This Chennai streetwear label was launched at a fashion show in Milan

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Akhilesh Ashok’s streetwear line recently launched at South House in Milan features oversized hoodies and crew neck t-shirts, hoodies and cropped tops in bold prints.

Akhilesh Ashok’s streetwear line recently launched at South House in Milan features oversized hoodies and crew neck t-shirts, hoodies and cropped tops in bold prints.

In Milan’s Piazza del Duomo, people discover an Indian streetwear brand and a city called Chennai. “It felt good to tell them about my city. Many people there had never heard of it. Now they do,” says Akhilesh Ashok, who launched his South House label at a fashion show in Milan last week, followed by pop-ups in Paris, Amsterdam and London.

“Even on social media, there’s a lot of buzz about the label. A lot of people have been asking me if it’s a ketchup brand or a new restaurant,” he said on a call from London, where he is wrapping up South House. Choosing to launch his collection in Europe is a way to introduce India to the world. The official India launch is in September. It will be done at the end.

Models of sportswear from the collection

Models of sportswear from the collection | Photo credit: Special Event

She first studied Commerce from Salem Akhilesh at Loyola College, Chennai. “I come from a family of auditors. I’m a numbers person,” says the 23-year-old, who admits that a career in fashion was never on his radar. But when he was locked up, he thought why not be on the other side, having been a fashion shopper for a long time. He saw great potential in it and knew he wanted it to be a streetwear label. I am a self taught designer. “I have two designers on board – Asha Sridhar and Shreya Dilip – who help me translate my vision into designs,” says Akhilesh. It took 10 months of conceptualization and 45 designs before choosing the final seven that will be part of the first collection. It includes off-the-shoulder hats, crop tops and hats. He wants these pieces to be conversation starters. The line is unisex, heavy on prints in bold and muted designs. “Streetwear works on hip culture. For the pre-launch few celebrities wear the clothes but people can’t buy it. There’s a buzz all around. And when these clothes go on sale, they sell out in four to five minutes,” says Akhilesh. The plan is to have limited pieces on sale. In this case, 2,000 pieces will be sold online. These are less likely to return. “We want it to be unique,” he explains.

Cricketer Washington Sundar, rapper Irfana Hamid and Canada-based music producer Yanchan Rajamohan will be seen making their South debut. Akhilesh divided the capsule drop into two parts. The first episode will go on sale on the website on September 20. “We try to see how mixed these are,” says Akhilesh. In the meantime, he is excited to introduce a global brand that has its roots in Tamil Nadu.

The website will launch on September 15. Houseofsause is on Instagram.

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