Embracing South Asian Designs: the launch of La’ Agra by Rekha Ananthanpillai

La’ Agra, by designer Rekha Ananthanpillai, launched in the Fall of 2022 and aims to elegantly merge South Asian traditional craftsmanship with modern fashion aesthetics.

La’ Agra proudly showcases hand-selected, ethically produced garments, highlighted in our two current collections: our inaugural collection The Pleated Blues, which is meticulously crafted in NYC, and our sophomore collection Opulence, which is handcrafted in Dubai. Featuring head-turning evening dresses, modern tops, and luxury cocktail attire, each piece is a celebration of unique fabrics, vibrant colors, and intricate prints.

La’ Agra invites you to immerse yourself in the world of elegant, wearable art pieces that reflect a modern interpretation of heritage – designed for the woman who confidently navigates both worlds.

La’ Agra by Rekha Ananthanpillai

Key Notes:

1. Inaugural Collection – Pleated Blues

  1. Available Now online at laagra.com
  2. Launched in the Fall of 2022
  3. Handcrafted in the heart of New York City, the Pleated Blues collection introduces an exclusive range of blue-toned Indian dresses designed to captivate and enchant

2. Second Collection – Opulence

  1. Available Now online at laagra.com
  2. Launched in the Fall 2023
  3. Showcases an exquisite array of skirts, tops, shawls, and dresses embodying our brand’s commitment to unique styles and artisanal quality

3. Third Collection – TBA

  1. Launch planned for Fall 2024
  2. This collection will be available exclusively online at laagra.com

Interview with Rekha Ananthanpillai

Q: How did you get your start in the fashion industry?

Becoming a fashion designer has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl. I had interned for Club Monaco in college as well as a few other fashion brands. I, however, ended up taking the “safer” career path, attended business school, and ultimately began to work for a financial services company, followed by a consulting firm.

Becoming a fashion designer has been a dream of mine since I was a little girl

After a few years on this path, I reached a point in my career where I was no longer professionally satisfied and felt there was something bigger out there for me.

I moved to Philadelphia in March of 2020 and, as the world came to a standstill due to the pandemic, I started to dust off some of my old hobbies such as drawing and painting.

I soon discovered The Made Institute, a school in Philly that teaches how to launch a fashion brand from start to finish. Through the skills and guidance I received from Made, I was able to develop the foundation of my brand and, in the Fall of 2022, officially debuted La’ Agra at Philadelphia Fashion Week.

I soon discovered The Made Institute

I am still delicately balancing my role in management consulting while building up La’ Agra, I soon hope to make this my full-time career.

Q: Where do you get inspiration for your collection?

I enjoy spending time in nature, and I love to draw on the vibrant colors that I find in my environment.

As I designed my first collection, The Pleated Blues, I spent many days by the beach and took inspiration from the various shades of blue and ripples seen in the waves of the ocean. For Opulence, my sophomore collection, I was inspired by my desire to include vibrant pops of color in otherwise muted color palettes. My third collection, due out this fall, draws inspiration from tulips and other flowers.

I took inspiration from the waves of the ocean

I love to take screenshots and pictures of things I find interesting or I am drawn to and put them on my mood board. Then I do a TON of sketches to determine what pieces will pair well enough together to form a cohesive collection.

Q: How do you keep up with the trends in your collection?

While I do love to see what other designers are doing and what is trending, I prefer to do my own thing, sticking to jeweled tones, neutral solids, and finding the best way to mold the artisanal or sequence fabrics I hand-select into each piece.

I do draw inspiration from silhouettes that are trending, but I always aim to stay true to the fabrics that define La’ Agra

Q: What is your favorite piece you have designed?

That’s a tough question. In Pleated Blues, it’s The Rani Dress – I love how the pleats are arranged in such a way that allow for flowy, easy movement. I also love that it can be styled in many ways; you can opt for boots and a blazer for a business formal look, or heels and a shawl for a gala. In Opulence, it’s The Dolce Top. I love to wear it with jean shorts and sneakers for a super casual look or paired with the Belle Skirt and heels for an elegant dinner. I also love all of the accessories on my label as they are all handmade and sustainable.

Q: What city would you want to show your collection in?

Paris! To me, that is the birthplace of high fashion, and many of my idols come from Paris. I love the rich history paired with the more modern fashion scene. It would be an absolute dream come true to show at Paris Fashion Week. For now, I’m focusing on ways to celebrate my brand locally in Miami and build my brand awareness.

Q: What’s next for La’ Agra?

I am currently working on the third collection and I cannot wait to share it this fall! As I launch new product offerings, I’m continuing to look for ways to highlight the artisanal craftsmanship of my textiles, from clothing to accessories.

We are working with local boutiques in Miami, so there will be more opportunities to shop the brand in person in the near future.

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Learn More

laagra.com

With love,

FWO

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