Designer Monisha Jaising (MJ), and Shweta Bachchan Nanda (SBN)—a regular on India’s best-dressed lists— have known each for many years. While Bachchan Nanda has often collaborated with Jaising to create designs for herself, the two have now come together to create MxS, a new affordable luxury brand (₹8,000-70,000). The designs are inspired by contemporary street wear and pop culture.

How did this brand come about?

SBN: I have always enjoyed fashion. It was only when we put together an outfit for me, for a friend’s 50th birthday, that I realized it would be a big fun project to do together. It has been such an education working with Monisha, I don’t think I can ever look at clothes the same way.

MJ: When Shweta was a young girl, I made her a white shirt and she looked exquisite in that. I have been following her style since. She is the best clotheshorse we have in the country and I am very happy to be co-designing a collection with her.

What are some of the things you two have in common?

MJ: We pay a lot of attention to detail, which you will see in the collection. Shweta is very finicky about finish, and so am I. We believe that clothing is not about being dressed in a particular way from head to toe.

SBN: We agree on basic aesthetics, not just clothes. When you have that kind of synchronicity, it’s half the battle won. I like that Monisha’s clothes are never trying too hard. I’ve seen her designs and worn them and they are super easy.

What were some areas you aimed to address with this brand?

MJ: We saw a huge gap in the market between Zara and Gucci and not many Indian brands to fill it. We wanted our products to be special but also affordable, and came up with 50 styles that would be categorized as luxury prêt with good prices.

How do your personal style sensibilities extend to the collection?

SBN: Both of us end up wearing the same things in our day-to-day lives. We value comfort and that’s transferred to what we wear. This collection won’t have itchy fabrics.

What is it like for the two of you to work with each other?

MJ: We have design workshops with our team a couple of times a week. At other times, we go to the workstation and review and edit our samples. We are on the same page—sometimes when we disagree, one of us always says the other is right.

SBN: Each one of us gives our input, even the talented young ladies in our design team—it’s a democratic decision. Monisha is so open to everyone’s opinion, it helps expand your vision and knowledge, especially for someone like me who’s doing this for the first time.

What are some myths that this collection hopes to break about women?

MJ: We have shirts that a 15-year-old can wear as a shirt-dress, and a 55-year-old with formal black trousers. It’s all about encouraging our clients to use their individual style.

Which are some of your personal favourites from the debut collection?

SBN: It’s like asking me to choose between my children, I think everything’s a favourite. I love the evil-eye T-shirts. Monisha and I love evil eyes, that’s another thing we have in common. I love our bomber jackets and track pants. Our sweatshirts are so soft, I didn’t want to take mine off after the campaign. We also have a sarong dress, which is super chic with a great silhouette.

MJ: My favourite is the winged heart dress and I love the Africa tunic which makes me want to go on a holiday every time I see it. I love the player tees. Don’t think I’ll wear it on the field, but definitely (when going out) for a drink.

Is there anyone you would like to see wearing this collection?

SBN: To see my mom (Jaya Bachchan) in some of our designs would be the ultimate high. She is so exacting and has great taste. It’s also the message we want to send, you don’t have to be 15 to have fun with fashion.

MJ: Rihanna!

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