sense to come back.
How does the London fashion scene differ from Stockholm?
Hugely! Stockholm is incredibly minimalistic and trend-oriented. London is a global capital where the fashion offering is as vast as the city itself. While Stockholmers have a very distinct style, London offers different trends for different parts of the city.
To what extent are you inspired by London now?
Well, the inspiration to the brand comes from my family, but as you extrapolate that it develops into a story of contrasts between London, Stockholm and India.
I’m not very familiar with modern Indian fashion, what is the scene like there?
It’s intriguing to say the least! As i mentioned, it’s very warm. Most people probably associate India with being very rich in colors and traditions, and that’s true. However, the younger generation is very inspired by the west and the fashion scene has evolved accordingly. Still rich in traditions and colors, but with a level of simplicity imported from the west.
Young people in the cities, like Delhi and Bombay show their inspiration taken from the west through design, but maintain traditions in their choice of materials.
That concludes the first part of our interview with Sofia Mehrotra, read part 2 for more on how the brand has developed and what the plans for the future look like.
Visit mehrotrasthlm.com for more information on MEHROTRA.