Her self-starter initiatives began way back, when she was an 11-year-old growing up in the Bangalore cantonment. A beauty parlour begun with friends, and a neighbourhood book library were just two of her passion projects.
Having made her Bollywood debut in 2008, she started film production company Clean Slate Films in 2014.
Earlier this week, in partnership with Suditi Industries Ltd, she launched her apparel line, Nush. A fashion icon who favours high street brands and whose personal style is a mix of ready-to-wear comfort and designer chic, Sharma’s latest venture is an amalgam of her personality as well as a collection for everywoman. Edited excerpts:
I assume you are wearing garments from Nush’s autumn-winter collection?
Yes. I think the foil detailing on the jeans and denim jacket are on trend and will work really well for the festive season and holiday season.
Although the collection is entirely western wear for women, the idea is that it should be easy, everyday clothes for everybody. You don’t have to make too much effort to look nice and our aim is to make fashion accessible in terms of prices and style. Fashion should be something that feels comfortable on your body and in your head, which is why we have kept the price range from Rs699 to Rs3,300.
Why a fashion brand?
I have been working on this idea for four years. The idea consumed me when I thought of it. It has been one-and-a-half years in the execution stage. I thought of clothes because that is something we live in, which allows us to express our personalities, moods and sense of style. It’s a huge part of our everyday lives and I wanted to create a brand that becomes an everyday part of people’s lives.
Like movies have a long-lasting effect on us—they have a sense of memory—I think a fashion brand can be like that too. Enterprises like Clean Slate or Project Anushka Sharma Lifestyles Pvt. Ltd (for the fashion brand) gives me a sense of achievement. Whether the production house or now this, these enterprises gives me a sense of achievement. New challenges, like every film I act in, add value to my life and personal growth.
What is the partnership arrangement?
We have collaborated with Suditi Industries who are huge manufacturers and distributors. We are equal partners in a joint venture. They present designs, manufacture the garments and are distributing Nush through Shopper’s Stop, Myntra, Jabong, shop-in-shops and online from nush.in (from 12 October). My involvement is in the styling, sampling, quality control, aesthetics, business decisions and marketing.
I am not designing or conceptualising the collection, but when the samples come, I choose and modify. I sign off on all the final designs. I must admit, I didn’t expect it to take as much time as it did. Initially, I would allocate two hours for a meeting. But some of those sampling sessions would go on for nine hours. I enjoyed it a lot more than I realised.
What have some of your specific inputs been?
For example, when I shop abroad at high street brands, I can wear those clothes there, but when I come back to India I realize they are too see-through to wear here.
So, we were careful to give camisoles and slips inside the dresses. Or sometimes, we just increased the thickness of the fabric. I was also very particular about edging and finishing.
We also showed the samples to focus groups of girls of different ages and sizes for feedback and positioning of pockets.
We wanted the collection (denims, t-shirts, tops, jackets, sweaters, dresses, formal wear, office wear) to be as accessible as possible.
Were there any no-go areas when it came to Nush?
I am a practising vegetarian, a huge animal lover and environmentally conscious. I was very particular that the collection should not include any animal skins or animal parts.