Style plays a very important role in our day-to-day life. Our sense of style tends to provide various non-verbal cues to other people who come in contact with us. While international brands have always been there creating and building new trends, Ms. Erina Shrestha, came up with an idea to build a Nepalese fashion brand so as to utilize the immense potential that Nepal holds in the textile industry.
So, for all the young women who are constantly in the quest of finding the perfect blend of ‘Style and Comfort’, ‘Lakhey Nepal’ has become the most satisfying solution. Given the name ‘Lakhey’, many of us might be confused about how can a Nepalese cultural mascot provide style and comfort to young women!
‘Lakhey Nepal’ is an emerging Nepalese fashion brand which deals with formal and street-wear fashion at affordable prices for the thriving young ladies.
The story behind Initiation:
Ms. Erina Shrestha, the sole founder of Lakhey Nepal always knew that she wanted to do something in the field of fashion designing. After she graduated from IEC College of Arts and Fashion Nepal and interned for a Japanese Fashion Company, Ms. Erina realized the huge potential that Nepal had when it came to textiles.
She researched more to find out that even when it comes to top fashion brands like Zara and Forever 21, they all get their manufacturing done in the third world nations. Then, the passion to establish a Nepalese fashion brand which would have all of its operations done in Nepal whether it be manufacturing the fabrics or designing the clothes stroke her and she decided to establish her own venture ‘Lakhey Nepal’.
About Lakhey Nepal:
Ms. Erina knew that there were many boutiques and fashion stores here in Nepal that were working to bring ethnic fashion but when it came to formal fashion or streetwear dresses, women were looking for more options at affordable prices and this is what directed Lakhey Nepal to enter the streetwear and formal wear section.
Whenever we look at the imported range of fashion apparels that are brought here to Nepal, they are all the knock-out fashion designs which were rejected in the international market. So, Nepalese consumers are made to pay huge prices for fashion accessories that aren’t even worth it. This ignited within Ms. Erina the desire to establish a Nepalese fashion brand which would provide the latest designs to Nepalese consumers at affordable prices which would enhance the personality of Nepalese people whilst becoming the pride of Nepal.
The brand provides a wide range of formal and street-style fashion wears to women solving their problem of finding the perfect blend of ‘Fashion and Comfort’.
They have a physical store at Newroad, Kathmandu. Recently, they have also started selling their products through online stores like Daraz.np. Ms. Erina said, “I love what technology is doing to business houses. I started showcasing my products at the online store and amazingly we had a customer from Janakpur who wanted to have a Lakhey wear.
Aim behind the name ‘Lakhey’:
Lakhey is basically a mascot that represents Newari culture during the various Jatras. Lakhey is exclusive only to Nepal. This is the reason why Ms. Shrestha wanted the name of her venture to be ‘Lakhey’ as well.
She stated, “Lakhey belongs to Nepal and so does our fashion venture. We work with authentic Nepalese people to create fashion apparels for Nepalese people. Through our brand, we want to represent Nepal to the world and that’s why I chose the name Lakhey which is exclusive and belongs only to Nepal.”
Challenges Faced by ‘Lakhey’:
The major challenge faced by ‘Lakhey’ is the unavailability of fabrics.
There are two major types of fabrics – natural fabric and man-made fabric. Natural fabrics like bamboo, banana fiber, cotton, etc. are available in Nepal. However, when it comes to lighter fabrics and man-made fabrics, they are scantily available in Nepal.
This has resulted in Ms. Shrestha being able to work only with a few limited fabrics. Ms. Shrestha believes that had she gotten a chance to work with a wide and varied variety of fabrics, she could recreate more designs with them which would enhance her collection.
According to Ms. Shrestha, the biggest challenge she initially faced while establishing her business was her young age. Due to her young age, whenever she went talk to her initial customer clientele, they always found it increasingly difficult to trust her. They used to doubt whether she was serious about the venture or was it just another backup plan for her. However, later as Ms. Erina kept on striving and thriving to do better, her clients got really impressed. Thus, due to her young age, she had to prove herself before she could launch her venture successfully.
Lakhey Nepal is in the process of increasing its customer clientele. Lakhey Nepal has not only limited itself to its physical store but it also puts up its stall and places itself in the various events that take place in Kathmandu.
Due to such marketing strategies, more and more people are becoming aware of the brand and now there are so many people who call Ms. Erina asking her suggestions and various fashion therapies. Therefore, the customers that Lakhey has been able to gain in this short duration of time gives Ms. Shrestha a positive hope about the future of the company.
However, there are some customers who believe that since Lakhey Nepal produces its fashion apparel in Nepal, they must be affordable. Ms. Erina stated, “When you are a start-up, it is really difficult for you to scale-up which increases your cost of production. I am trying to make my fashion apparels as affordable as possible. Yet, there are consumers who believe that Nepalese products must be cheap both in quality and in price which is not always true.”
‘Lakhey Nepal’ in the next winter/autumn season is all set to showcase its menswear and accessories. There is a major socio-cultural change that is taking place in the current situation and now men are becoming as much as fashion-conscious as women. This shows an immense potential that fashion brands for menswear could now be launched in the market and Ms. Erina looks forward to doing so when she will showcase her products for the next season.
Adding to that, ‘Lakhey Nepal’, sometime in the future would love to launch some apparels for the elder people. When it comes to the elder people in the family, they have very limited fashion options they can choose from and Ms. Erina would love to solve this problem of the elderly citizens by launching a new line dedicated completely to them.
Message to the Youths:
“If you know you are good at something and you really want to do it, take that risk because it is worth every penny. With a supportive ecosystem and passion in heart, we can achieve all that we want to in our journey of life,” says Ms. Erina.
Article by: Mahima Poddar