The most difficult problem has been explaining to people that we are not a boutique. We are a fashion house and we deal in retailing - Malvika Subba

Malvika Subba
Former Miss Nepal Malvika Subba, whom we all know for her Beauty and immense talent, and inspiration for many young girls out there, says that she always wanted to have her own company from when her childhood friend Manish Pandit, first came up with the idea. She couldn’t say no, so leaving the housing estate, the duo recently launch their apparel company “House of Alternative Apparel”, In Hotel Malla in Thamel, where famous RJS and actors walked on the runaways. She also recently started a new position as an editor for the lifestyle magazine Navayaata. Let’s hear from her on what she has to say exclusively for with Keran Limbu.

Keran- What’s the reason behind moving from the real estate business to fashion design?

I have always wanted to have a company of my own so when my friend Manish came up with the idea one and half years ago, I thought, why not? I knew that I wouldn’t stay in real estate for long I needed to move on. Setting up of the company took us quite a long time but, when the time was right, we launched House of Alternative Apparel.


Keran- Tell us more about House of Alternative Apparel?

 HAA is basically a fashion and creative design house. We have launched 3 labels from the company. “Eco Essentials” is an organic wear promotion. “Just T’s” is cool and summer graphic t-shirts theme design. And the other is “Aira”, which is my own concept and is women’s wear that aims to be trendy and chic. All our labels are very wearable and affordable unless in a particular design the fabric and detailing work is high. Our aim is not to be a high fashion boutique but to be fashionable retail. We will open our first store in about two months.


Keran-What will be your role in the company?

I am the co-founder and Creative Director and Manish is the co-founder and Managing Director. We have gathered a team together. Manish and I discuss what we want to achieve and then we present our ideas to the team. They get working on the designs and then we look at what they come up with and make the final decisions on which solutions to take forward into production..


Keran-Where did you get your design and collection inspiration from?

Our ideas are everyday people around us, our friends and some of the trendy people of Nepal.


Keran- You have been yourself in the fashion and glamour business for quite a long time now. Did this help prepare you to get this new project started?

 I have always had a keen interest in the fashion world and, definitely yes, my previous experience in the business has helped a lot.


Keran-What differences will we see when comparing your company to other boutiques?

As I said earlier, we want people to wear our clothes. Our main focus is price and wearability. Our designs, the fabrics and stitch will be very different from other outlets. We will do mass production later on. The machines that we use are also bringing in are very different from those used by other companies. We have contracted in various designers so we can work with new and/or established designers, as is done by many of the big international labels such as Gucci and H&M.


Keran-How do you plan to expand the company into the future?

We want to establish outlets in all the major cities of Nepal and even move outside of Nepal. But that will take some time.


Keran-Is your company just going to be focused on local fabrics?

It’s hard to get good local fabrics, so we have to import them from India, Bangladesh and even China.


Keran-Looking at the current situation in Nepal, how long do you think it will take to establish the labels?

The electrical load shedding and a lack of manpower are the biggest disadvantages for us. Our marketing strategy, the business plan is really good, but the disadvantages are also something that we have to look at. The word is already out on the street to many people about our label, even before opening the store, so we are confident that it will go well.


Keran-What do you wish people could understand more about working in the fashion industry in Nepal?

The most difficult problem has been explaining to people that we are not a boutique. We are a fashion house and we deal in retailing. Often people don’t take their work seriously enough. They don’t realize that being in retail means we have quality control standards and deadlines to meet.  If we do not reach those targets with our mass production, we will inevitably have to shut down..


Keran-Recently you had a launch event for your company “HAA”. How did it go?

 The fashion show that we did for the launch was amazing. Our friends from Prasan Syangden, Sanjay Gupta, Raymon Shrestha, who are famous RJS, to actors such as Namrata Shrestha and Karma Mahesh, walked for us. It was fun and amazing. It had rained that day and the stage was all wet. I was literally mopping the floor myself as I was so stressed out.


Keran-How true is it that you are the new editor of Navyaata magazine?

Besides HAA, I was secretly working with Navyaata magazine from Chaitra. My role as editor was from the Baisakh issue. I have introduced the dual cover with Sadichha Shrestha, Miss Nepal 2010, and Paras Khadka the Cricket Captain. It’s been a hectic and amazing one month.


Keran-Could you tell us something about this magazine?

Navyaata is a lifestyle magazine, and our biggest factor is the fashion pages. Now I am trying to make the editorial and reporting strong too. It’s been a year of Navyaata and I joined for the anniversary issue.


Keran- And as I always ask, do you have any last words for our viewers of and all your fans out there?

When you visit Nepal next time do come to the HAA stores. We will let you know once we open up and please do read the new issue of Navyaata. Love you guys.


Interviewed by keran limbu exclusively for


Views : 12857 | Date : 2011-04-23

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