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Clove Founder Samyukta Nair Tells Us About Her Latest Collaboration ‘Heart Of Sri Lanka’

Tucked away in a quiet street off the chaos of Colaba Causeway is Clove. A soothing grey facade with pink accents welcomes you into what can be described as an oddly comforting space reminiscent of home. With sunlight streaming in, the well-lit and cosy store is the brainchild of Samyukta Nair. Nair carefully curates the products ranging across fashion and beauty to lifestyle and home decor to represent eclectic homegrown brands interspersed with vintage finds. The entrepreneur is also known for her unique collaborations and pop-ups at Clove, having previously collaborated with brands such as Jodi, The Summer House, and Saksha & Kinni. Nair’s Clove is now collaborating with PR Sri Lanka, a multi-designer boutique store in Colombo founded by Annika Fernando.

 

Image Courtesy: Clove's Instagram
Image Courtesy: Clove's Instagram

The collaboration called ‘Heart of Sri Lanka’ is happening a few short months after the terror attacks quaked through the serene and peaceful land. ‘Heart of Sri Lanka' is an endeavor to show solidarity and celebrate the spirit of a country that I have often visited and love,” says Samyukta Nair. “Deeply saddened by the recent devastation, Annika and I decided to come together in hope to champion the wavering spirit by putting our love for Sri Lankan design at the forefront with a month-long pop-up of eight designers that best represent its fashion landscape.”

We spoke with Nair and Fernando about this unique collaboration that will be unveiled on Friday, 14th June at Clove, and will last a month.

Samyukta Nair, Entrepreneur And Founder, Clove

Image Courtesy: Clove
Image Courtesy: Clove

Samyukta Nair, Entrepreneur And Founder, Clove

On Sri Lanka

“I absolutely love Sri Lanka – my earliest memories were visiting Colombo as a child given my mother had spent some of her growing years there. I subsequently went back with my closest girlfriends, which is when I met Annika, on what goes down as one of my most memorable holidays so far.”

On The Curation For This Edit
I wanted the edit to reflect the vibrancy and culture of the innovative island nation of Sri Lanka yet showcase a distinctive offering with an accessible bend. With a selection of clothing from everyday staples to special occassions and bespoke jewellery the overarching theme of the edit combines traditional craftsmanship with contemporary design, creating a unique vision which is something we value greatly at Clove.”

Image Courtesy: Clove
Image Courtesy: Clove

On PR Sri Lanka and Annika Fernando
I let Annika take the lead in identifying the key designers who she thought best represented contemporary design in Sri Lanka based on who we thought the Clove audience would appreciate. The edit showcases fashion ranging from everyday staples, statement pieces, and bespoke jewelry with an aim to reflect a singular aesthetic of some of the most creative Sri Lankan minds while drawing parallels culturally between our two nations.”

Eat, Pray, Love
Stay at Tintagel Colombo, The Villa Bentota, Amangalla, and Cape Weligama. Shop at Paradise Road, PR Sri Lanka, and Barefoot, and eat at The Gallery Café, Palmyrah, Uppali’s, streets of Pettah.”

Image Courtesy: PR Sri Lanka
Image Courtesy: PR Sri Lanka

Annika Fernando, Founder And Curator, PR Sri Lanka

On The Collaboration
After the recent events in Sri Lanka, we had friends reaching out to us from all over the world. Samyukta reached out to me to confirm if we were safe. Our country was left in shock and within days tourists fled our island and cancelled future reservations. It's left so many of us disappointed with systems and perceptions. Businesses are working with a population that is healing and trying to get back to normalcy. I wanted to do something positive and Samyukta had spoken with me over the years about collaborating. And it seems like the perfect time. This is not about charity, it's about positivity and strength in design, and working with one another in unity. Samyukta coined the title 'Heart of Sri Lanka', and her warmth just made this personal and a celebration.”

Purpose Behind The Collaboration
It is about showcasing Sri Lanka in a positive light and creating awareness about the fact that we are open and back in business. I represent my favourite Sri Lankan designers at PR and I work hard to build their image, which is an extension of the contemporary design ethos of PR, both locally and internationally. I would love for the Sri Lankan labels I work with to expand to new markets. India is a logical first step. In this process, I hope that we've perhaps created some further excitement in Mumbai, and specifically Clove.”

Image Courtesy: Clove
Image Courtesy: Clove

On The Curation For This Edit
“I needed to be sensitive to the look and feel of the environment they were being presented in. I also had to consider the season and timing of the event. I'm not putting PR in Clove, we are collaborating, which means finding a middle ground where everything fits. We agreed on the labels and the collections to represent the designers and complement the offering at beautiful Clove.”

On The Eight Selected Labels
“The designers are Sri Lankan. They manufacture in Sri Lanka. What does India love about Sri Lanka? Perhaps our outdoor/indoor laid back vibe: this is represented in our design and clothing. In craft-speak, batik is local and Sonali Dharmawardena has an abstract and unique use of it in her one-off statement garments. Kasuni Rathnasuriya of Kûr uses local beeralu lace in every collection.”

Image Courtesy: Clove
Image Courtesy: Clove

On Art and Design In Sri Lanka
“Sri Lanka has always been design sensitive. We have world-renowned architects like Geoffrey Bawa who continues to inspire with his buildings, which we can all experience. Our contemporary art scene is diverse and internationally acclaimed. Today, Sri Lanka is recognised as one of the emerging art scenes to watch in the South Asian region. Fashion is emerging with more and more designers coming into the market, and the world is not just looking at our island like an extension of India. It's unique and has its own language, and some of our biggest fans are Indian.”

Catch the collaboration at Clove starting Friday, 14th June, 2019.

Address: Churchill Chambers, Allana Road, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001
Contact: 022 2202 1470
Opening Hours: 11am-8pm

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