Falguni and Shane Peacock on completing two decades in the industry, conquering global style miles, and more

The era of virality ensures that their designs multiply on the net worth and the networks of alpha women who are brands themselves. The downside? To keep up with their own breakneck trajectory! Brides Today raises a toast to 20 years of the Falguni-Shane journey.

A humble passion for fashion is where things may have started with Falguni and Shane Peacock, but in our intensely connected global village, this label went on fire across the world—unapologetically—from day one. As Falguni and Shane say, “Back in 2004-05, when we had just established our brand, we decided to debut our collection at India Fashion Week. It was eventually bought out by Harrods first and then Villa Moda, followed by many other retailers abroad.”

“It was our intuition that got us to take our first steps in the world of fashion towards the West. After we saw how successful our association with Harrods was, we decided to show at international fashion weeks because we felt we were ready to make a mark on the global stage. So then came London Fashion Week, Miami Fashion Week, LA Fashion Week and, ultimately, New York Fashion Week for several seasons.”

Today, their unique digital print meets sexy sheer, meets sequins, meets feathers, meets rich Indian crafts; and have been seen on such global goddesses as Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Beyoncé, Paris Hilton, Lady Gaga, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Nicky Minaj and even Doja Cat. Not to mention the entire roster of Bollywood glitterati.

Falguni and Shane Peacock

Just four years after they debuted their label, in 2012, we recall Shane and Falguni sashaying down the ramp at India Resort Fashion Week in Goa, with Paris Hilton as their showstopper, sporting a body-hugging gown replete with Indian motifs in blue shimmery sequins. Sexy all the way but with an innate Indianness. Also remember the oomph of Beyonce’s golden gown by F&S at the 2018 Wearable Art Gala?

Jump to 2024, and the dynamic duo have expanded their retail network to six locations designed by Gauri Khan across Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad and now Kolkata. From their return to the New York Fashion Week to co- hosting Diwali celebrations with Anjula Acharia at The Pierre in New York with luminaries like Bela Bajaria, Mindy Kaling, and Padma Lakshmi, from receiving the prestigious Shiromani Award at the NRI World Summit in London to being invited to Cannes... Clearly they must see time as their biggest asset!

Falguni and Shane Peacock

How many 20-something-year-old brands can claim so many milestones and yet confess, “Although two decades may seem like a long time, we still feel we’re a young brand with much to do. It’s not the number of years but what you do in those years that’s important. So we consciously decided there’d be no ‘celebrations.’ Instead, we’d work towards making this a milestone year by doing something memorable for the brand.”

Over to F&S as they open up about their contribution to the world of design...

Brides Today: Congratulations for being the firsts in Indian fashion to build momentum for South Asian talent in the US, on launching the South Asian Excellence Pre-Oscars Party, and inviting and styling a diverse range of personalities from the region last June. How do you feel such initiatives can change the global narrative on Indian talent?

Priyanka Chopra

Falguni and Shane Peacock: When we started being a part of this initiative, it wasn’t with any intent of changing the narrative globally. We wanted to be a part of these events because they are being championed and pioneered by our friends, like Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Anjula Acharia and many others who are catalysts in changing this portrayal. We want to support their endeavours and help them in the best way possible—that is via fashion.

BT: You have so many verticals running simultaneously. How do you find the time to be at international fashion weeks, edit your magazine, serve up fashion for international A-listers and have a personal life?

FSP: It’s all about having a great team. We can dream of doing more and doing it efficiently because we have a very good team behind it all. Ours may be a small clan, but it’s what’s ensuring we can do it all.

BT: Thanks to the internet, Gen Y and Gen Z designers have immense design exposure even without stepping out of their countries. What advice would you give them, and what advantage do you feel they have over your generation?

Janhvi Kapoor

FSP: The advantage they have over us is that they’re born in the age of social media and are tech-savvy. Our generation had to adapt to the technology that was introduced to us. But this generation has everything at their fingertips. So our only advice to them would be to work smart. You have access to almost everything, so make use of it smartly.

BT: Your brand values have been described as “forward, edgy and opulent.” What other values would you want your fashion to be remembered and celebrated by?

Katrina Kaif

FSP: We are a young, innovative brand that doesn’t hold back from experimenting and taking any risks. So we’d like to add young, innovative and growing to the list.

BT: We believe the collection you showcased at the Taj Mahal was crafted with your couture signatures entirely by hand, featuring the talents of a cluster of some 250 craftsmen from the FSP-adopted villages of Malihati, Islampur, Midnapore, Kharagpur and Marhtala in West Bengal. Does the brand plough some of the profits back to the artisans?

FSP: The skilled artisans from these villages work on the intricate handwork. Their beading work is absolutely unmatched. We not only ensure that they have a steady daily wage but also earn a part of the profit from the revenue generated. We’ve ensured that they have a steady supply of income and encourage them to be regular at their job. It gives us immense joy to see that these artisans send their kids to school regularly. Recently, one such artisan sent his children to college in another state. It was a proud moment for us to have been a part of this.

