Co-founded by sisters Angana Longjam and Nivedita Longjam, the label was started in 2015. Although in the last couple of years, a lot of fashion labels have come up in the Northeast, they are very few that offer designs for both sexes, which makes ANA & NIV quite special. What makes them even more popular is that their collection offers a great blend of tradition and modernity.
It is interesting to learn that Angana and Nivedita never thought that they would one day start a label. ‘We both have always been artistically inclined since childhood, but the decision to pursue a career in the field of design and creativity came much later on.’ Angana did her bachelor’s in B.Sc Visual Communication and then went on to complete Masters in Design soon after. Nivedita completed her graduation in Computer Science & Engineering, worked in few multinational companies and a private bank, and then finally decided to pursue Masters in Design as well. After they both got their Masters, they started the label.
The sisters mostly use Manipuri handloom. ‘We only use hand-embroidery/hand-work for our products.’ They are mostly focused on bridal and festive wear. ‘Our designs are classic but the embroidery patterns are a contemporary version of our traditional designs. We make a point to study the latest fashion trends and market need to come up with designs that would interest our clients.’ Their customers love the fact that they can customize their outfits. ‘For customised products, we have one-on-one discussions with our clients, where we try to understand their style preference, their body-type and then create tailor-made designs for them.’ They also make exclusive designs for brides. ‘When we create a bridal garment for one bride, we never recreate that design for another.’
Also, let’s not forget that they are one of the few labels in the region that caters to both men and women. ‘We truly believe that fashion is both for women and men. It is true that the demand for womenswear is higher, but at the same time there are many men who come to us, asking for customised, and often exclusive designs.’ For fashionistas who like to accessorize, the label also makes handmade accessories and bags.
Customers based in Manipur can purchase products from the ANA & NIV design studio located in Imphal. People living outside of Manipur looking to order can do so via their social media pages i.e. Facebook and Instagram. Alternatively you can also shop on their online shopping store (ananivstore.ecwid.com). The price range starts from INR 2,000 and if you are looking to customize, then the starting range will be around INR 5,000.
In the future, the sisters want to showcase their products on bigger fashion platforms. ‘We also plan to expand our brand in the coming years. We plan to focus more on handloom/fabric, and re-design them in a way that would appeal to shoppers.’