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Brand to Know: Supriya Lele

It's a poignant celebration of the coming together of two separate worlds that one young designer has found herself split between throughout her life.

The name Supriya Lele might not necessarily ring a bell but a scroll through her Instagram account is all it really takes for the name to stick in your mind. The 34-year-old British-Indian designer’s garments leave an impression. The way the fabrics cling onto the body so sensually, the intricaices of the way the edges are slashed, the striking colour palette…there’s a sense of complexity to Lele’s clothes that warrants a double, even triple, take. It draws you in.

The multiple facades of Lele’s collections are birth from a melange of influences. As a third generation immigrant, her clothes are an expression of self-discovery. It might not be apparent offhand but Lele’s clothes are a melting pot of her Indian heritage and British identity. Upon closer look, you’d recognise that drapery and layering in her work alludes to that of sarees (a traditional indian garment) and the bodice worn underneath. The slashed and spliced aesthetic, on the other hand, takes its notes from Lele’s love of British rock music.

It’s an whole-hearted embrace of two halves of her identity. “I was able to work through things that I was embarrassed of,” says Lele. “Growing up, I was always very aware that we ate certain food or dressed in a certain way. Now, I’m proud of my heritage but I still have to stop myself from blocking it out. I start getting frightened of it and worry that it’s too Indian,” revealed Lele in an earlier interview with British Vogue.

Since conceiving her eponymous label in 2016 post-graduating from the Royal College of Art, Lele has made significant strides in the industry. In 2020, she was a joint recipient of the highly sought after LVMH prize, has gone onto showcase her solo shows at fashion week, and be stocked at Browns in London, Dover Street Market, and online at Farfetch.

If the industry chatter is anything to go by, Lele is one to watch. Keep your eyes peeled and hold onto your seats – it’s about to be a ride!

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