BT: How well do Indian crafts sit on Western silhouettes? Has any global A-lister particularly admired an Indian craft on your garment?

FSP: It’s all about how creatively you can merge the two and make your outfit look like something never before seen. The celebrities we’ve dressed have always had the kindest things to say about our outfits. But we’ll definitely remember the time Lady Gaga said she knew who we were. This was years ago when we were still a young brand; it was a memorable moment for us. Another was when we had met Shah Rukh Khan during a shoot, and he mentioned how he used to notice and liked our brand campaigns.

BT: Tell us how your brand came to be a favourite among today’s hottest red carpet celebrities globally. What’s the secret to getting noticed in such a crowded arena, beyond fashion weeks?

FSP: It all started when Fergie’s team reached out to us to dress her for her 2010 FIFA World Cup performance. That marked the beginning of our fashion camaraderie with international celebrities. Firsts are always special, even more so when the association continues. She’s worn a custommade FSP couture outfit for multiple occasions, including at the American Music Awards, for a perfume commercial and also for the cover of a Black Eyed Peas album... Whenever a celebrity has worn us, it was noticed by another, who then reached out to us. That’s how we ended up dressing the number of celebrities we have. There’s only one secret to getting noticed: being consistent with our efforts to create exquisite pieces. We just kept putting our heart and soul into our creations, and the rest is history.

BT: Your label has been one of the first Indian ones to be spotted at the most highly proclaimed fashion events like the Met Gala and at Cannes. How are the designs adapted to the celebrity
specifications?

FSP: The details of their custom outfits are mostly worked out with the help of their stylists, managers and team. This helps design what the celebrity wants while keeping their vision in mind. So right from the start, when we select colours, to the fittings, the team does the work.

BT: Your designs have been featured in 26 international music videos. Could you name some of them?

FSP: Our designs were a part of Beyoncé’s music album. Britney Spears sported our outfits for four of her music albums. You can also find us in an Ozzy Osbourne music video.

BT: With technology and AI effortlessly generating design ideas with a few keywords, do you see your brand involving more tech inputs in the near future? Do you currently lean on tech to facilitate new ideas?

Karan Johar

FSP: Sure, AI and tech are at their peak and will only grow from here. But with all said and done, nothing can replace human input, touch and feel. Be it for our garments that are painstakingly handcrafted by artisans, or for our magazines that are proofread by professionals, that human element is irreplaceable. As a brand that is technologically advanced and highly adaptive to new innovations, we do rely on tech to facilitate documenting, processing and even presenting our designs but never to generate design ideas. Our ideas will always begin with a pen and paper.

BT: You seem to love to share your travel experiences in your publication. Have any travel experiences influenced your lifestyle or work with new inspiration?

FSP: Every travel experience has been so enriching, inspiring and even enlightening on so many levels. So be it NYC—we visit often because we have our second office there—or be it Courchevel in the French Alps, or most recently Rome, there’s always so much to take back than just memories. Rome was the most mesmerising and memorable trip. Every part of the city, be it the architecture, the museums, even the streets and boulevards, is so beautiful and intricately done up that it fueled our inspiration in ways beyond our imagination. 

BT: Every year has overriding trends. What trends from recent fashion weeks struck you as interesting or been the takeoff point for new collections?

FSP: We’ve seen a lot of unconventional colours take up space on the ramp at recent fashion weeks and look great! That’s definitely a trend that caught our attention. But no such trend has ever been the takeoff or starting point for any of our collections. Our creations are never based on or banked on a trend because they are here one day and gone the next. We’ve always wanted our outfits to transcend these trends and be relevant for years.

BT: Given how many musicians love your fashion, what is your relationship with their tunes? Are you a keen follower of the global music scene? Have you ever been approached to dress these songstresses up for live performances?

SP: My father was a musician and growing up, I was in a rock band myself. So music was an integral part of my formative years and even beyond. When we launched our label, I’d dream of dressing up musicians. I’m glad I could actualise this dream, especially when we were a part of Ozzy Osbourne’s video—a musician whose work I was obsessed with! Although we both follow the global music scene, we still love our old classics! And yes, we’ve dressed many singing sensations for their live performances. From Beyoncé and Rihanna to Jennifer Lopez and Halsey, so many have sported our custom bodysuits, short dresses and jackets for their world tours and live performances. 

BT: How is F&S home décor doing?

FSP: We launched our home line with our signature rugs a couple of years ago; it garnered a lot of attention and appreciation. That said, we constantly work on launching products in this line because we want it to be exquisite, well-thought-out and something that’s created out of immense interest and love for home décor. So we have been working on a bunch of selective offerings that you will see soon!

BT: What is a dream you seek to actualise in 2024?

FSP: While we’re working on a lot of things, one dream that we seek to actualise this year would be to expand and have numerous stores in India and then internationally. It’s something we’ve been working tirelessly on.
 

This article originally appeared in Brides Today Volume 6 Number 1 2024 print issue

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