Rungolee Spring 2013 Runway Show

May 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the Rungolee Spring 2013 Runway Show. It was a sunny spring day perfect for an outdoor party, summery dresses, and a fabulous fashion show. We were blown away by the global chic designs modeled by the ladies of the St. Louis ballet.

Looks from the Spring 2013 Rungolee Runway

After the show, Rungolee designer Anjali Kamra, shared her thoughts on the collection, her business, and what it is like working with family.

Who is the Rungolee woman? 

The Rungolee woman is a globally chic world traveler who adores fashion. She has a unique look and finds pieces wherever she goes. Ultimately, she mixes these pieces with classic items from her closet and has a bohemian spirit at heart. 

How have your family’s roots influenced your business philosophy? 

My family is my source of inspiration. My Aunt Swaran ran a couture house in India for decades. She sold to the biggest exporters including Harrods. Eventually she sold her business and started a farm. Now she is head of operations for my company. She inspires me daily with her passion and knowledge. 

The Beautiful and Gracious Kamra Family

What was your path to fashion?

I used to work at an advertising agency in New York. After I had my kids, I went back to school and started night classes at FIT. Eventually, they were impressed and suggested I move to the full-time program.

Your business is flourishing right now with the launch of your e-commerce site and success of your trunk shows. What is next?

Currently, I am focused on spreading the word about the newly launched e-commerce site. In the future, I want to branch out to wholesale merchandise, a resort wear collection and even a high-end luxury line.

How have trunk shows helped expand the business?

I try to attend as many trunk shows as possible. While there, I learn about the customers, their fit, and what they want as shoppers. Now I can look at anyone who walks in the door and know exactly what would look fantastic.

What trends influenced your current collection?

I love the bohemian chic look. Graphic embroidery is evident in many of the pieces. You will find embellishments in the most unexpected places to keep things interesting. There is a lot of black & white, which I love right now. I recently visited Rajasthan, India, and those traditional, yet colorful elements have heavily inspired my collection. You will also see a mix of coral & gold, which I hope to incorporate in the fall. This is actually the first collection designed with my own fabrics.

Anjali Kamra and Aunt Swaran

A Moment with Aunt Swaran

Aunt Swaran dished on what it was like working in the Mumbai fashion industry decades ago, rubbing shoulders with Bollywood beauties, and having her products on display at Harrods:

When I had my own business in India, entitled Atul Enterprises for my nephew, I produced for some of the leading export houses. In the 70s, my goods were sold in the Shalimar showroom at Harrods. Bollywood beauties like Nargis and Bindhu modeled for my collections. A lot has changed since then in the Indian fashion industry. It used to be that women had to cover their hair with a scarf. Now anything goes.

I established my business in the 1960s. Over the years, I learned how to balance family and business. The most important thing is to ensure you have quality people with a responsible work ethic. In India we lived in joint families and that is still the case here in St. Louis. I consider Anjali my daughter.

Working with Anjali has given us an opportunity to teach each other. Two generations of fashion knowledge have come together. She pushes me all the time. I like to say it’s her body and my brain!

I oversee the operations of the business. Anjali makes the sketches. I help her get her designs manufactured. I buy the material, oversee that the designs are implemented, and that Anjali’s vision is completed. Anjali looks to me to ensure her collection is instilled with quality and perfection.

This is truly a family business. Anjali’s daughter Veda (who also models for the collection) is extremely interested in the business and I anticipate her pursuing it one day.

Veda modeling for Rungolee – Image via Rungolee
What do you think of Rungolee? Which piece is your favorite? I am lusting after the black velvet dress with gold embellishments inspired by the late Alexander McQueen. Plus maybe fifty other pieces in the collection that are perfect for spring/summer. What do you think of Anjali and Aunt Swaran’s story? Share in the comments below! Shop these looks on their e-commerce site – best part is that you can customize the pieces upon request!

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