Introducing the sister duo from Nagaland who founded ‘Shipen-Shisang,’ a collaborative fashion production house that has taken the local fashion scene by storm. Their entrepreneurial journey started in August 2017 in a small Northeastern Indian town, driven by their admiration for handiwork and the dignity of labor. The sisters’ profound understanding of their brand’s worth identifies a need for simple yet uniquely cool and comforting designs in the Indian fashion market.
We chat with the founders of ‘Shipen Shisang’ Tutu (L) and Asang (R)
R&L: Hi Tuti & Asang, thanks for chatting with us! Please introduce yourself to our readers.
Titu & Asang: We were born and brought up in Dimapur, and our native village is Longsa, located in Nagaland’s Mokokchung district. Our design inspirations stem from observing and interacting with everyday people, which is reflected in our classic yet versatile designs suitable for both daily wear and special occasions.
“At Shipen-Shisang, we believe that fashion is a powerful form of self-expression that represents one’s beliefs and identity. Comfort and trends are important, but we also prioritize the identity piece of fashion. Our brand collections reveal insights into the lives of those who inspire our designs, including ourselves and our childhood memories. Our designs embody a relaxed, natural, pure, calm, and aesthetically pleasing mood.”
R&L: We are intrigued by your brand’s name ‘Shipen-Shisang’ What does it mean?
Tutu & Asang: It means “clothing” in our mother tongue LONGSA of the Ao Naga tribe.
R&L: What is so special about Shipen-Shisang’s clothes?
Tutu & Asang: All our garments are made with careful consideration – and more importantly, Love and Care. We make it effortless for every woman to find beautifully made clothing that fits her style and her values. We keep in mind to create things that are both beautiful and comfortable.
“We always keep one basic question in mind while designing each piece – would we love to own this clothing if we saw it outside the context of our collection?”
R&L: Can you share with us how your upbringing and roots have influenced the creation of Shipen-Shisang?
Tutu: As a kid, I was known as a ‘tomboy’. I was never interested in wearing feminine clothes, and I usually sported loose shorts, tees, and sneakers. But as I grew older, I became fascinated with fashion and individual style. It was amazing to see how clothes could change the way someone looks and how people look at them. A simple piece of clothing like a jacket, if worn in the right way, can transform a person. I found myself expressing my style and thoughts through fashion.
“I actually don’t have any background in fashion other than personal interest; I freelance as a photographer. But this whole idea of collaborating with my sister to create a fashion label was a great way to express my creativity in another format.”
Asang: I was a huge Grace Kelly fan and always wanted to grow up to be a fashion designer. As a kid, I enjoyed making clothes for my Barbie dolls. Growing up, I watched my mother doing what she does best – stitching pretty dresses for us. I remember that one time when I asked my mom to make me a “butterfly dress”. I still don’t know how she did it but there it was. My happiness had known no bounds that day.
“As I grew up, I realized how important a dress is to a girl. Since then I’ve been thinking about making clothes for other people – just to spread the joy I felt the day I wore my “butterfly dress”. I also have my own fashion label “Asang Lemtur” which I launched three years ago; the brand specializes in bridal wear, gowns, and dresses.”
R&L: Could you share with us the story of how and when you launched Shipen-Shisang, and what plans you have for the future of your brand?
Tutu & Asang: When we launched our first-ever collection for Shipen-Shisang on October 2017, we sold 80% of our collection on the very first day! We were so grateful and humbled by the positive feedback, and we remain grateful to God for this glorious privilege.
Currently, we operate as a home-based business and sell our garments exclusively online. To showcase our latest collections, we usually invite a select group of customers to our home studio for small showings. We are already hard at work on our upcoming Spring-Summer 2018 collection and are excited to expand our offerings to include clothing for men and kids as well.
Stay up-to-date with the latest collections from Shipen-Shisang by following them on Instagram
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